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Maureen Lipman on Dame Helen Mirren playing Israeli PM Golda Meir

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Not only is Helen Mirren performing in White Bird, other current projects include: Golda, based on the “Iron Lady of Israel”, Golda Meir, set to be released in 2023; Shazam: Fury Of The Gods (December 21, 2022); and Fast X, and 1923 – both productions are coming out next year. Showing no signs of slowing down, even a decade on from the UK’s legal retirement age (66), what’s Mirren’s advice on remaining agile in older life? “My advice is to work from the inside out, no xplode buy ” said Mirren. “First of all, take control of your diet and find one that makes you feel good.”

While she wouldn’t turn down a trip to the fish and chip shop, Mirren is aware that “what you’re putting inside your body does influence how you feel about yourself”.

“The next thing is exercise,” added Mirren, “which doesn’t mean joining expensive gyms.”

The Oscar award-winning actress continued: “I’m a big believer in the Canadian Air Force women’s exercise regime, which is 12 minutes.

“It is an exercise regime that starts from very low and easy, then if you follow it through, it can become quite difficult.

“I’ve never gotten past the second level, but it’s a nice little exercise programme. Nothing extreme, but you need to do it every day.”

In the candid interview with Vogue, Mirren stated: “It’s all to do with taking control of yourself.”

Canadian Air Force women’s exercise regime

  1. Stand with feet apart, arms stretched above your head. Bend forwards to touch the floor, then stretch up and bend backwards. Bend knees if needed. Repeat for two minutes.
  2. Lie on your back with feet about six inches apart, arms at sides. Sit up just far enough to see your heels. Keep legs straight. Head and shoulders must clear the floor. One minute.
  3. Lie on your front, palms under thighs. Raise your head and one leg. Repeat using alternate legs. Keep your leg straight; thighs must lift above your palms. One minute.
  4. Lie on your front, palms under shoulders. Straighten arms to lift your upper body from the knee, then, keeping your body straight, bend arms until chest touches the floor. Repeat. One minute.
  5. Run on the spot, counting a step each time your left foot touches the floor. Lift feet about four inches off the floor. After 75 steps, do 10 “scissor jumps”: stand and extend your right leg and left arm forward, left leg and right arm back. Jump, changing position of arms and legs in mid-air. Six minutes.

How to have a better diet

The NHS advises women to eat around 2,000 calories per day; men can eat 2,500 calories.

Up to a third of the dinner plate, for example, should include a form of starchy carbohydrate; preferably one that is wholegrain.

Starchy carbohydrates:

Potatoes with the skins on

Brown rice

Wholewheat pasta

Cereals

Bread.

Aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables daily; to make this easier, you could add three different varieties of fruit to muesli in the morning.

An example could be muesli topped with blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.

How to have a better diet

The NHS advises women to eat around 2,000 calories per day; men can eat 2,500 calories.

Up to a third of the dinner plate, for example, should include a form of starchy carbohydrate; preferably one that is wholegrain.

Starchy carbohydrates:

  • Potatoes with the skins on
  • Brown rice
  • Wholewheat pasta
  • Cereals
  • Bread.

Aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables daily; to make this easier, you could add three different varieties of fruit to muesli in the morning.

An example could be muesli topped with blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Helen Mirren (@helenmirren)

“A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as one portion,” the NHS certifies.

However, you are recommended to only enjoy one glass, as any more will not count towards your five-a-day; furthermore, it could be sugary and damage your teeth.

In addition to eating more high-fibre carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, you also need to cut down on saturated fats.

Eat less:

  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Sausages
  • Butter
  • Hard cheese
  • Cream
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Lard
  • Pies.

Sugary foods should also be minimised, which include:

  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Pastries and puddings
  • Sweets and chocolate.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Helen Mirren (@helenmirren)

Exercise

Hailed as the “miracle cure” for numerous ailments, committing to daily movement can decrease the risk of disease.

Examples include: coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attack, and high cholesterol.

As for Mirren, by taking part in numerous productions – and having to move around the set – she will be on her feet.

Just by standing more, walking around, and doing daily chores could contribute to daily exercise.

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