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Paige praises the power of yoga

A group of women sit on mats practising yoga

Fitness and friendship

Reality TV star Paige Thorne visited Age UK Hammersmith and Fulham recently to meet the participants of its weekly yoga class, and to discover the difference the class makes.



Paige Thorne, who appeared in this year’s series of reality TV show Love Island, recently visited Age UK Hammersmith and Fulham to join in with the weekly yoga class. There she found out more about the importance of activities like these, which encourage older people to get active and socialising.

An unexpected workout

These classes offer different options for how to get involved, to cater for all levels of mobility: some participants practised yoga on floor mats, while others felt more comfortable sitting on chairs.

PaigeDiscover 2 (500x300).jpgHaving worked as a paramedic before going on Love Island, Paige recognises the importance of getting older people moving, however much or little they're able to, and knows that exercise is vital to feeling better for longer.

Paige pointed out that staying stationary for extended periods of time isn’t good for the lymphatic system, for the joints or for long-term mobility – “it’s so important to keep moving, even if it’s only a little bit”.

Understanding loneliness

Many people can feel isolated in later life, which is why classes like this run by local Age UKs are so crucial. They give older people the opportunity to socialise, meet new people and catch up with friends.

PaigeDiscover 1 (500x300).jpgPaige sees the value in classes like these as, to an extent, her experience on Love Island taught her how difficult it can be to feel alone, even when other people are around. That's because contestants on Love Island have no contact with the outside world – they’re not even allowed to know the time. This left Paige feeling isolated, especially in the early stages of the show, when her fellow contestants were strangers. And strangers, as Paige told us, “are not the people you usually turn to for advice”.

As a result, emotions can get bottled up. The most important lesson Paige learned, however, is to take “that one first step to be vocal about [how you’re feeling]” because it encourages others to share their own emotions, which helps everyone feel less alone. These classes provide the same sense of camaraderie for older people in their community, and offer a chance to talk about things that other people in their lives might not understand.

Bridging the gap

Paige hopes to raise awareness of the challenges faced by older people in the UK and emphasise the importance of the support and services offered by local Age UKs.

After the class, Paige explained how she wants to play her part in bridging the gap between younger and older people. The Age UK Telephone Friendship Service is a great way to do this, of course, as it pairs a lonely older person with a volunteer for a weekly call.

And what would Paige say to someone who’s thinking about joining a class at their local Age UK, or who wants to encourage their parent or grandparent to join?

“Absolutely come along! It’s a nice atmosphere to be in – there were plenty of jokes going around and the staff are so friendly.” 

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Last updated: Dec 02 2022

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