Take action to improve your health in your 70s, and in the 80s and 90s too

People are like trees, in their prime in their seventies

This programme, which summarises the advice and information in my book Sod Seventy, is designed to support people aged seventy and in their seventies maintain and improve their health. It is based on ten principles drawn from the research on ageing, fitness, medicine and social issues which is described in more detail in the Amazon Single called Antidote to Ageing these are listed below·

People who are seventy differ from one another in more ways than they are alike

  • Biological ageing alone has little effect until about ninety
  • At seventy there is still scope for preventing and postponing common diseases
  • Too many people still have problems caused by poverty not ageing
  • After seventy, people can still increase their strength, stamina, suppleness and skill
  • Every year fitness becomes more, not less, important
  • Physical, mental and social activity is good for the brain and reduce the risk of dementia
  • People aged seventy need to have the right, positive attitude
  • There are many reasons to be depressed but also reasons and effective techniques not to be depressed
  • People aged seventy need to look ahead and plan for living and dying well

It is essential that everyone understands that four interrelated processes are taking excellent place

Ageing a normal process , starting as the dominant theme from about 30 , but Bradley Wiggins set a new 1 hour record at 35! The rate of ageing is influenced by genetic and epigenetic factors but is not a cause of major problems till the age of 90
Disease an abnormal process, sometimes related to ageing but more often due to lifestyle and environmental problems
Loss of fitness, resulting from inactivity and having an impact from the age of the first car or the first sedentary job which often occur together, usually in the early twenties
Growing older, a social process, influenced by personal beliefs and social culture

Many research projects into ageing are not well designed and over emphasise the effects of biological ageing and underestimate the effects of disease, poverty, loss of fitness and social pressures. we need to support life course studies like the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing – ELSA – and the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK). An important new report of the 50 year Gothenberg study has just reported. 855men were identified and have been interviewed and measured regularly for fifty years with true Swedish efficiency. Nine of the 855 made it to 100 and the findings were that

Two of the 100-year-olds dropped out of the study due to dementia and one for personal reasons. Facts about the other seven:
• Two lived at home and five in assisted living facilities
• None of them smoked
• All of them exhibited good temporal and spatial cognition
• All of them wore hearing aids
• Most of them wore glasses, were able to read and watch TV
• All of them were slim and had good postures
• All of them used walkers

People in their seventies are a very important group in society. They should not be influenced by the negative image of ‘the elderly’ but appreciate that they can improve their health and prevent both disease and dependency by action taken in their seventies. ( I hate the term ‘the elderly’ so for this reason wrote a diatribe about lumping everyone from 65 to 105 together under this banner that the Guardian published as part of their series on Population Ageing. There is huge potential for health improvement and for society as a whole if the talents of this age group are harnessed even more than at present If people in their seventies stopped helping people who suffer from frailty the NHS and social services would collapse!

Our mission is to work with and support other key organisations committed to helping people live and die well, for example Age UK and in Oxford  the wonderfully named Spring Chicken and we share our blog with them



Muir Gray