Health Team

Swooping in for Lots of Activity, It's Kid Fitness

Posted May 14, 2007

— The percentage of children and adolescents who are overweight has nearly tripled in the past 20 years. About in one in five children is too heavy — a condition that makes them more likely to become overweight and obese as adults and to have significant health problems.

That's why a superhero called "Kid Fitness" has come to the rescue.

Kid Fitness is the sworn enemy of junk food and inactivity. And behind the mask of the crusader who visits elementary school classrooms is Garner Magnet High School senior Kiersa Stricklen.

Stricklen created this program called Phase 3 Fitness and Nutrition and offers herself to any school that invites her. A statistic inspired her.

“One in five kids in North Carolina are obese or will be obese, and the problem is just incredible and it's rising every single year,” Stricklen explained.

She blames sugar-filled snacks, too much TV and video games and not enough structured activity at school.

“So the kids, when they get outside, they're not really into it. They just walk around and their heart rates aren't pumping,” she said.

Stricklen presents the food pyramid to the youngsters and preaches healthy food choices. Nutrition and exercise are part of the school curriculum, but teacher Kim Miller said she welcomes Stricklen’s help in amplifying the message to Miller’s kindergarten class at Fred Smith Elementary School.

She thinks it will help the children perform better in school, too.

“If they're able to move around and get exercise, they're not going to be as lethargic and they'll be able to pay attention better,” Miller said.

Stricklen hopes to attend the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in the fall, majoring in exercise and sport science and keeping her superhero volunteer work going on the side.


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  • citygal May 16, 2007

    Kiersa, congratulations on your newfound success with "Kid Fitness"! This is only the beginning of great things to come your way. I'm very proud of you - keep up the great work!

  • dradakdur May 15, 2007

    Kiersa...I am soooo proud of you! You are doing something so important and positive with the gifts and talents God has given you! Way to go girl! the cape!!

  • cynthiawhitney May 15, 2007

    Kiersa I'm so proud of you. You never seem to amaze me with all the great things you do to encourage others. You have been a blessingto me. Keep up the good work. Love you!!!

  • lbwhitney May 15, 2007

    You're amazing, "Kid Fitness"... Keep up the good work! We're so proud of you. You're going to do great things at UNCP because you're already doing them now!

  • CestLaVie May 15, 2007

    Good for you Kiersa - what a great idea!!!!!! I wish you lots of success. Your message is surely a good one for the youngsters to hear.