Awestruck kids see their favorite superheroes break a sweat at the gym

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- More than a dozen superheroes hit the gym Monday night hoping to inspire kids to get healthy and raise money for a good cause.

From Superwoman, to Darth Vader and other Star Wars friends, all the comic book and big screen favorites were breaking a sweat to show kids it’s cool to get fit.

“I saw Darth Vader in the front and I’m like, 'oh my God, he`s here!” said 12-year-old Daniela Herrera.

“When you see your hero [working out], you go, ‘Wow! I want to do that!'” said Jessica Porter, a personal trainer at the Midtown Athletic Club in Overland Park.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC reports more than one-third of all children in the United States are overweight. Those statistics are something Porter and her alter ego Supergirl hope to change.

“I want to change their life,” she said. “I want to change it now and break the cycles, because we're getting into this obesity and childhood diabetes. I want to break that cycle."

The athletic club plans to spread the superhero fitness fun around the world with an online video filmed at the event Monday. Organizers also hope to make a difference locally by donating all money raised to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

“This whole event is about explaining how kids can be more active and that's one of the things that we really stress at Children’s Mercy, is having that healthy child,” said Bill Riek, assistant director of regional and annual programs at Children’s Mercy Hospital. “And this helps that in addition to raising the dollars.”

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