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5BX - Five Basic Exercises
Royal Canadian Air Force 1959


In the 1950s the Royal Canadian Air Force found that a substantial number of its pilots were out of shape, thus the 5BX programme aka 'Five Basic Exercises' was developed by Dr Bill Organ to train staff who were posted remotely and who didn't have access to a gym nor to much space, if say, it was snowing outside...

Various pamphlets were designed and printed (you can download free PDFs of two of these above), the artwork was by P.J. Carey, and funnily enough, some of the illustrations depict a man wearing only socks and boxer shorts who has spiky hair which looks rather like crown, and who does bear some resemblance to the King so maybe he did read the pamphlet and decided to do them that way??


The original 5BX starter program consisted of:

Toe-touching stretches


Back extensions


Running on the spot


Exercises are performed for only 11 minutes per day, every day until the recommended level of fitness has been achieved, and then, participants can relax a bit more as they only need to do them three times per week to maintain peak fitness.

The RCAF program came with 6 slightly modified versions, including one aimed at women rather than men, each of them with an increasingly advanced degree of difficulty, however the program was intended to provide an easily maintainable level of lifetime fitness. Two of these pamphlets can be downloaded above.

Please note that the first two may be not the best exercises for people with disc issues and other mobility problems and there's plenty of other exercises and routines out there to consider too, including yoga and Pilates, and there's lots of free NHS instructional videos here: 


Do check with your G.P. before starting any new strenuous exercise routine or actvity, and also check that any new treatment, diet or supplements are suitable is suitable for yourself.

The recommended level depends on age, and as you get older, they suggest that you spend more days repeating each level before progressing, so, some people can take up to 9 months before they achieve 'peak fitness', as per the exercise programme.

It's a great read, it encourages you to determine what the best time to exercise is, that you should exercise at the same time, and then: 'Regardless of what time you choose START TODAY'. It explains why, how to warm up, how to 'turn routine activities into challenges' which frankly don't all sound safe, such as 'Balance on one foot without support whilst putting on your socks or shoes' with the illustration depicting a man stood up but bent over whilst doing this, which as we now know, even our King wisely supports himself whilst doing headstands.



We sure will encourage our clients to take part in 5BX training when they join us for for pampering Beauty Breaks around the UK and Europe:, or you can also join us remotely and share your progress by using the hashtags: #5BXChallenge and #BellaPlasma too please :) Other suggestions, as per the pamphlets, are: #WishingIsNotGoodEnough5BX (which sounds like a James Bond film title), #DontSkipADay5BX, #11mins2Fitness5BX and #LeadABalancedLife5BX.

Upon announcing the sad and shocking news that following recent treatment on his prostate, unfortunately King Charles was found to have also have cancer elsewhere, which thankfully is said to be treatable, HM has been very open about it, mainly to help to raise awareness of both illnesses.


5BX - Royal Rumours...

Since, His Majesty's exercise routine had since been widely discussed, and 5BX or 'Five Basic Exercises' is reputed to be part of it. No-one really knows for sure, but its quite likely as in his book 'Spare', Prince Harry said that to help to manage his chronic pain from old polo injuries, the King often performed headstands by propping himself against a door or “Hanging from a bar like a skilled acrobat”, whilst only wearing pair of boxer shorts, and during an appearance on BBC Radio 5’s 'The Emma Barnett Show' in 2020, Camilla (now Queen) also said that the King was "An avid walker and probably the fittest man of his age I know. He’ll walk and walk and walk, he’s like a mountain goat - he leaves everybody miles behind". Some also claim that Charles' father Prince Philip was also a great fan of 5BX, and that he passed the programme on to both his children and grandchildren.


Team Bella Plasma sure hope and pray that HRH King Charles makes a speedy recovery, along with Fergie, the Duchess of York, who sadly was also recently diagnosed with cancer, and who is now receiving treatment for skin cancer. Many cancers are curable, and even when they are not, people can survive cancer for many years, but the earlier that abnormal cells get detected, the better, so, for skin cancer, if you are fair-skinned or if you are out in the sun a lot, wear sun protection, including SPF, appropriate headwear and clothing, and always get any skin concerns checked by your GP (who will refer you to a dermatologist) because skin cancer doesn’t always look like the very dark or irregularly shaped moles that most people now know about, it can look like a red patch of skin, or a ‘fairly normal-looking’ spot, sore or ulcer, but, it just won't heal:

To prevent prostrate cancer (which only affects men), the best advice is to keep the old todger working for as long as possible (BTW, watching prn makes many men lose their prowess), so, even if your partner can’t or doesn’t want to make lurve after the menopause, men should still keep their pecker active in other ways. (Sorry, I’m trying to get around social media restrictions on using profane words and language).

Sadly, men often die younger than women do, perhaps because women have more protective hormones, but also due to various lifestyle factors, as generally, women drink less, eat more healthily and drive more safely than men.

Also, women don’t have a prostrate, so, they don’t suffer from that particular cancer which is common in males as they get older, but sadly many men don’t get symptoms checked out because they are too embarrassed, so they don’t discuss it with their mates, their partner or their doctor when they really should just bring up any worries ASAP as that’s exactly what GPs and the experts that they refer you to (if needed),  are there for – they’d rather spot cancer whilst it’s still in the early stages as it’s more likely that they can provide lifesaving treatment. If you hide it because you don’t feel comfortable, it implies that they aren't/weren’t approachable, which is a bit of an insult if they are, and if they’re not, request to swap to the friendliest GP in the practice, or just move to another surgery.

During an examination, your GP is likely to ask for a urine sample to check for infection, take a blood sample to test your level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – called PSA testing, and also examine your prostate by inserting a lubed and gloved finger up your bottom. You can find a list of symptoms here: but please remember that symptoms do not always mean you have prostate cancer - many men's prostates get larger as they get older because of a non-cancerous condition called benign prostate enlargement.

The other golden advice to help to prevent cancer of the prostrate is for men to keep consuming plenty of lycopene, which is found in cooked tomatoes, so, don’t skip on those when you order or cook a fry-up, which you know you really should swap to tasty options such as shakshuka or yogurt, granola and fruits instead, as well as swapping eating burgers for some fresh or tinned tomato soup once in a while, also swap the vodka Red Bulls for Bloody Marys, or better still, for invigorating Virgin Marys (without the vodka), slather tomato ketchup (which is made from concentrated tomatoes) onto fried food (if you must eat it), make simple, tasty and healthy open baguette pizzas with a concentrated tomato base and plenty of fresh veggies as toppings or underpings, if you have kids (with the veggies sneaked under the cheese), opt for (veggie) Bolognese sauce over carbonara (even if Italians insist that it’s not possible), learn how to make Cioppino (Italian fisherman's shellfish and fish stew with a wine, tomato, garlic and fresh herb base), it’s ever so easy - I will post a recipes with pics someday. Eating more tomatoes is healthy for both sexes as they also contain plenty of Vitamins A and C, which helps with many essential bodily functions, as well as helping to make your skin look great from the inside.


Cioppino isn’t often found for sale in the UK, even in Italian restaurants, but it’s worth requesting it in advance if you’re a regular, and I have seen some Italian seafood stews and pasta toppings for sale on the Iceland website, although I haven’t tried any of it yet…

Also try making gazpacho, even though it’s made with raw ingredients, it doesn’t involve doing any cooking, you just need a blender, some tomatoes, red onions, a cucumber, red wine vinegar, some olive oil, some stale bread( if you want to bulk it up) + salt and pepper. Also plant some tomatoes, basil and parsley each summer, they grow super-fast, and they look, smell and taste absolutely lush. #LeadABalancedLife5BX

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