Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, celebrated her 92nd birthday this year.
However, Dr. Michael Gordon, the program director of palliative care at Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System, who trained in Scotland and met the Queen’s mother, feels that nowadays, even being in your 80s is no big deal. He says that “I’m a geriatrician and, in my practice, that’s like adolescence. She's not 100 yet. Her mother, the Queen Mother, lived to 101, and there’s a pretty good chance, barring the unexpected, that Elizabeth can get there herself.”
Yet, even the best genetic makeup can be destroyed by environmental factors. Researchers say that we accelerate the aging process if we smoke, drink heavily, eat poorly, don’t exercise, and are overstressed. Successful aging, says Gordon, is measured both in quantity of years and quality of life – not simply breathing, but retaining enough enthusiasm and vitality to make life worth living.
Below you’ll find 8 royal secrets of longevity.
The queen has regular medical screenings and access to medical care that helps to keep her in good health. Preventive screenings for men and women should include measurements for cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar. This could help to catch deadly, yet avoidable, diseases, such as diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks.
2. Get Regular Exercise
The Brits are big walkers and so is the Royal Family. They are known for their enjoyment of long walks on the grounds of Balmoral, where they stay for their summer vacations. The Queen is also known to love horses – and horseback riding has excellent health benefits.
After a good diet, exercise offers the most health benefits. It improves almost every measure of health we can devise, and there is a lot of evidence supporting the relationship between exercise and longevity. How much you need varies according to your medical and fitness history and current test results. However, even just 30 minutes a day, can help lower blood pressure and stress levels.
The Queen is still a functional head of state involved with high-level meetings that help to keep her mentally acute. She has also visited the Google headquarters in London, indicating an interest in the Internet, and she is said to e-mail her grandchildren, too. Anything that challenges your mind – staying engaged at work, strategy games, puzzles, reading, dance or music classes, and debates – will keep you mentally in shape as the years go by.
4. Maintain a Constant Body Weight
Though not exactly known for wearing revealing fashions, the Queen has never appeared overweight. Next to not smoking, staying lean is probably the most important thing we can do to stay healthy and live longer. Leanness matters because fat cells produce hormones that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Numerous studies have found that extra weight, especially around the stomach, cuts years off your life.
The typical British diet, by and large, has not been a healthy one over the years thanks to the fact that it’s heavy on fats and carbohydrates, but this has certainly changed. There’s now a better range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains more typical of a Mediterranean diet available.
This kind of anti-inflammatory diet has been linked with promoting longevity, and Queen Elizabeth benefited from meals prepared with fresh vegetables, game, and poultry provided by the royal estates, long before the benefits of this type of diet came to light. Fish, too, is a staple on the royal menu.
6. Drink a Cup of Tea and Barley Water
High tea, taken at 5 in the afternoon, is a British ritual enjoyed by the Queen. Tea, as we all know, has a number of health benefits: anti-cancer, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-heart disease.
Green tea is the most widely studied and probably the most beneficial. The Japanese have the highest average lifespan and this may be due to two factors: fish and green tea.
Barley water, sometimes flavored with lemon or other fruit, is a popular British drink and a favorite in the royal household. Barley is a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber, and barley water is said to help support the kidneys, especially during times of stress, and it might also be therapeutic for those who suffer from bladder and kidney ailments.
The Queen has a special love for dogs, especially the Pembroke Welsh corgi. In a study carried out at the State University of New York, Buffalo, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a pet showed a 50% decrease in blood pressure compared with those who had no pets.
Getting a positive response from an animal may make you feel better and has an effect on the metabolic system, producing higher levels of positive hormones and improving feelings of well-being.
8. Stay Connected
People who are connected to those around them – through marriage, friends, a spiritual community or other networks – usually live longer than those without strong ties. The queen is known for her rich social life.
She and Prince Philip reached their 60th year of marriage in 2007, making Elizabeth the first monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary. The fact that she has been with the same person for all these years has provided a very stable relationship for her.