Life is a rollercoaster, you’ve just gotta ride it – that’s not only the message from Boyzone, who’ll be playing live in the Course Enclosure after racing at Cartmel this evening, it’s also the key finding from a piece of research published this week from the University College of London.
Middle aged people who go racing, ride the funfair at Cartmel and dance when post-racing bands are on the stage, are half as likely to become frail by the time they reach their 70s. Or something like that…
The report actually says that between 2.5% and 3.5% of people who are active in their 50s will become frail by the time they reach their 70s, compared to 6.2% of inactive people. According to the researchers, frailness (defined as sudden weight loss, exhaustion, muscle weakness and slowness when walking) is the most common condition leading to death among the elderly not in hospitals or nursing homes.
Happily, it seems as though more people are going racing and enjoying a fun, active, lifestyle – particularly in Scotland, where the population has recently discovered how to dodge death for an average of two additional years. That equates to eight additional days at the Cheltenham Festival, eighteen additional race-days at Cartmel and about 210 additional race-days in Scotland – creating a virtuous circle which will no doubt enable all racegoers to live longer still…
Average life expectancy in Scotland has lengthened to roughly 77 years of age for men and 80 for women, although that still makes the Scots one of the shortest lived populations in Europe. The average life expectancy of Italians (83.5 years), Spaniards (83.4 years), the Swiss (83.2 years) and the French (82.7 years) are all believed to be longer on account of diet. Even the consumption of copious amounts of cheese is believed to be healthy for the French, lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Apparently deep fried Mars Bars don’t have quite the same effect.
Where, you may wonder, does that leave Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding? Evidence suggests that it could form part of a balanced diet and a happy, active, lifestyle. According to a report published in March this year, the longest lived population of women in Britain derive from the parish of Great Corby and Geltside in Cumbria – where I suspect we’ll find that the 97 year old ladies run regular excursions to Cartmel races to enjoy their sticky toffee pudding with additional butterscotch sauce.
And if they’re not dancing to Boyzone after the races tonight, no doubt they’ll be dancing in the village square after racing on Sunday, having backed our selection for the weekend: Morning Royalty in the £40,000 Oakmere Homes Handicap Steeplechase. Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it!