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Child stars sweat away showbiz stress

training October 23, 1997
Web posted at: 11:48 a.m. EDT (1548 GMT)

From Correspondent Paul Vercammen

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- In a town where a leaner waistline often means a fatter wallet, many child stars stay in shape under the tutelage of one very personal trainer.

Under the direction of trainer Vikki Van Hoosen, child actors flex to stay fit.

Danielle Fishel, star of "Boy Meets World," is among those who rely on Van Hoosen for their workouts.

Fishel explains the benefits she receives from her personal trainer
video icon 765K/21 sec. QuickTime movie

Child actors often miss out on the fitness mandated in many schools and team sports. As such, Van Hoosen and her company, Personal Edge, filled the physical education void by training child stars.

Van Hoosen began working with the child stars of "Home Improvement more than five years ago, and says that the workouts were a resounding success all around.

"The kids loved it, the producers love it, the stage manager loved it and from that point other shows started to see that young kids needed that kind of physical activity," Van Hoosen explains.

Zachery Ty Bryan of "Home Improvement" still tries to exercise every day, even if it means rollerblading off the lot.

"When we were younger, we used always go out and play basketball everyday, but lately we've been getting into more fitness -- working out with weights, rollerblading," he says.

For the trainees, the workouts reduce stress and help them sweat away the mental rigors of their Hollywood jobs.

Christine Lakin of "Step by Step," now 18-years-old, still puts herself through the sometimes torturous Van Hoosen regime, just as she did in high school. She says that despite a shortage of time for after-school sports, she makes time to work out with Van Hoosen.

Van Hoosen encourages her young stars to beat the showbiz tension by working out -- or suffer the alternative of flipping out.


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