The Queen at 90 looks amazing; what’s her secret? Walking.

active ageing advice from cliffs chiropractor southendArif Soomro, founder of Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic in Essex, and Chiropractor of the Year, has analysed the Queen’s posture and says that everyone would improve their health and wellbeing if they took a leaf from her book and walked.

There aren’t many men and women who are working full time in their 80s, let alone their 90s, so it’s fair to say that Queen Elizabeth is an inspiration to all ages. But if I was to compare her outward appearance and energy levels to someone half her age, she’d come out on top.

After a lifetime of state dinners and chauffeur-driven cars, the Queen at 90 could look significantly different, but she doesn’t have diabetes, isn’t overweight or arthritic and is rarely ill. Before I’m accused of ignoring her privilege and considerable wealth, I don’t believe money and access to the best clinicians in the world have played any part in her obvious vitality. Our Queen is, quite simply, living proof that our lifestyle choices determine our future health. The biggest single factor that has contributed to her majesty’s excellent physical condition is, quite simply, walking.

We all know that walking’s good for us and that it’s the cheapest and easiest way to stay fit, but it has many other benefits: it’s a low impact exercise; it aids lymphatic drainage, which relies on body movement (unlike our blood, which is pumped around by our heart); the muscle contractions in the legs help the return flow of lymph up the legs towards the chest, taking waste products with it and improving fat metabolism; and, for every mile the average person walks, the spine will move to and fro 10,000 times, which prevents a stiff back.

What keeps the Queen looking younger than her years, is her posture. She doesn’t stoop which comes from standing tall, with her shoulders back and down, at all times. An open posture means you can breathe deeply, allowing more oxygen to circulate around the body which, in turn, makes you feel and look more energetic

The royal family is no stranger to chiropractic. Prince Charles has long been an advocate of complementary medicine and supported the state registration of chiropractic in the 90s and Diana, Princess of Wales was patron of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, the largest chiropractic college in Europe, where I trained with Melanie, who co-founded Cliffs with me. Melanie is also Chiropractor of the Year.

I couldn’t complete this article without mentioning food! As we age we need to modify what we eat because our bodies don’t need as many calories to carry out functions; less meat and more vegetables would be a good start. As our calorific needs decrease, our ageing cells need more nutrients and that’s where supplements come in; try calcium, vitamin D3, magnesium, omega 3 and co enzyme Q10.

We may not all be able to emulate the Queen’s healthy habits, but we can wish her a Happy 90th Birthday. Here’s to the next 10!