Running a country is demanding work. It requires all-day meetings and endless ceremonies, all of which exacts a physical and mental toll. But the heads of state over 70 on this list don’t let old age slow them down. They rule with the wisdom of their age and the vigor of someone much younger, thanks in part to their healthy lifestyle and consistent levels of physical activity.
This is the first list of its kind in the world, and it is a continuation of our annual “Fittest Head of State” lists. These lists have made world news 3 times, and have been reported in 1000s of media outlets. We believe that it is important for world leaders to promote a healthy lifestyle, and we will continue to recognize those who do.
HFR founder and author of the fitness book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic commented: “It is very refreshing to see heads of state who are over 70 years old, yet continue to be physically fit and active. They are an excellent example of how people in stressful and demanding positions can manage and control their stress with a healthy lifestyle. I have a tremendous respect for the impact Queen Elizabeth and Pope Francis have made on our world.”
Queen Elizabeth, 90 – England
- 2016 marked the 64th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, making her the oldest monarch in British history.
- The Queen’s longevity is due in part to her careful diet. She eschews genetically modified food and instead opts for more season fair, eating the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season. She also stays away from starchy foods like pasta.
- Regular exercise has been a part of the Queen’s daily schedule for decades. She keeps her body strong through aerobic exercise, walking with her corgis, and riding horses.
Pope Francis, 79 – Vatican City
- The Pope stays spry with a positive mindset and a well-developed social conscious. His attitude has a lot to do with his general sense of well-being
- Worked as a bouncer and loved dancing in his youth
- Is a firm believer in the principle of moderation. The Pope eats healthy and balanced meals, making his diet ideal for an elderly man
- Was pronounced our Fittest Spiritual Leader in the World, Top 50 Fittest Royals in the World, Fittest European Royals
Emperor Akihito, 82 – Japan
- An avid sportsman and fan of the outdoors
- An accomplished scientist with an appreciation for the environment and has published multiple papers on the taxonomy of the gobi fish
- At the start of every morning, he takes a walk around the wooded Fukiage Garden, observing the plants and animals
- Has survived numerous illnesses and recovered at an advanced age.
King Carl XVI Gustaf, 70 – Sweden
- Grew up in Sweden and following high school graduation entered the Army, Airforce, and Navy
- Enjoys scouting with The World Scout Jamboree to help those involved learn more about other nations and people
- Enjoys traveling, riding, watersports and sailing
- Participated in the famous Vasa Ski Race in 1977, 1987 and 1997
- Made our Fittest European Royals list, Top 50 Fittest Royals list, and our Fittest European Heads of State 2016 list
Abdul Halim of Kedah, 88 – Malaysia
- Has ascended the throne to become the oldest constitutional monarch in the country’s history
- The constitutional ruler of Malaysia’s northern Kedah state and in robust health for his age
- No stranger to walking if he needs to catch a game. He walked a mile to get to a soccer tournament when his car was stalled in traffic.
- Member of Malaysian Snooker & Billiards Federation, the Kedah Golf Association and the Sultanah Bahiyah Foundation
- Is a huge fan of golf and is still an avid player to this dayS
- Spreads his love of soccer to his countrymen with initiatives to promote the sport in Malaysia
Paul Biya, 83 – Cameroon
- Rode a bicycle for 2km to demonstrate that he has maintained his health over the years and is still in good enough shape to run the country
- Great sportsman who enjoys cycling, biking, and walking