Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Personal Fitness Merit Badge


Personal Fitness




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:
        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
            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.
        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.
  2. Explain to your merit badge counselor verbally or in writing what personal fitness means to you, including:
        A. Components of personal fitness
        B. Reasons for being fit in all components.
        C. What it means to be mentally healthy
        D. What it means to be physically healthy and fit.
        E. What it means to be socially healthy. Discuss your activity in the areas of healthy social fitness.
        F. What you can do to prevent social, emotional, or mental problems.
  3. With your counselor answer and discuss the following questions:
        A. Are you free from all curable diseases? Are you living in such a way that your risk of preventable
              diseases is minimized?
        B. Are you immunized and vaccinated according to the advice of your health-care provider?
        C. 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?
        D. 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 behavior modification?
        E. Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other
        F. 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?
        G. Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
        H. Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling refreshed and energized for the new day?
        I. Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in its
              youth activities?
        J. Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
        K. Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
  4. Explain the following about physical fitness:
        A. The components of physical fitness
        B. Your weakest and strongest component of physical fitness
        C. The need to have a balance in all four components of physical fitness.
        D. How the components of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath.
  5. Explain the following about nutrition:
        A. The importance of good nutrition
        B. What good nutrition means to you
        C. How good nutrition is related to the other components of personal fitness
        D. The three components of a sound weight (fat) control program.
  6. 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.
        o Aerobic Fitness Test
           Record your performance on one of the following tests:
            1. Run/walk as far as you can in nine minutes
            2. Run/walk one mile as fast as you can
        o Flexibility Test
           Using a sit-and-reach box constructed according to specifications in this merit badge pamphlet,
              make four repetitions and record the fourth reach. This last reach must be held steady for 15
              seconds to qualify. (Remember to keep your knees down.)

                    Click here to see how to build a Sit and Reach Box.

        o Strength Tests
           Record your performance on all three tests.
             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.

                    Click here to see the illustration from the merit badge pamphlet

             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.

                    Click here to see the illustration from the merit badge pamphlet

             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.

                    Click here to see the illustration from the merit badge pamphlet

        o Body Composition Test
           Have your parent, counselor, or other adult take and record the following measurements:
             Circumference of the right upper arm, midway between the shoulder and the elbow, with the arm
                 hanging naturally and not flexed.
             Shoulders, with arms hanging by placing the tape two inches below the top of the shoulders
                 around the arms, chest, and back after breath expiration.
             Chest, by placing the tape under the arms and around the chest and back at the nipple line after
                 breath expiration.
             Abdomen circumference at the navel level (relaxed).
             Circumference of the right thigh, midway between the hip and knee, and not flexed.

               If possible, have the same person take the measurements whenever you are ready to be
                 re-measured to chart your progress.
  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 four tests, record your results, and show improvement in each one. Compare and analyze your preprogram and post program 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 profession. Discuss what you learned with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Personal Fitness Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.