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Youth to Fight Obesity With World's Largest Exercise Class
Date:4/30/2009

Children around the world exercise in unison for 21st annual Project ACES Day

INDIANAPOLIS, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Millions of children in schools across the globe will walk, jog, bike or play games on May 6 as a part of Project ACES (All Children Exercise Simultaneously) Day. This Youth Fitness Coalition (YFC) signature program, in partnership with American College of Sports Medicine's Exercise is Medicine(TM) initiative, promotes physical activity to children in order to decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Created in 1989 by physical education teacher Len Saunders as a method of motivating children to exercise, Project ACES Day takes place on the first Wednesday each May as part of Exercise is Medicine(TM) Month, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and National Physical Education Week. Project ACES Clubs continue to promote physical activity all year long by pledging to create youth fitness programs in their schools.

"For more than 20 years, Project ACES' programs have been organized and conducted by the YFC. We hope to not only get kids active now, but also educate them about the importance of physical fitness throughout their lifetime," said H.J. Saunders, Youth Fitness Coalition Founder and President.

In the past, Project ACES events have taken place in all 50 states and countries around the world, such as England, South Africa, Poland, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Liberia and Taiwan.

Putnam School in Marietta, Ohio, has been participating in Project ACES events for more than 10 years.

"Our school's jump rope team leads warm-up exercises, and then we exercise as a group on our playground," said Barb Moberg, a physical education teacher at Putnam School. "We host special guests like the mayor, YMCA fitness instructors and school board members. We also encourage friends and families to join in. The whole celebration demonstrates how fitness can mean more than running a few laps."

Patrick Clark, an educator at the Key Learning Community River Campus in Indianapolis, says Project ACES and other programs play a key role in educating children about the importance of physical activity.

"These activities give students a chance to move around during the school day, and they often find that exercise can be fun," Clark said.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 engage in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening exercises.

Additional Exercise is Medicine(TM) Month events in May continue to promote the message of the importance of physical activity to physicians, fitness professionals, members of the public, organizations and businesses.

For more information on Exercise is Medicine(TM) and how to get involved with Project ACES, visit www.exerciseismedicine.org and www.projectaces.com.

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.

The Youth Fitness Coalition is a New Jersey-based non-profit 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.


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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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