The recent election of Sebastian Coe as the new president of the IAAF, the body that governs world athletics, has put sport and athletics centre stage of the headlines again. Unfortunately the issue of doping allegations is what makes this story big news.
But lets put the issue of doping to one side for a moment. In an interview following his victory Coe said, “My sport is what drives me” and his defeated opponent in the presidency election, Sergey Bubka said, “I continue to serve athletics with dignity and big passion.” Refreshing words and a clear indication of sport being so much more than the current focus.
Sport is a gift to us all. The joy and pleasure it brings to billions of people across the planet through active participation and watching is immeasurable. It is difficult to imagine many pastimes that affects so many people and brings as much happiness into the world as sport. Your health and happiness are intrinsically linked. The health benefits of being physically active have long been known but in recent times the extent and power of the benefits has taken on a new level of significance. Exercise affects your entire well-being. From your heart to your head and yes you’ve guessed it your hips!
Exercise as medicine, also known as exercise therapy, is beneficial for improving function and reducing the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis. Good manual therapy uses mobilisation techniques to reduce pain and increase exercise tolerance. Long-axis traction, like that provided by HipTrac is the primary method in manual therapy for hip osteoarthritis.
Sport and keeping physically active really is for life and is evidenced by a thriving Masters community (sports people over 35 or 40) that is growing allover the world. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete or highly competitive to enjoy sport and receive its benefits. Little and often is the best medicine. Greater participation in sport or a more active lifestyle by the young and not so young is a social and health revolution the world needs more of.
What you do need to have in common with an Olympic athlete is a bit of commitment to stick with the program, as benefits and enjoyment are cumulative and increase over time. The top sports people are great examples of commitment and oftentimes courage, which is why we admire them. You can do this too and feel the benefits.
Let us hope that Lord Coe can bring some calm and much needed perspective to athletics. The war on doping will happen and it needs some fresh ideas to make it winnable. Ideas like those expressed in All the Clean Athletes Please Stand Up. Hopefully sometime soon we can move away from the focus of doping to what sport is really about. Camaraderie, participation, good health and happiness.