For those beginning a new fitness regimen, actress Helen Mirren has the perfect advice. She says to start with four sit ups, wearing the perfect outfit, of course.
“Buy yourself a fabulous workout outfit,” Mirren told People. “Put it on and do four sit ups and take it off and get in the shower.”
Helen Mirren’s comments are a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course, but the 69-year-old Oscar Award winning actress does have a point: Those who are new to working out should start small, Mirren said.
“My thing with exercise is start really easy, just so you only do three sit ups, you know?” Mirren said in the People interview. “Then do four next week and the next week do five. Start really easy.”
Helen Mirren isn’t the only one who thinks starting small is better than never starting at all. According to this WebMD article, moderate exercise can reduce the risk of or even cure heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, and improve pain associated with arthritis. In addition, starting small when it comes to exercise, as Mirren suggests, can help improve depression and, of course, help with weight loss.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity “as often as possible,” but Rita Redberg, MSc, chairwoman of the American Heart Association’s Scientific Advisory Board for the Choose to Move program, told WebMD that even less than 30 minutes of activity can be beneficial.
“It’s not like if you can’t do 30 minutes, you shouldn’t do anything, because you’re definitely going to see benefits even at five or 10 minutes of moving around,” Redberg said in the article.
So, how can those new to the exercise world get up off the couch and take Mirren’s advice? The first step is to recognize that there are all kinds of different physical activities that can improve your fitness level. Like to dance? You can do that around your living room. Prefer to be outside? Take a walk around the block. Play with your kids. Garden. Go for a bike ride. Just get up and move.
Start slowly and gradually increase your exercise level as you’re able to do so. When necessary, WebMD recommends that you check with your physician before beginning any new fitness regimens.
Your routine doesn’t have to include heading to the gym, and you won’t be alone if you decide to skip out on the barbells, treadmills and group fitness classes. In fact, Mirren said that she is not a fan of the gym, either.
“I don’t go to the gym,” Helen Mirren told People.com. “I’m trying to go.”
Mirren is an English actress known for her roles in The Queen, The Madness of King George, The Last Station, and the Prime Suspect series. Earlier this week Mirren’s most recent film, Woman in Gold, opened in theaters everywhere. In that film, Helen Mirren stars opposite Ryan Reynolds.
In addition, Mirren is currently playing Queen Elizabeth II in a Broadway production of The Audience.
With a schedule like that, Mirren doesn’t have much time to make it to the gym, she said. What do you think of Helen Mirren’s workout advice?
[Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images]