A super fit gran who enjoys early morning boot camp sessions, yoga holidays to Ibiza and still works as an electrical contractor has shared her secrets to staying active.
There isn’t a knitting needle or bingo card in sight for pensioner Anne Leigh, 82, from Hedgerley Green, South Bucks, who refuses to let her age slow her down.
At 7am, four mornings a week, Leigh can be found lifting weights at boot camp, before casually running 5k every weekend at her local park.
As well as her impressive fitness regime, the marathon runner still works part-time as an electrical contractor – often digging trenches, fixing fuse boards and street lighting – despite reaching retirement age more than 20 years ago.
“I’ve never officially retired and didn’t even consider it when I reached 60,” the mum-of-two and grandmother-of-seven, explains.
Leigh has been married to Bernard, also 82, for 61 years, with her husband sharing her go-getting attitude and also not yet officially retired.
“I currently help my son, who has his own electrical business and my husband still has his own business too," she says.
“It varies, but I can work around 18 hours a week. I like to make sure I can fit in my exercise too though.”
Leigh runs three times a week, which includes a 5K Park Run, and after joining a local boot camp class when she was 78, has built her muscle strength to be able to hold a plank position for an impressive two minutes.
“I love exercising outside," she adds.
“Our one hour session includes squats, star jumps, weight lifting, sit ups, press ups, you name it.
“Then I come home and my son picks me up for work.”
Despite being the oldest by a few decades Leigh says she loves working out in a group, claiming she enjoys the social aspect of exercising with others.
“I never liked being indoors," she adds.
“I don’t want to slow down and I wouldn’t listen anyone if anyone told me too.”
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Leigh admits her extremely active lifestyle has raised a few impressed eyebrows when she has revealed her age.
“People are quite shocked when I tell them how old I am, I’m flattered when they guess 65,” she says.
As well as a love of exercise Leigh also enjoys travelling, visiting India in 2017 and attending a fitness and yoga retreat in Ibiza last October.
While Leigh didn’t actually start running until she was in her forties, she has since made up for lost time completing 1,800 races, including 70 marathons.
“I’ve done 20 London marathons and I used to run three marathons a year but I’m not as fast as I used to be," she says of her running achievements.
“I did a 10K in London last month, that was fun.”
When Leigh isn’t running or working, she enjoys gardening and likes to keep her evening diary action-packed too.
“I want to enjoy life whilst I can," she continues.
“We like festivals, family parties and we go out a few evenings a week to watch tribute bands or to the race course.
“I like a drink and a good party and I never think, ‘Oh I’m too old for that’, even when I buy glitter-heeled fashion boots’.
And Leigh is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
“I have never knitted in my life and I don’t intend to start now,” she laughs.
Additional reporting Caters.