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Fitness program takes off under 9-year-old's direction

Posted February 9, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Nearly one-third of all children are considered overweight and at risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A Fayetteville elementary school student is taking aim at those statistics with a fitness program geared toward her peers.

"When I was 8 years old, I started doing push-ups. I just kept working hard every day and I got used to it,” Saberia Burns said.

Fayetteville girl starts fitness program Fayetteville girl starts fitness program

A year later, Burns can do 300 push-ups a day.

Since getting into shape, Burns has made it her mission to stay healthy while helping others do the same.

At least once a week, a group of children in the Fayetteville area take part in a fitness program that Burns developed.

"We've been all around here, to boys and girls clubs, recreation centers, fitness centers,” she said.

Burns opens her workout sessions with a pep talk.

"We can stop this together if we eat right and exercise,” she said.

Burns is even stretching beyond Fayetteville. She was recently asked to do her workout routine in Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C.

"You can do anything if you put your mind to it. And exercising is the key to fighting obesity in America,” said Andre Malloy, Burns' father.

Burns will also produce an exercise DVD in March. It should be available in stores later this year.


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  • any1butcarolina0405 Feb 10, 2009

    now all the people that say you can't make anything of yourself if you don't have an education... look at this girl! heck yeah! This is what the younger generation needs... a place to use up some of that energy instead of getting into trouble

  • kiediss Feb 10, 2009

    Rock on! she'd be me in push-ups any day of the yr.lol.

  • Scarecrow Cow Feb 10, 2009

    What an amazing young girl!! I would say she is going to grow up to accomplish great things, but it looks like she isn't going to wait to grow up before making a difference in the world. I'm sure her family is extremely proud. I couldn't even spell obesity in the 2nd grade, much less combat it.

  • edith wharton Feb 10, 2009

    What an inspiration this young woman is. I hope she inspires other kids not just to exercise but to recognize opportunities and take action for change where they can.

  • tcwife Feb 10, 2009

    I think she is doing a great thing. What does it matter what grade she is in if she is doing something positive? A lot of my child's classmates are getting ready to get their driver's licenses in the next few months and he won't get his for another year and a half. A lot of it depends on how old you were when you started school.

    Don't take away the positive of what this young lady is doing base on her age or grade.

  • krisandbruiser Feb 10, 2009

    Sorry! I was just reading the article. Didn't see 6:00 news. My bad!

  • taurismo Feb 9, 2009

    They said she was in the second grade on the 6:00 news!

  • krisandbruiser Feb 9, 2009

    It didn't say she was in 2nd grade, it states she's an elementary school student. This is one of those "a little child shall lead them". Good for her!

  • taurismo Feb 9, 2009

    Kudos to her for exercising!! But isn't 9 a little old to be in the second grade? I was 9 in the fourth grade.