Aggie MacKenzie, TV personality and writer, shares her lockdown experiences

Aggie MacKenzie, celebrity arthritis, celebrity yoga, yoga arthritis, arthritis digest, arthritis interview

Aggie MacKenzie was featured in the first ever issue of Arthritis Digest magazine some eight years ago. A household name around the UK, her brush with rheumatoid arthritis and friendly nature resonated with readers and we have much to thank her for.

The level of interest in our first issue was unprecedented and provided a fantastic platform for what is now the UK’s most popular arthritis magazine. Catching up with Aggie in the midst of coronavirus lockdown was a breath of fresh air. Here’s what she had to say…

“What strange times we live in. The last time I spoke to Arthritis Digest readers I had already discovered yoga. Now, aged 64 years old, I’m a yoga instructor and that’s been one of the things that has helped me get through coronavirus lockdown with my sanity intact.

“I’ve practised yoga every day for 15 years or so and love how it keeps my body moving, supple and strong. I look at my gnarly hands, affected by early arthritis, and am grateful that I’ve found a way to keep them flexible and the arthritis pain and stiffness at bay.

“During lockdown I taught 10 sessions a week, online using Zoom. Some were group sessions, others were one-to one sessions. Teaching remotely proved much better than I thought. One of my clients was a lady about to turn 80 years old. When she started classes with me she was very wobbly and unable to stand on one leg. It was wonderful to see the effect that yoga had… she became so much stronger and more flexible, and loved the difference that the classes made to her quality of life.

Taking on pain

“Easing arthritis pain is a challenge. I used to rely on painkillers and a supplement called glucosamine sulphate, neither of which made a great deal of difference. Then I read an article about explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who uses Honegar – a mixture of honey, cider vinegar and warm water – to take on the pain of arthritis and it completely changed his life. I decided to give it a go and found it made such a difference that I now make my own version.

“Every morning, I make my drink of cider vinegar, a little honey and warm water and whilst I can’t say I enjoy drinking it, the effects on my arthritis, skin, hair and nails has been amazing. Plus it keeps me regular! I’m such an advocate that I included the concoction in my book, The Miracle of Vinegar.

“Afterwards, I treat myself to breakfast of muesli with fruit, yoghurt and toasted sunflower seeds. Unless I’m very hungry (in which case I’ll have a couple of oatcakes mid-afternoon) I wait until later in the day and then have a lovely large dinner with wine.

“It was the little things that kept me going via lockdown. A delicious breakfast, keeping fit, a conversation on the phone with a friend, neighbour or someone I love. I took one day at a time, and of course some days were better than others. And on those low days, I tried to remember that there are positives and much to be grateful for, and tomorrow will feel different.”

First published 2020.

To read more about Aggie MacKenzie (or to join her for yoga) visit

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