There’s no denying that Helen Mirren just keeps getting better with age. The 76-year-old star has achieved the Triple Crown of Acting, won numerous Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, and more, and to top it off, she just walked the L’Oreal show in Paris.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Mirren opened up about everything that goes on behind the scenes to achieve the well-lived life we see in front of the camera. From getting in a 12-minute workout, to taking in every moment of life, the actress shared her five go-to tips for living your healthiest, happiest version of yourself.
Nourish your body
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet, but Mirren likes to approach eating as an opportunity to do what makes her body feel its best.
“Take control of your diet and find what makes you feel good,” she told Vogue. And while she acknowledges not everything she eats is nutritious, she exemplifies the importance of moderation. “I’m the first one at the fish and chips, but what you’re putting inside your body does influence how you feel about yourself, so start there.”
There’s no need to max out your credit card for an expensive gym membership. Mirren loves her 12-minute Canadian Air Force women’s exercise routines. The workouts have been popular since the early 1960s and were designed to complete without any gym equipment for the Royal Canadian Air Force pilots who were stationed in remote areas.
“It’s an exercise regime that starts from very low and easy, then if you follow it though, it can become quite difficult. I’ve never gotten past the second level, but it’s a nice little exercise program,” she said.
And more than what type of workout you practice, Mirren encourages just doing something and pushing through any roadblocks in your way.
“Nothing extreme, but you need to do it every day. That’s a great start, because it’s all to do with taking control of yourself,” she said. “I’m incredibly lazy and if I can avoid doing it, I will, but every now and then I pull myself back and do what I know works.”
Mirren takes life by the horns, and encourages all to try new things, meet new people, and experience new places. “You should be open to opportunity. Chat [with] people and be as open as possible,” she said in the interview.
And when life moves too quickly, Mirren likes to take the time to ensure she’s fully experiencing the moment. “It’s a very good idea, occasionally, to look at the world as a child or foreigner and witness your own environment,” she said. “Imagine you’re seeing it for the first time and try and experience the magic in it–because there is magic in every environment. All it needs is to be seen with fresh eyes.”
We’re not the only ones who hit snooze a few too many times. Even Mirren admits to sometimes running a little too close to the clock, but being prepared and planning ahead helps her stay grounded.
She lays out her outfits the night before like the rest of us! “Usually if I have some sort of function to go to, or if I’m traveling or have an interview to do, I sort my clothes out the night before,” she said. “It means that if I am in a panic in the morning, which I often am because I’m late, I’m not worrying about what I’m going to wear because I know it’ll all work together.”
Even as an award-winning actress, Mirren experiences insecurities. But she suggests that the key to true happiness and confidence is to not “feel paralyzed by your own insecurities and don’t be too polite or apologetic in life.”
Mirren revealed that over the years she has been insecure about her cheeks, feeling that they were “too chubby” in photos. She spent years sucking them in when photographers were snapping pics, until she realized she couldn’t smile properly while doing so. Eventually, she finally fought through her hesitancy and was able to smile for the camera confidently.
“I discovered that, actually, it’s nice to smile openly and with freedom,” she said. “Not a tight little smile, a big one.”
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