Fitness and Nutrition Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Related Advancement and Awards

  • Tenderfoot requirements 6a, 6b and 6c
  • Second Class requirements 2e, 7a, 7b and 7c
  • First Class requirement 2a
  • Athletics, Cooking, Personal Fitness, Public Health, and Sports merit badges
  • Presidential Active Lifestyle Award

You can improve your fitness by changing the frequency,
intensity, time, and type of exercises you do. Remember the FITT principle:

  • Frequency: How many times do you exercise each week or month? For example, you might walk seven days a week and lift weights three times a week.
  • Intensity: How strenuous is the exercise in terms of weight lifted, speed of movement, or effort exerted? For example, you might start out walking at 3.5 miles an hour and lifting weights at 50 percent of your maximum potential, and slowly increase the intensity as you become more fit.
  • Time: How long do you do an exercise per session? For example, you might walk for 30 minutes and lift weights in two sets with a one-minute rest in between.
  • Type: What kinds of exercise do you do? For example, you might choose between cycling and walking or lifting weights and doing push-ups.

The MyPlate Way
MyPlateThe U.S. government created MyPlate to help Americans learn better eating habits. Each food group is represented by a space on the plate, so you can figure out what and how much you should consume each day. Here are 10 tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  1. Make half your plate veggies and fruits. Get a good mix of colors, too.
  2. Add lean protein. Instead of standbys like chicken, turkey, lean beef, and pork, choose seafood, beans, and tofu.
  3. Include whole grains. Read the label! Look for 100 percent whole grain or 100 percent whole wheat.
  4. Don’t forget the dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt.
  5. Avoid extra fat. Avoid cheesy or creamy sauces, gravies, and salad dressings, and limit your ice cream intake.
  6. Take your time. If you eat slowly, you are less likely to overeat.
  7. Use a smaller plate. Doing so will help you control your portions.
  8. Take control of your food. Eating at home gives you better control over what you consume.
  9. Try new foods. Mango, kale, salmon, barley—there are plenty of tasty and healthy foods to choose from.
  10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Try fresh fruit over yogurt or baked apples topped with cinnamon.
DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND TOBACCO Junk food is bad, but drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are even worse.
Visit and to learn more.

Body mass index, or BMI, is a quick tool for determining how much body fat you are carrying. By entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator, you can determine whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

caliperIf you have Internet access at your meeting place, find a BMI calculator online—a good one is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, and let Scouts calculate their BMIs. You can also estimate body fat using a caliper, bioelectrical impedance testing, or hydrostatic weighing.

sit and reachMeasuring Flexibility – The sit-and-reach test is an easy way to measure flexibility of areas such as the lower back and the back of the thighs. This test uses a special “sit and- reach” box, shown here, or similar improvised device such as a yardstick taped to a bench. This stretch works many joints and muscles, including the hips, shoulders, and ankles.

To assume the starting position, remove your shoes and sit facing the sit-and-reach box. Keep your knees fully extended and flat on the floor, and place your feet against the end board. You might need to have someone gently hold your knees flat on the floor. Extend your arms forward with your hands placed on top of each other, palms down. Bend at the hips (not curling the shoulders), reach forward along the measuring scale four times, and hold your hands boxat the maximum position on the measuring scale for the fourth reach. Record the measurement of the fourth reach.

See the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet for plans for a sit-and-reach box.

Resources and References

Back to top of page

Fitness and Nutrition Information Troop Meetings Main Event