Has there ever been a less edifying sight than that of a purple-faced executive in over-tight shorts and headband staggering around a squash court – pausing only to puke and get his pulse rate back to below 200? Well the good news is that scientists have shown that exercise can be a health risk to the middle-aged. Something that I have suspected for a very long time.
I have always argued that super-fitness is a very unnatural state. It is not 45bbp super-active athletes who enjoy the highest life expectancy – but the super-sedentary classical musicians. They spend a large part of their lives sitting on their backsides either blowing into something or moving one arm in a sawing motion over a piece of wood. Their only real exercise is when the lean forward to turn a sheet of music. They do not spend their time pressing weights, running round a track, drinking foul-tasting energy drinks, shooting-up anabolic steroids and throwing-up. That’s why they live longer.
Cartilage damage, pulled muscles, osteoarthritis, clapped-out knees and ligament damage are far less preferable than sitting – the highest risk of injury being the occasional paper cut on a sheet of music.
Ask yourself – what would you rather do? Sit in a warm room, scratch away at fiddle, blow a cor anglais or would you rather put on a pair of rancid trainers, run ten miles before a breakfast and return to a glass of water, a puke and a Ryvita?
It’s good to see the scientists get it right for once.