Back in 2019 Leith recalled an incident where she had fallen over, and after a painful two year recovery period, the star is now frightened of a similar thing happening again. Unfortunately for Leith, her worst fears were to come true, after she suffered from a snapped achilles tendon whilst filming an opening scene for The Great British Bake Off. Speaking about the incident, Leith said she felt a “hammer blow” to the ankle before being rushed to the medics ambulance. Following the second incident, Leith now prioritizes her health, using exercise to keep fit.
Addressing her health fears, she added: “My main worry is falling over. A couple of years ago I fell at our train station and it’s taken me two years to recover.
“You don’t want to break a leg or hip at my age. I think if I can keep everything working, I will be OK.”
In a bid to keep healthy, Leith revealed that she works with a personal trainer, who visits her once or twice a week, despite Leith’s reservations.
“And all my life I have wanted to lose a stone but I could never lose it!” the star added.
“But I do exercise. I have a personal trainer who comes once or twice a week. If I have an excuse to cancel then I do it because I don’t enjoy it.”
The National Institute on Aging explains that physical activity is an important part of healthy aging. In fact, exercising regularly has been proven to help delay or prevent many health problems that seem to come with age.
The NHS says that exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer and lower your risk of early death by up to 30 percent.
For those specifically aged 65 or over, the health body recommends the following:
For those who have fallen over, doing exercise can help to improve strength, balance and flexibility. This will in turn help individuals feel more confident on their feet. The NHS says that often overlooked, falls are a common cause of injury. Around one in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year.
Older people are more likely to have a fall because they may have:
As well as keeping fit and exercising to prevent falling over, the NHS explains, individuals should remove clutter, use non-slip mats and rugs, and wear well-fitting shoes that support the ankle whilst in their homes.
In addition to exercise, Leith is conscious of eating healthily, and has always been an advocate of cooking from scratch, having never visited a McDonald’s and very occasionally ordered a takeaway.
“I love cooking,” she explained. “My husband and I grow a lot of our own vegetables at home and I enjoy it.
“Food is so interesting now, so easy and I enjoy teaching my grandchildren to cook too. I am very interested in the science of cooking and how and why things happen the way they do.”
“I have porridge for breakfast or a yoghurt, salad for lunch and then whatever for supper with a couple of glasses of wine,” she added, giving a glimpse into her home life.
Being aware of what she eats becomes even more important when filming the popular Channel 4 baking show. But having been on the show since 2017, Leith has figured out a tactic to ensure she doesn’t put on weight.
She revealed: “People ask, how do I manage to eat all that sugar? If you have 12 bakers in the tent doing two challenges a day, that is 24 teaspoons.
“If you are careful, you can get away with 600 calories [from the tastings], which means you can have dinner. You do have to skip breakfast and lunch, however.”
A 2021 article released by The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) explains that good nutrition across the lifespan can “help prevent chronic disease”. Older adults generally have lower calorie needs, but an increased need for nutrients, meaning that adapting your diet is important.
The ODPHP stresses that older individuals should make sure they are eating enough protein, as foods high in protein can also be a great source of nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and fiber. In addition to the obvious sources of protein such as meats, poultry and eggs, fortified soy alternatives, beans, peas, and lentils are great sources of protein.