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WEEKLY WORKOUT: Kids are learning how to live healthy and reach for their dreams through "Exercise Your Character"

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This Workout of the Week takes us to an event that looks and sounds a lot like a rock concert!  Thousands of Iowa kids get a workout. "They're having a great time,” says teacher Jane Tjarks, “I don't think they realize they're exercising because it’s more like dancing!"

The event is called “Exercise Your Character.” It’s put on by the Iowa Sports Foundation, Character Counts and HyVee.  Everyone from Miss Iowa Rebecca Goldsmith to NFL kicker Billy Cundiff took the stage to encourage students to stay healthy.  “Let’s say yesterday you did ten pushups, try to do eleven today." Cundiff challenged them.  But the event is also about the brain.  "Would you be mentally tough enough to handle all that pressure and make the kick?"

"I want to encourage all of you to be fit,” said Coach Kirk Ferentz, “but it’s not just your body, it’s also your mind and to have balance in your life."

Iowa’s biggest stars spent the morning telling kids life isn’t easy, but that hard work and dedication can pay off in big ways.  "All of you are capable of becoming whatever you want,” Olympian Shawn Johnson said with a smile, “there are so many things you can do,  mine was gymnastics but yours might be piano, soccer, or math."  She also talked about being bullied in school and told students how they treat others is just as important as what they achieve.

These people are proof that success in the world of sports is just part of what makes them who they are.  Coach Fred Hoiberg told the kids he was never allowed to play basketball or do anything else that he considered fun until he finished his homework.  “Getting my degree is one of the most important things I’ve ever done, it can take you far.”

After the workout and the inspirational speakers, students enjoyed a healthy lunch.

Click here to learn more about Character Counts.

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