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St. Ann (Ancaster) teacher leads by example by keeping active during lockdown

Staying active is one way teacher Amy Matheson keeps physically and mentally fit.

Matheson, a kindergarten teacher at St. Ann (Ancaster) Catholic Elementary School, has been taking advantage of free virtual workouts from the YMCA. Together, she and her family set aside time two to three times a week to try one of the many activities offered amidst gym closures.

“Besides wanting to teach my children and set an example about the importance of physical health, physical activity allows my whole family to come together and participate in something simultaneously,” says Matheson.

“As a family, we really enjoy the YGym Virtual Physical Activity for Kids Aged 5-9 because all of my kids are in that age range and the activities are attainable for all of them,” noting her children attend St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School.

Before restrictions brought about by COVID-19, Matheson and family enjoyed regular visits to local parks for scootering, bike riding, rollerblading and soccer.

“With the inability to go very far from our house, we are somewhat limited in our ability to participate in physical activity spontaneously and naturally.”

“The way our family incorporates physical activity into our routine is a little more planned out and structured these days, but we still really enjoy it and it gives us something to look forward to.”

The success at home prompted Matteson to share the resource with her own class to inspire them to keep active – something she promotes in class with daily physical activity.

“When communicating with families, I try to express the importance of physical and mental health, above all. Oftentimes parents feel the pressure to keep up with the demands of their own careers while delivering curriculum to their children, which often leads to stress.”

“We are all trying to navigate through a new way of living and unless we take time to focus on our physical and mental well-being, learning will not be effective.”




Graeme Matheson supervises the children during one of their YMCA exercise sessions in the family room. Photo courtesy of Amy Matheson.
Graeme Matheson supervises the children during one of their YMCA exercise sessions in the family room. Photo courtesy of Amy Matheson.

Amy Matheson and her children, Gavin (back right), Eve and Oliver, work out at home with one of the YMCA videos. Photo courtesy of Graeme Matheson.
Amy Matheson and her children, Gavin (back right), Eve and Oliver, work out at home with one of the YMCA videos. Photo courtesy of Graeme Matheson.