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How does Strictly star Angela Rippon stay fit? Her fitness regime and diet revealed

The journalist is Strictly's oldest ever contestant 

Strictly Come Dancing star Angela Rippon
Megan Bull
Megan BullTV Writer
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Angela Rippon is unstoppable! At 78, the journalist and presenter is Strictly Come Dancing's oldest contestant, but she's also one of the most energetic. After defying expectations week after week, the TV star has wowed the judges with her agility and vitality in the ballroom – she can even do the splits! 

WATCH: Angela Rippon performs the splits during Strictly routine

So, what's the secret to Angela's incredible stamina and fitness at 78? We're taking a look at her exercise regime, as well as the super healthy diet that she raves about. Keep reading for all the details…

Angela Rippon's exercise regime

Ahead of her stint on Strictly, Angela opened up about some of her favourite workouts. "I look at the younger people and I know I'm not as fit or strong, that's just a medical fact," she said, "But I play tennis, I go to Pilates and ballet classes, so I'm pretty fit for someone of my age."

Angela Rippon at 'Crazy For You' press night, London, 2023© Shutterstock
Angela loves tennis, pilates and ballet

Angela added: "I've told my pro partner, Kai Widdrington, there are things I can do and things I can't. I just want to do everything properly. I've told him, 'Challenge me'."

Long before she joined Strictly, Angela had already discovered her passion for dance, which she raved about in a 2018 interview with Irish News. "I love dancing. When I was young, I even considered making it my career – it's great for tone and balance," she said. 

Kai Widdrington & Angela Rippon© Guy Levy
Angela had already discovered her passion for dance before joining Strictly

"I'm an ambassador for the Royal Academy of Dance Silver Swans ballet classes for the over-55s, and I regularly go to their classes. I stretch for 10 minutes every morning, which has been my routine for all of my life, and I don't smoke or drink."

Angela Rippon's diet

Back in 2018, Angela revealed that she's intolerant to both dairy and gluten, which has led to some changes to her diet. "For almost 20 years. I had a severe attack of food poisoning, and afterwards suffered bloating, stomach cramps and general ill health," she recalled to Free From Heaven. "So I consulted a dietician who put me on an exclusion diet – and we discovered the two main intolerances."

Angela Rippon at the Pride of Britain Awards© Getty
Angela adapted her diet after learning that she had a dairy and gluten intolerance

Now on a gluten and dairy free diet, Angela has also learned more about superfoods. Asked about her top tips to living a healthy lifestyle, the Strictly star told Saga: "Anything purple is good for you – from red cabbage to aubergines, blackcurrants and blueberries. In Okinawa, Japan, people habitually live to 90 and, instead of rice, they eat purple sweet potato. Such foods contain a chemical that can help to prevent clogged arteries."

When it comes to curating a healthier lifestyle, Angela's career as a journalist has put her in a unique position. Speaking to Irish News in 2018, the 78-year-old explained that while presenting How To Stay Young for the BBC, she was able to learn more about her body. 

MORE: Strictly star Karen Hauer talks ‘ups and downs’ in candid interview amid split reports

READ: Strictly's Neil Jones and fiancée Chyna Mills unveil stunning nursery for newborn daughter - exclusive photos

"I took part in a documentary called How To Stay Young and it was surprising to discover that – while I didn't have any external fat – I had a high level of visceral fat around my liver, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes," she said. "Because of this, I'm on complex carbohydrate, high-fibre Inulin, which has reduced and controlled it."

Angela Rippon during Women in Film & TV Awards 2019© Getty
The Strictly star also takes the prebiotic, Inulin

A type of prebiotic, Inulin promotes digestive health and stimulates the immune system. While it's found in certain foods, including artichokes, asparagus, bananas, garlic, wheat and onions, Inulin can also be taken as a supplement. 

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