Sydney Morning Herald x Sydney Yoga Collective

Motivating kids to stay active during the lockdown

By Caroline Zielinski

May 7, 2020 — 12.00am

Charlotte Riley, 15, is feeling extremely lethargic. Holed up at home with her two brothers and parents, the teenager is missing her routine of regular physical activities. “Usually, my younger brother and I go for a bike ride or I do a workout at home to stay active,” she says. “There are a lot of good workouts on Youtube and TikTok, and I like to change it up between pilates, yoga, ab workouts and cardio”. Sydney Yoga Collective founder Casey Castro teaches 15-year-old Charlotte via Zoom. Charlotte's mother, Mary Louise Lacey, says she is grateful for online classes like those offered by Sydney Yoga Collective which allow her daughter to participate in physical activity while remaining at home.

Casey Castro, founder of the Sydney Yoga Collective began live-streaming her studio classes to members in March. She also made the decision to offer kids' yoga videos online free of charge.

“I’ve seen first-hand how immensely children can benefit from connecting with their bodies,” she says.

“We teach children meditation through simple breathing exercises, which helps to ground them and let them feel in control of their situation. At times like these, it’s so important to let children reconnect and do that through simple movements.”

Studies show nine out of 10 Australian teens aren’t doing enough physical activity during normal times. Add to that a lockdown and getting teens to move and do at least an hour of physical activity a day can be a challenge.

Experts say there are many things parents can also do to get their teens off the couch and moving.

“If you have a dog, get your teens to take it for a walk,” says Dr Vaughan Cruickshank, Program Director of Health and Physical Education at University of Tasmania. “Playing sports together like kicking a ball, going for family walks together or even getting games that encourage physical activity are all good ideas.”

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