Personal Fitness Merit Badge Requirements and Worksheet

Personal Fitness Merit Badge

Personal Fitness Merit Badge

January, 2014

Requirements for the Personal Fitness merit badge:

NOTE: If meeting any of the requirements for this merit badge is against the Scout's religious convictions, the requirement does not have to be done if the Scout's parents and the proper religious advisers state in writing that to do so would be against religious convictions. The Scout's parents must also accept full responsibility for anything that might happen because of this exemption.

  1. Do the following: 
    1. Before completing requirements 2 through 9, have your health-care practitioner give you a physical examination, using the Scout medical examination form. Describe the examination. Tell what questions the doctor asked about your health. Tell what health or medical recommendations the doctor made and report what you have done in response to the recommendations.
      Explain the following:
      1. Why physical exams are important
      2. Why preventative habits (such as exercising regularly) are important in maintaining good health, and how the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and other harmful substances can negatively affect our personal fitness.
      3. Diseases that can be prevented and how
      4. The seven warning signs of cancer
      5. The youth risk factors that affect cardiovascular fitness in adulthood
    2. Have a dental examination. Get a statement saying that your teeth have been checked and cared for. Tell how to care for your teeth.
  2. Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what personal fitness means to you, including
    1. Components of personal fitness.
    2. Reasons for being fit in all components.
    3. What it means to be mentally healthy.
    4. What it means to be physically healthy and fit.
    5. What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the areas of healthy social fitness.
    6. What you can do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems.
  3. With your counselor answer and discuss the following questions:
    1. Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable diseases is minimized?
    2. Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider?
    3. Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all the food groups?
    4. Are your body weight and composition what you would like them to be, and do you know how to modify them safely through exercise, diet, and lifestyle?
    5. Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities?
    6. Are you free from habits relating to poor nutrition and the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and other practices that could be harmful to your health?
    7. Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
    8. Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling ready to start the new day?
    9. Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in its youth activities?
    10. Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
    11. Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
  4. Explain the following about physical fitness:
    1. The components of physical fitness
    2. Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness
    3. The need to have a balance in all four components of physical fitness
    4. How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath
  5. Explain the following about nutrition:
    1. The importance of good nutrition
    2. What good nutrition means to you
    3. How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness
    4. The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program
  6. Before doing requirements 7 and 8, complete the aerobic fitness, flexibility, and muscular strength tests, along with the body composition evaluation as described in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.

    Aerobic Fitness Test
    Record your performance on ONE of the following tests:

    1. Run/walk as far as you can as fast as you can in nine minutes.

    2. OR
    3. Run/walk one mile as fast as you can.

    Flexibility Test
    Using a sit-and-reach box constructed according to specifications in the merit badge pamphlet, make four repetitions and record the fourth reach. This last reach must be held for 15 seconds to qualify. (Remember to keep your knees down.)

    Strength Tests
    You must do the sit-ups exercise and one other (either push-ups or pull-ups). You may also do all three for extra experience and benefit.

    1. Sit-ups. Record the number of sit-ups done correctly in 60 seconds. The sit-ups must be done in the form explained and illustrated in the merit badge pamphlet.
    2. Pull-ups. Record the total number of pull-ups completed correctly in 60 seconds. Be consistent with the procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet.
    3. Push-ups. Record the total number of push-ups completed correctly in 60 seconds. Be consistent with the procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet.

    Body Composition Evaluation
    (Calculating Your BMI percentile):

    1. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
    2. Divide the figure you get in No. 1 above by your height in inches.
    3. Divide the figure you get in No. 2 above by your height in inches to get your BMI.
    4. Use the chart in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet to determine the BMI percentile for your age.

  7. Outline a comprehensive 12-week physical fitness program using the results of your fitness tests. Be sure your program incorporates the endurance, intensity, and warm-up guidelines discussed in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Before beginning your exercises, have the program approved by your counselor and parents.
  8. Complete the physical fitness program you outlined in requirement 7. Keep a log of your fitness program activity (how long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how many exercise repetitions you completed; your exercise heart rate; etc.). Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every two weeks and record your results. After the 12th week, repeat all of the required activities in each of the three test categories, record your results, and show improvement in each one. For the body composition evaluation, compare and analyze your preprogram and postprogram body composition measurements. Discuss the meaning and benefit of your experience, and describe your long-term plans regarding your personal fitness.
  9. Find out about three career opportunities in personal fitness. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this professions. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Personal Fitness Worksheet

 May 13, 2013 - Brandon Tomlin
Is there a substitute merit badge I can do instead of this one?
May 15, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Brandon - Please see alternate rank requirements for options if a disability prevents a scout from being able to complete a required merit badge.

Jun 14, 2014 - Sean Griffin
With the HIPPA laws that are in place, if a scout is uncomfortable talking about what his Doctor had to say about his exam how do you proceed with the merit badge?
Jun 20, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Sean - There is no definition of how detailed the discussion needs to be.  The scout could describe the parts he wants to mention.  If the counselor asks about anything the scout is uncomfortable with, the scout could say he'd rather not discuss that.

Jun 28, 2014 - Callum Darnell
Are there any pre-requisites for Personal Fitness?
Jul 02, 2014 - bob
wouldn't YMCA Instructor, coach, and gym teacher be three career opportunities?
Jul 02, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@bob - They sound like it to me.

Sep 17, 2014 - Steve
@bob, @Scouter Paul - Don't forget about Personal Trainer/Fitness Coach. There's a entire industry of people that have certifications in Personal Training to help people with weight loss, injury recovery (although that stretches the limits of personal fitness, and branches out into Physical Therapy), health improvement and event training/preparation (like getting ready for a marathon or triathlon). I considered using one while preparing for our Crew's Philmont Trek this past summer.
Oct 27, 2014 - BOB
Let just say it rains really hard at my house and I am not able to do 1 day of the 12 weeks of personal fitness do I have to do a makeup for that day.
Oct 27, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Bob - That's up to your merit badge counselor, and what you made for your plan.  I guess the possibilities would be that you just skip that day, extend your program by a day, or restart the entire program.  I'd think most counselors would be fine with extending your program a day, but it's something you should discuss with your particular counselor.
Oct 29, 2014 - BOB
Thanks Scouter Paul.
Nov 03, 2014 - JBallard
Does the Personal Fitness merit badge need to be completed in one year (from the date you start it?)  
Nov 03, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@JBallard - No merit badges have a completion deadline, except for the scout's 18th birthday.
Feb 26, 2015 - Jose
Do you really have to construct the sit and reach box?
Feb 26, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Jose - That's what requirement #6 specifically states.

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