The beauty of Helen Mirren’s 1950s Royal Canadian Air Force exercise regime is that it requires no equipment.
Interest in a 1950s military-style fitness regime is expected to surge after actress Helen Mirren said she credits her trim figure to the 12-minute daily exercise.
The regimen, which was designed by physician Bill Orban in the late 1950s, includes 10 basic exercises for women that are intended to work all the muscle groups in a short amount of time. It includes moves such as knee raises, arm circling, push-ups, sit-ups, chest raises, leg raises, and running and hopping.
The workout doesn’t require any equipment, which makes it ideal for jetsetting stars like Mirren.
The Calendar Girls actress, who turns 69 tomorrow, revealed she keeps in shape by sticking to the exercise originally designed for the Royal Canadian Air Force, which was published in booklet form and was once an international bestseller.
Mirren insists the routine helps her to get fit in just a couple of weeks.
She told Hello! magazine: “I do a thing that leads me into exercise. It is the Royal Canadian Air Force exercise plan. It is 12 minutes and they have charts you follow... Each day, you have to do the exercises within the 12 minutes and until you can, you can’t move up. It is the exercise I have done off and on my whole life. It just very gently gets you fit. Two weeks of doing that and you think, ‘Yeah, I could go to the gym now’.”
Mirren — who is a self- confessed ‘yo-yo dieter’ — revealed that her weight constantly fluctuates by 10lb and is returning to the plan after finding herself at the upper end of her ideal weight range.
“[I’m] at the top end of those 10lb and I have got to get back to the bottom end.”
Mirren’s figure made headlines in 2008 when she was pictured in a red bikini on a beach in Italy where she has a home with her husband Taylor Hackford.
But despite her intense fitness regime, the actress also admitted that she no longer feels comfortable wearing a bikini.
“I am beyond the bikini-wearing age, really. I wouldn’t normally wear one. I’ve always looked awful in a bikini, even when I was young.”
The ‘red bikini’ photo, which she has credited to just a “flattering angle”, shows off her impressive physique for a woman of her age. “That photograph will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said of the photo that won her accolades such as ‘Body of the Year.’
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved