Join the World's Largest Exercise Class on May 1

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Join the World's Largest Exercise Class on May 1

April 30, 2024

Jersey City, NJ - In conjunction with May's Exercise is Medicine® Month, “The World's Largest Exercise Class” is coming to students, schools, homes, and various health, fitness, sports, and medical related facilities around the world Wednesday May 1st.

Due to lingering Covid-19 in some locations, participants across the globe will be celebrating the 36th annual Project ACES® Day at school, at home, or virtually beginning at 10 a.m. local time and posting info on social media with the hashtags #ProjectACES #ProjectACESatHome or #ProjectACESDay.

This Youth Fitness Coalition (YFC) signature program, in partnership with American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine® initiative, promotes lifelong physical activity and healthy lifestyle to children in order to improve quality of life, health, physical fitness, and help decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity and associated non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or certain cancers.

Project ACES, an acronym for All Children Exercise Simultaneously coincides with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May and National Physical Education and Sports Week.

As part of National Physical Education and Sports Week May 1-7, the YFC is proud to announce that The Society of Health and Physical Educators- SHAPE America will be a collaborating partner. Shape’s mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance, and sport.

According to Olympic Gold Medal Decathlete Dan O’Brien, “Project ACES engages millions of children, parents, and teachers each year to participate in physical activity at their schools and at home. Through Project ACES, children can learn the value and importance of good nutrition, adequate physical fitness and healthy decision-making – lessons they can carry well into adulthood.”

Schools choose their own Project ACES activities and events. Do it your way. Big or small. Anything goes. From walking or jogging to martial arts, sports, games, fitness training, dancing, whatever it is that gets folks comfortably and safely moving. Students typically exercise for 15 to 45 minutes following an educational component called a ‘participation assembly’. Schools have incorporated celebrity guest speakers or used music in their Project ACES activities. The program has been recognized by multiple presidents, including Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, and has inspired events across the USA and in 50 different countries. As the time zones change, this chain of local events creates a global wave of exercise. A symbolic gesture of fitness and unity.

“Project ACES is a great way to teach children how to live a healthy lifestyle through adequate movement, stress management, and proper nutrition,” said physical education teacher Len Saunders, who created the

program in 1989 to motivate children to exercise. “Childhood obesity is an issue plaguing many young people today, and Project ACES is designed to make physical activity and nutrition fun.” It underscores the need for daily physical education in our nation’s schools. Schools and students will celebrate the 36th annual Project ACES Day by making physical activity a fun and healthy lifelong priority.

Federal physical activity guidelines recommend children and adolescents do 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Project ACES events and activities can help children reach this goal.

Teachers can make physical activity a priority throughout the year by creating a daily, weekly or monthly Project ACES Club. This may be done in class, before, during, or after school. The objective is to teach kids and help them learn about healthy lifestyle, food, movement and age appropriate exercise choices.

Especially now during the (end of the) pandemic, self-care, movement and activity are important for our mental health as well. We are all getting a little tired, but with inoculation rates rising and hospitalizations coming down, better times are now in sight. At home - parents, guardians, and care givers can boost each other’s morale and become the best role models they can be by helping support healthy lifestyle habits. Physical fitness is not just physical.

“We're all in this and we’re stronger together,” said Shihan H.J. Saunders, president of the Youth Fitness Coalition and an exercise physiologist. “Something magical happens when we synchronize our collective consciousness in the spirit of fun and unity on Project ACES Day. If we feel good about ourselves, we can lead by example, and inspire our kids to be their fit best, not just on Project ACES Day and PACES Day, but every day and toward each other,” said Shihan Saunders. “Health and good will are the great equalizers”.

You can also make exercise a family event. Parents are invited to participate by joining their kids at school or by celebrating at home on Saturday May 4th for the seventeenth annual PACES Day: Parents and Children Exercise Simultaneously. PACES Day kicks off a 52-week exercise program with various fun activities parents can enjoy with their children. The PACES website offers resources including a list of family activity ideas for every week of the year. You may post with hashtags #PACESday and #PACESatHome and visit the website:

For more information on how to get involved with Project ACES, visit

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. #EIM

Shape America, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Since being founded in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. #BigFeats #HealthMovesMinds #HPEatHome

The Youth Fitness Coalition, Inc. is a New Jersey-based non-profit educational organization committed to combating childhood obesity by making exercise programs fun and by educating children, parents and teachers about the importance of lifelong fitness and making healthy lifestyle choices. #ProjectACES #ProjectACESDay #WorldsLargestExerciseClass #PACESday A lifetime of fitness begins here!