Arthritis exercise: Len Goodman explains the daily stretch Bruce Forsyth taught him

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Len Goodman is everyone’s favourite ballroom dancer and judge. The charming cockney is currently filming Dancing With The Stars in Los Angeles. Remarkably ‘fit and frisky’ for his 77 years, Len swears by staying active. Speaking exclusively with ahead of Arthritis Week 2021, Len shares his advice for anyone suffering with stiffness and arthritis.

Speaking to from Los Angeles, where he’s filming Dancing With The Stars, Len Goodman is passionate about delivering a message to those who have arthritis.

Len says: “I think the most important thing is to try and stave off getting arthritis and the best way of doing that is being mobile, and using your joints.”

“And if you have got arthritis, I think trying to overcome the pain of it and loosen up your joints.”

Len was diagnosed with arthritis at a routine check-up. He has these check-ups every year, ever since turning 50.

Len says: “I’m not medical at all, but all I know is when I get joint pain I try to exercise, and I use a great drug-free gel called Flexiseq, which really helps me.

“You’ve really got to try – obviously for some people, their arthritis is crippling, but for others, you’ve got to do your best to overcome the pain and move around.”

It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, either. For Len it’s a combination of golf, walking, the odd dance move and a daily stretching routine taught to him by none other than Bruce Forsyth.

Len says: “During the time I was on Strictly, I got quite chummy with Bruce Forsyth. I used to go and chat to him a lot about how fit he always was.

“Now he told me that he would do a regime every morning of stretching. He went through it with me: it was just gentle stretching exercises, nothing out of the ordinary.

“Since then, I’ve followed Bruce’s regime. When I get up I just have a stretch, I even start off when I’m still in bed.

“I stretch gently from side to side, then gradually when I get up I start to do a little bit more, but only for about 20 minutes – not massive amounts, nothing crazy.

“That’s one of the ways I keep fit and frisky,” he joked.

Len also keeps himself fit by walking around the golf course, he revealed.

He said: “I try to always walk, rather than taking the soft option and getting in the golf buggy and pootling round.

“As you get older sometimes you want to take the lazy option, but I try and not do that, and golfing a couple of times a week is about a five mile walk.”

At 77 years old, Len has learned that while staying active is key, you have to focus on what’s manageable for you, which means “not going out in lycra and jogging around”.

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During the lockdown, Len and his wife discovered the joy of going for a stroll.

Even doing household chores helped Len to stay active. He said: “You don’t realise how strenuous housework can be! Lugging the vacuum upstairs and hoovering around…

“I painted all our fences, we’re very lucky to have a garden. Being out in the fresh air is really good, doing things.

“The bottom line is you’ve got to get out and do things: you can’t just sit in watching Homes Under The Hammer.

“You’ve got to exercise as much as you can. We’d all rather sit inside being couch potatoes, but you’ve just got to get out and do it. What I love is the feeling of wellbeing after you’ve gone out there and done it.

“I get aches and pains and problems with my joints: I had a new knee seven years ago. And I started using Flexiseq and it’s really good for me.”

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