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The Queen's fitness secret: how her favourite hobby has kept her fit and well

Her Majesty has been riding horses since she was four years old

queen health
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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At 96, The Queen has had a long and healthy life, with only a few minor illnesses during her 70-year reign.

MORE: The Queen looks so elegant in new photo released for her 96th birthday

One hobby that could be responsible for keeping her at the peak of health is her dedication to horse riding, a hobby she's reportedly been partaking in since she was four years old and kept up well into her nineties, only stopping in late 2021 due to discomfort, according to The Sun.

WATCH: The Queen's health over the years following overnight hospital stay

Horse riding has many health benefits, with core strength a key reason to take to the saddle.

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To stay balanced on horseback you need to use your core muscles, physically strengthening your body which is essential as we age to prevent injury.

Horse riding is a full-body workout, helping to increase your balance and improve posture too – so that's why the Queen's posture has always been so impeccable!

the queen horses© Photo: Instagram

The Royal Family released this photo of the Queen to celebrate her 96th birthday

Balance is increasingly important as we age. "Balance enables us to move confidently, but your sense of balance deteriorates as you enter your 40s and 50s and can make you less physically confident," Dr. Mosley said on his health podcast Just One Thing.

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Better balance means fewer injuries from falling, which according to the World Health Organisation is the second most common cause of accidental death worldwide.

the queen childhood horse© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen has been riding since a young age

Other health benefits of horse riding include improved coordination, plus muscle toning and strength. Horse riding can also promote flexibility as the rhythmic moments keep your muscles relaxed and supple.

queen riding© Photo: Getty Images

There are many health benefits to horse riding

Horse riding also burns calories to help maintain a healthy weight and allows the rider to get a daily dose of fresh air to blow away the cobwebs.

Since the Queen has been unable to take to horseback since October 2021, her mobility has seen a decline, with the monarch reportedly using a wheelchair to get about.

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