Christmas list for living longer better

By Muir Gray

As Christmas approaches I thought it would be helpful to have a Christmas list for living longer better.

My revolutionaries want to keep mind and body active, especially at this time of year, so here’s a letter to your kids and grandkids and a suggested Christmas list to include!

Dear Children and Grandchildren

We don’t want to appear ungrateful for your generosity in the past or too pushy about Christmas, and birthday presents to come, but we though you might welcome some ideas to make choosing easier, and less time consuming.

Firstly we think that you have always spent too much on us in times past and in present times you need to think of your own needs first – inflation and heating costs are terrifying and our preference would be for you to dig us out at least once a week for a good brisk walk, but your time is another scarce resource we know.

But we are now getting ready for the new year and our Resolutions and we have read a lot about the benefits of activity, physical and mental and how we can even reduce the risk of dementia. So we are planning a New Year’s Revolution, never mind a New Year’s Resolution, and there are gifts that could help us reduce the risk of dementia, frailty and other nasties, and live independently for longer and be less of a nuisance to you in the years to come.

Love from Mum and Dad

Christmas list:

This year we don’t want alcohol, chocolates or comfy slippers, but we would love:

- Trainers to improve our stamina by walking briskly with the NHS app

- A Swytch wheel to get back on the old bike (or we’d love to join you on the Peleton)

- A set of resistance bands or dumbbells for strength

- Tai chi, yoga or pilates lessons for suppleness

- Dance lessons for co-ordination

- Or a two minute timer toothbrush to remind me to stand on one leg for 2 minutes when brushing my teeth (and it is now known that caring for your gums is the best way of caring for your teeth at our age!)

- Cryptic crosswords to improve our cognitive ability, and further reduce our risk of dementia

- A sociable online course for new skills - obviously I recommend Learning with Experts' courses (including my own Live Longer Better course!)

- A copy of Sir Muir Gray’s new book: Increase your Brainability - and Reduce your Risk of Dementia to help us live better for longer and be less likely to be a burden to you!

Recommended course

Living Longer Better taught by Sir Muir Gray

Learn to live better longer, with former Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS, who shares his secret elixir of life

View courseAll Wellbeing courses

Muir Gray

Professor Sir Muir Gray, CBE, FRCPSGlas, FCLIP is a British physician, who has held some of the most senior positions in screening, public health, information management. and value in healthcare. Sir Muir has worked for the National Health Service in England since 1972, occupying a variety of senior positions during that time, including serving as the Director of Research and Development for Anglia and Oxford Regional Health Authority, and first establishing and then being the Director of the UK National Screening Committee. He founded the National Library for Health, and was the Director of Clinical Knowledge, Process, and Safety for the NHS (England) National Programme for IT, serving as the Director of the National Knowledge Service. Sir Muir is an internationally renowned authority on healthcare systems and has advised governments of several countries outside the UK including Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and Germany.

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