5 Lessons on Health and Longevity from Queen Elizabeth II

After dedicating 70+ years of her life to the service of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at the age of 96.

Although the Queen had a few moments of ill health recently, overall her Majesty was in remarkably good health for a 96-year-old. She still continued to perform her royal duties up until just a few days before her passing.

Below are just a few of the lessons we can learn from Queen Elizabeth II for a life of health and longevity.

1. Never stop learning and keep your brain active

One of the many exceptional things about Queen Elizabeth was that she worked up until a few days before her passing at the ripe age of 96. That’s over 30 years longer than the average working person, who retires in their mid-60s.

Before she got stuck into her official work, the Queen read newspapers each morning over breakfast to keep on top of the latest news and political activities. She had a penchant for learning and embracing new experiences.

Keeping your brain active, through work or learning new things, is essential at every stage of life, but research shows that geriatrics who keep learning new things and do new activities are happier and have a more positive attitude. All this adds to a longer life.

2. Develop your sense of purpose

Queen Elizabeth lived a life of service, to and for her country. It gave her meaning and purpose, bringing her happiness and may even have been a contributing factor in her longevity. 

A recent study suggests that if you feel you have a purpose in life, you’re more likely to feel both physically and mentally well on a daily basis, ultimately leading to a longer life.

The authors of the study defined purpose as “a self-organising life aim that stimulates goals, promotes healthy behaviours, and gives meaning to life.”

Whether your ‘purpose’ is as ambitious as wanting to take on climate change, or as noble as wanting to care for others, when living life with intention, you may actually live longer as a result.

3. Prioritise sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. When it comes to their health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.

Reportedly, the Queen retired at 11pm every night before waking up at 7.30am – clocking in a healthy eight and a half hours sleep. 

It’s also said that she was fond of reading before she retired, a proven way to improve sleep quality and reduce stress.

4. Move daily and choose exercise you enjoy

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

Although Elizabeth II didn’t follow a strict exercise regime, physical activity did factor into her day-to-day up until she was physically unable at the age of 95.

She stuck to the activities she enjoyed most: afternoon strolls with her corgis and horseback riding. It is said that both these activities gave her great pleasure and invaluable “alone time”, giving her a moments rest from the demands of the crown.

The health benefits were simply an added bonus.

5. Enjoy treats in moderation

According to a former royal chef at Buckingham Palace, the Queen ate four small meals a day (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner), favouring simple dishes such as grilled meat or fish with vegetables.

That’s not to say the Queen didn’t indulge on occasion. She is said to  have been partial to a gin and had a real sweet tooth, with shortbread, jam sandwiches and chocolate being amongst her favourite treats.

Providing you enjoy treats in moderation, there is no reason why they cannot form part of a balanced and healthy diet.

Coach Joseph Webb.

‘The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’

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