This month sees us celebrating a first in history, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, an incredible 70 years on the throne. Elizabeth recently turned 96 and I have found myself wondering what the secrets to her longevity are. I think we can assume she’s had access to the best of food, comfortable beds and plenty of household assistance, and that has all undoubtedly helped, but what about exercise?
Recent research revealed that half an hour of weekly muscle strengthening activity could help reduce the risk of dying from any cause by as much as a fifth. However, I doubt the queen has been lifting dumbbells, doing push-ups or engaging in lunges and squats each week. So, what has she done?
Exercise comes in many forms and our Monarch has always been a keen and competent horsewoman. Riding is a strength workout for legs, core and upper body. Walking has also been a constant. When at Buckingham Palace, she would take a walk around the gardens every afternoon with her corgis. At Balmoral or Sandringham, she’d often go for long rambles. Did she choose these activities for fitness’ sake? I rather suspect she did them because she enjoyed them and they gave her time to herself, which meant they didn’t just benefit her physical fitness.
If you’re halfway through the year and like many, finding your exercise routine slipping, reassess whether you’ve found that form of exercise that you really love. That is where the secrets to longevity may live. THAT is the jewel in the crown.