Helen Mirren always puts on "fabulous" clothes before working out.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

The 69-year-old actress has revealed she likes to take it easy when she exercises but insists looking good while she does so helps her to enjoy the experience.

She explained: "Buy yourself a fabulous workout outfit. Put it on and do four sit ups and take it off and get in the shower.

"My thing with exercise is start really easy, just so you only do three sit ups, you know? Then do four next week and the next week do five. Start really easy."

And it would appear Helen's tactics are paying off as her close friend and writer Peter Morgan, who penned both 'The Audience' and 'The Queen' in which she starred, thinks the actress always looks great.

He told PEOPLE: "[She] always looks fabulous. She does the red carpet better than anyone I know. And is an actress at the height of her powers."

Peter added that the pretty star - who has been married to director Taylor Hackford since 1997 - is very aware of her "appeal" to the opposite sex.

He explained: "She is very playful and naughty and loves the company of sexy men. If she denies it, it's a fat lie.

"She is still very in tune with her own appeal and knows it. There's not a flicker of impropriety there, but that button has not been turned off in that regard."