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Helen Mirren Works Out for 12 Minutes a Day, Says She's Retired Her Bikini

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Helen Mirren turns 68 Saturday, and she’s making a conscious decision to pick up her exercise routine. The actress, who looks stunning in a gorgeous red carpet gown and a swimsuit, reveals that, despite her killer shape, she currently isn’t really in shape — and she wants to change that.

Helen Mirren Diet Tips

“I’m not very fit at all actually,” she told told reporters at an international junket for The Hundred Foot Journey. “Just this morning I started my exercises, which I haven’t been doing for months, maybe years. 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 [finish them in the allotted time], 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.'”

The fitness plan became very popular in the ’50s and consists of a series of planks, toe-touches, knee raises and more isometric exercises. Curious? Here’s a YouTube video you might be interested in.

RELATED PHOTOS: Stars in Swimsuits: From Teeny Bikinis to Bold One-Pieces

But despite her daily aerobic routine, don’t expect to see Mirren in a bikini again anytime soon. The star reveals that she’s still trying to move past that famous 2008 swimsuit shot.

“I don’t actually look like that, and I know that that is going to follow me forever and I’ll be forever trying to bury it unsuccessfully,” she said. “The truth is I don’t really look that good, it was just a flattering picture. I am beyond the bikini-wearing age, really. I wouldn’t normally wear one. I look like a woman in her 60s. I’ve always looked awful in a bikini, even when I was young.”

We say she’s just being modest — the actress has always been a proponent of healthy eating and moderation, which may explain her incredibly graceful aging process. “I’ve never done anything in excess,” she told PEOPLE. “I’ve never drunk or eaten too much. It helps to stay balanced.”

–Brittany Talarico