Friday, 17 September 2010

Elixir of youth

I’ve been catching a programme on the Beeb called The Young Ones.  It doesn’t star Rik, Adrian, Mike and Nigel but a slightly different cast. 

Six well-loved celebrities in their 70s and 80s - Liz Smith, Lionel Blair, Dickie Bird, Sylvia Syms, Derek Jameson and Kenneth Kendall - have agreed to spend one week living as though it were their heyday - 1975 - to see if re-living your youth can make you young again.  This is a repeat of a previously successful experiment.

It is a wonderfully endearing show.  The celebrities are interesting and they each have their own particular issues. 

  • Liz had three strokes just over a year ago and is, physically, the least capable.
  • Lionel believes he is as fit as a fiddle but tests done by the programme team shows he has aged just as much as the others on the show.
  • Dickie is one of the fittest but feels his memory lets him down.
  • Sylivia finds physical exertion tiring and always feels exhausted.
  • Derek struggles with a lack flexibility and strength.
  • Kenneth finds physical activity difficult and worries about his lack of balance.

The main way that the show tries to help people to regain their youth is by placing them in a 70s environment and putting them through experiences that enable them to live through part of their life as it was in the 70s.

The programme demonstrates that this approach works.  The main learning, for me, is that life should have obstacles, and shouldn’t be easy.  A life that presents mental and physical challenges is a healthy long life. 

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