Personal Fitness is an optional required merit badge for the Eagle Scout
rank. Effective April 1, 1999, it will become a required merit badge for
If meeting any of the requirements for this merit badge is
against the Scout's religious convictions, it does not have
to be done if the boy's parents and proper church officials
state in writing that:
- To do so would be against religious convictions.
- The parents accept full responsibility for anything
that might happen because of such exemption. They
release the Boy Scouts of America from any
- Before you try to meet any other requirements, have
your physician give you a thorough health
examination. He or she is to use the Scout medical
examination form. Describe the examination. Tell
what questions you asked about your health. Tell
what recommendations your doctor made. Report what
you have done about them. Explain the following:
- Why physical exams are important
- Why preventative habits are important in
maintaining good health.
- Diseases that can be prevented and how.
- The seven warning signs of cancer.
- Have an examination made by your dentist. Get a
statement saying that your teeth have been checked
and cared for. Tell how you 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
several healthy social traits.
- What can you do to prevent social, emotional, or
- From the PERSONAL FITNESS merit badge pamphlet, answer
the questions titled "Evaluating Your Personal Fitness"
and list several signs of poor personal fitness. Describe
your activity in the eight areas listed.
- With your counselor answer and discuss the following
- 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 family and school physicians?
- 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?
- Is your body weight and composition what you would
like it to be and do you know how to modify it
safely through exercise, diet, and behavior
- Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable
effort? Do you have extra energy for other
- Are you free from habits relating to 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
- Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling
refreshed and energized for the new day?
- Are you actively involved in the religious
organization of your choice and do you participate
in their youth activities?
- Do you spend quality time with your family and
friends in social and recreation 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
- The need to have a balance in all four components of
personal fitness relate to the Scout Laws and Scout
- 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
- From the PERSONAL FITNESS merit badge pamphlet, perform
the physical fitness test (chapter 8) with your patrol
leader, Scoutmaster, parent, or adviser before doing the
next two requirements. Be evaluated above the 50th
percentile in the aerobic endurance test, flexibility
test, and muscular strength test.
Aerobic Endurance Test
There are several tests that can used. They are the 9 or 12
minute run and the 1 or 1+ mile run. In the timed run, the
objective is to run as far as you can in the allotted time (9
or 12 minutes). In the distance run, the objective is to run
the given distance (1 or 1+ miles) in the shortest time.
Walking is permitted but the Scouts should not stop. If they
need to stop running, they should walk until they can
continue to run.
By using the sit-and-reach test, boys should remove their
shoes and sit down facing the sit-and-reach box with knees
fully extended and flat on the floor and feet up against the
end of the board. The arm are extended forward with the hands
placed on top of each other with palms down. The boy bends at
the hips and reaches forward along the measuring scale four
times. Record the farthest reach.
Muscular Strength Test
Using timed sit-ups, the boy lies on his back with knees
flexed, feet on the floor, and heels 12 to 18 inches from the
buttocks. The arms are crossed on the chest with the hands on
the opposite shoulders. The feet are held by partners to
keep them in touch with the floor. The boy curls to the
sitting position until the elbows touch the thighs. Arms must
remain on the chest. The number of sit-ups that the boy can
correctly do in 60 seconds is the score.
- Outline a 4-week physical fitness program using the
results of your physical fitness tests. Use the
guidelines in chapter 8 to write your program. Use
exercises to develop aerobic endurance, upper body
muscular strength, and flexibility of the lower back and
legs. Have the program approved by your Scoutmaster or
adviser and your parents.
- Fulfill requirement 1 for this merit badge
- Complete one of the four aerobic endurance tests,
the flexibility test, the muscular strength and
endurance test, and the body composition
- Fill in your results on the record sheet and chart
your percentile ranks for each test (using the norms
found in the appendix) on the progress chart.
- Determine the types of exercises you want or need to
do, the amount of time you have to exercise, and the
equipment or facilities that are available for your
- If muscular strength exercises are to be a part of
your program, determine how many push-ups and pull-
ups you can do.
- Use the guidelines discussed in the text concerning
cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and muscular
strength and endurance to determine the frequency,
intensity, and duration of your exercises.
- Write your exercise program out for each day of the
week on a sheet of paper. Have it approved by your
adviser or Scoutmaster and parents.
- Retest yourself after 2 full weeks of exercising.
Also retest for the number of pull-ups and push-ups
you can do. Record the results of this test on the
record sheet and graph the percentile ranks on the
- Retest yourself after another 2 full weeks of
exercising and record your results on the record
sheet and progress chart.
- Carry out the physical fitness program you write in
requirement 7. Keep a log of all your exercises (i.e. How
long you exercised; how far you ran, swam, or biked; how
many exercises you did; your exercise heart rate; etc.).
Test yourself again after two weeks of exercise on the
information sheets provided in the PHYSICAL FITNESS merit
badge pamphlet. Compare improvements. Describe your
- Describe your long-term plans regarding your personal