I had a huge shock this weekend (a good one). A woman who I admire hugely and whom I thought was in her mid to late 40s is, I discovered, 63. She is Burr Leonard, founder of the Bar Method, which I mentioned in a recent article on how to get toned arms in only five minutes.

In the DVD, Change Your Body, with which I worked out this weekend, Burr Leonard looks incredibly gamine. Change Your Body has been around for a few years so I quickly took a peak at her newly launched Super Sculpting workout and she looks fantastic for a woman of any age, let alone one in her 60s. OK, I suspect she may have had a bit of outside intervention to keep her face so smooth, but you can’t shortcut or fake a body like that (the picture above is a screen shot from the video). If that doesn’t convince you that exercise will keep you looking young, then nothing will.

I personally don’t believe my face looks any younger than my 51 (soon to be 52) years. But I do allow myself the conceit of thinking that I have – after a year of Bar Method and a careful diet – taken a year or two off from the neck down. Muscle tone, strength and good posture will do much more than a truckload of the world’s finest body lotion.

As we get older exercise becomes crucial to our continued good health. But the older we get, it has to be a regular and sustained effort. In an article in the Huffington Post, Burr Leonard talks about, when hitting 60, her “muscles started to feel like sieves” and she had to up her exercise classes to five times a week to maintain strength and stamina.

She cites a sports scientist Dr. Stephen Seiler: "After about age 60, strength levels fall more rapidly" in people who strength train on a long-term basis. "The good news," he writes, are that these declines "are diminished by continued training."

So, although muscle strength is going to decline, we can slow that decline down if we keep up our training. With the incentive of looking as good as Burr Leonard in 10 years time, I'm oh so with the program. I started by ordering her Super Sculpting DVD. The Bar Method is now available to buy in the TIA shop.