President Bush Encourages Fitness

President Bush wants Americans to get in shape.

Bush is urging Americans to get healthier through exercise, eating right and getting regular check ups. The president says his fitness initiative will save lives and money. Last year the nation spent $183 billion fighting heart disease.

We visited the Donal Snyder Community Center to talk with folks about the President's physical fitness challenge.

We found folks playing basketball, pumping iron and running the treadmill. All agree with President Bush, that Americans need to get in better shape.

"We just started this week. Because we wasn't in shape, so we began to try and get in shape and stuff you know," explained David Boykin as he lifted weights.

He joined two other friends in a push to get back in shape.

They decided it's time to start an exercise routine. Lifting weights will help build muscle and take off a few pounds.

"Try to keep in shape. Lately I've been lazy, just going to work and coming from work. Ain't working out. Sitting on the couch, being like a couch potato. So I just wanted to come in and work out," Cedric Eichelberger said.

The friends motivate each other. They say the results of the soreness and sweat will be worth the endurance.

"You get to walk around the beach with your shirt off, with the girls walking around. So there's some real incentive."

Clare Bush stays focused on her daily exercise routine. The 19-year-old college student says staying fit is all about discipline. Working out on a regular basis requires some degree of commitment.

"Getting motivated. Getting out and getting in the car and getting here without making up a list of excuses," Bush said.

Children don't need much motivation to stay physically fit. Unlike many adults, youngsters find exercising fun.

Larry Thompson is going into the 8th grade at Ocean Springs Middle School.

"If you stay at home being a couch potato and stuff, you're never going to amount to anything. You've got to stay outside. Do the sports, so when you grow up and want to play sports, you can do it," Thompson said.

Second grader Stefanie Wells knows about the benefits of exercise.

"Because you'll grow up to be a strong person. And get a lot of energy," she explained.

You can find out more abou the president's new fitness challenge online.  Here are several Internet resources: