Staying fit at 71: Helen Mirren reveals simple 1950s exercise plan designed for Air Force staff


I’m sure by now many of you saw the picture of Helen Mirren last week that made its way around the internet (I posted it to my Facebook page as well). The actress is 71 (and will turn 72 in July) and looks stunning. Back in 2014, the actress and Russian daughter of an exiled aristocrat from Kuryanovo, Smolensk Oblast, 1 shared her secret to looking “sensational in a red bikini in your 60s.”2 Read on.


While Dame Helen claims that the famous picture below was just a flattering angle, she’s still in amazing shape regardless of the fact that she’s a ‘classic yo-yo dieter’ who has always fluctuated by 10lb. However, rather than hit the gym, she spends just 12 minutes a day working out.

Dame Helen Mirren, wearing a red bikini on the beach during a holiday to Italy, six years ago

“She follows the Royal Canadian Air Force exercise plan, which was created by a doctor in the 1950s. It is a stretching and toning regime originally designed to keep the men and women of the force fit in a quick way without gym equipment.

The routine comprises five exercises for men and ten for women such as push-ups, sit-ups, running on the spot and arm circling, which work all the muscle groups.

There are targets to aim for, with more exercises at a harder level to be completed within the 12 minutes once strength starts to improve. Dame Helen said she returns to the plan whenever she feels her fitness slipping.” 3

The program, which you can check out here 4, has charts you follow. Each day you do a set of exercises within 12 minutes and until you are able, you don’t move to the next set.


If this is what she’s doing, it’s definitely working.

Have you ever heard of the plan? Would you be willing to try it out? If you’ve used it, let us know your thoughts!

XO- Erin

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Erin Elizabeth


Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site is barely 4 years old, but cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. Erin was the recipient for the Doctors Who Rock "Truth in Journalism award for 2017. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Sources and References

  1. RBTH.
  2. Daily Mail, July 22, 2014.
  3. Daily Mail, July 22, 2014.
  4. FIT450.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  • Donna Shipe

    I have the book she follows. I have done the exercises and they are simple and work. No need for fancy equipment or the latest trend. I have recently slipped off my schedule due to being outside gardening etc. I will get back on this routine soon.