Personal fitness is an individual effort and desire to be the best one can be. Regardless of their current levels of personal fitness, in the twelve weeks it will take Scouts to complete the athletic requirements for this merit badge, they will be in better shape, feel better about themselves, have more energy, and gain self-confidence in their overall abilities.
1. Do the following:
a. 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 preventive 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 your 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
b. Have a dental examination. Get a statement saying that your teeth have been checked and cared for. Tell how to care for your teeth.
Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what personal fitness means to you, including
Components of personal fitness.
Reasons for being fit in all components.
What it means to be mentally healthy.
What it means to be physically healthy and fit.
What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the areas of healthy social fitness.
What you can do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems.
With your counselor, answer and discuss the following questions:
Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable diseases is minimized?
Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider?
Do you understand the meaning of a nutritious diet and know why it is important for you? Does your diet include foods from all food groups?
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?
Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities?
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?
Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling ready to start the new day?
Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in its youth activities?
Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
Explain the following about physical fitness:
The components of physical fitness
Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness
The need to have a balance in all four components of physical fitness
How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath
Explain the following about nutrition:
The importance of good nutrition
What good nutrition means to you
How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness
The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program
Before doing requirements 7 and 8, complete the aerobic fitness, flexibility, muscular strength, and body composition tests as described in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.
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.
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 the three tests, record your results, and show improvement in each one. For the body composition test, 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.
Find out about three career opportunities in personal fitness. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.