Ian McMillan: This is exercise, not just a middle-aged bloke waving his arms

A LOT of well-known people seem to put out exercise DVDs these days,and I've been thinking about putting out my own, and perhaps accompanying it with a book and maybe a TV series.

I can guarantee that if you follow my routine for at least a year, as I have, then you'll end up looking like me. You'll have grey hair and you'll have to wear glasses!

I wake up ridiculously early and go downstairs, being careful not to wake anybody else up by avoiding the creaky stair. I stand in the back room. If the curtains are open then a number of garden birds gather to watch me; their cheeps and chirrups could be interpreted as a discussion of the wonders of evolution as the see me standing there in my dressing gown and slippers.

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I don't bother with expensive exercise clothing, you see: the dressing-gown and slippers will do for me.

My first exercise is the Warm Up, essential for us toned athletes. I do what you can only describe as "lean-overs". I lean over, with my hand in the air, to one side, and then I lean over, with my hand in the air, to the other side.

It's a kind of middle-aged version of what you see people doing in aerobics classes, with the dressing gown taking the place of the pink leotard or mankini. I do a hundred of those, counting silently in my head and occasionally losing count when a shaft of inspiration hits me or a song from South Pacific suddenly appears and I can't get rid of it.

I find that the counting helps with these exercises: it gives a shape to something that would otherwise be formless, would otherwise just be a middle-aged bloke in a dressing gown waving his arms.

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After the warm up, I'm ready for the serious business of clutching some wood. I grab the door frame and do a hundred push-outs. They're a bit like press-ups except that I'm pressing myself away from the door frame. I try and hold my stomach in as I do it, because I have to

confess that I do these exercises for vanity as well as fitness.

I try to hold different parts of the door frame as I push because I don't want to loosen it; it would be terrible to suddenly wrench the door frame away from the wall in an Incredible Hulk-style movement.

I also try and move my head from side to side like a Wimbledon spectator as I'm doing it, in the belief that it'll keep my neck supple, and stop the build up of that phenomenon known as the "chnek", where the chin becomes the neck, common among middle-aged men.

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After the frame-grabbing I'm ready for the press-ups. The press-ups are the bit I like least. I lie on the ground and push myself up, and then, keeping my back straight, I go down again, and then back up.

I try to do 40, but by the time I've done 30, I'm groaning like the hinges of an old shed door and I'm speeding up.

After 40 I lie on the floor for a bit; I'm breathing heavily, which is a good thing. Well, it's a good thing to be breathing, anyway. I swear the birds outside are laughing.

Then it's time for the sit ups, in a vain (in every sense of the word) attempt to develop stomach muscles. I lie down facing the other way, just for a bit of variety, and I start. I don't sit up very far, to be honest: I must just look a bit like somebody lying in bed and glancing up at the bedside clock to see what time it is.

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They do seem to be doing me good, though, and I try to do about 200, although I often lose count, so maybe I'm only doing 22.

Then finally I grab a dining chair and lift it up and down slowly 40 times; I'm not sure why I do this, although it seems to wind up the routine nicely. When I get really fit I'll do it with the settee.

So there you have it: McMillan's Exercise Routine. All you need is a dressing gown, some slippers, a floor, a door frame and a lack of embarrassment!

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