Sport and Exercise as the Elixir of Life: Sir Muir Gray
In November 2020 Sir Muir Gray delivered a public seminar on sport and exercise as the elixir of life, presented jointly by the Faculty and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM).
You can watch the webinar on demand below:
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Sir Muir Gray entered the Public Heath Service by joining the City of Oxford Health department in 1972 after qualifying in medicine in Glasgow, the city of his birth. He developed a local, then national programme of work to promote health in old age, at a time before the implications of population ageing had been recognised. He has had numerous publications including his Sod range of books.
It is now known that what happens to us after the age of 60 should not just be assumed to be caused by the ageing process. The ageing process affects everyone from about forty on but by itself does not cause major problems until after ninety. This talk discussed three inter-related causes of the problems that occur more frequently as people live longer:
- Loss of fitness
- Disease, much of which is preventable, complicated by accelerated loss of fitness
- Pessimistic and negative beliefs and attitudes
Sir Muir discussed the evidence that we can reduce the risk of dementia, disability and frailty and also the cultural revolution that is needed to move from the concept of care to the concept of coaching ie closing the gap between potential and performance. This requires not only education for every older person, delivered digitally increasingly, but also the development of a single national system, namely a set of activities with a common set of objectives delivered by networks focused on local populations. These networks have to give the leadership required for the cultural revolution.