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

With nearly one-third of all children considered obese, a Fayetteville girl is trying to get her peers in shape.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — 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.

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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