Personal Fitness Merit Badge PamphletPersonal Fitness Merit Badge Pamphlet (Spanish) Personal Fitness Merit Badge

Personal Fitness

Requirements were REVISED effective January 1, 2023.

To see the requirements, with the changes highlighted, Click here.

For the previous requirements, Click here


This Merit Badge is Required to earn the Eagle Scout Rank

For requirement 1 you can click on the following link to get a copy of the New, Simplified Annual Health and Medical Record
The new form has replaced all previous versions and the former Class 1, 2, and 3 Personal Health and Medical Record Forms.
It is designed to be filled in and saved on your local computer and then printed out on 8 1/2" x 11" sheets.
Click Here to download the Annual Health and Medical Record Form

Additional discussion points (3j - 3n) (included below) were added to Requirement 3 in the merit badge pamphlet, but were not included in the list of adopted changes to the merit badge requirements that are identified on, Scoutbook, and in the 2023 edition of the Scouts-BSA requirements book. Until these changes are announced as official, the following policy governs:

When new or revised merit badge requirements appear in the Scouts BSA Requirements book any Scout beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated therein. However, if changes to merit badge requirements are introduced in a revised merit badge pamphlet or at throughout the year, then the Scout has through the end of the current calendar year to decide which set of requirements to use.

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 advisors 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. 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 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 health 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. Reasons for being mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually fit
    2. What it means to be mentally healthy
    3. What it means to be physically healthy
    4. What it means to be socially healthy
  3. With your counselor, answer and discuss the following questions:
    1. 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 healthcare provider and the direction of your parent(s)/guardian(s)?
    3. 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?
    4. What are the advantages to getting a full night’s sleep?
    5. Define a nutritious, balanced diet and why it is important.
    6. Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
    7. What are you doing to demonstrate your duty to God?
    8. Do you spend quality time with your family and friends in social and recreational activities?
    9. Do you support family activities and efforts to maintain a good home life?
    10. Do you carry out daily activities without noticeable effort? Do you have extra energy for other activities?
    11. 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?
    12. Do you participate in a regular exercise program or recreational activities?
    13. Do you sleep well at night and wake up feeling ready to start the new day?
    14. Are you actively involved in the religious organization of your choice, and do you participate in its youth activities?
  4. Explain the following about physical fitness:
    1. The areas of physical fitness
    2. Your weakest and strongest area of physical fitness
    3. The need to have a balance in the four areas of physical fitness
    4. How a program like the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition can lead to lifelong healthful habits
    5. How the areas of personal fitness relate to the Scout Law and Scout Oath
  5. Explain the following:
    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. How to maintain a healthy weight
  6. Before doing requirements 7 and 8, do the following:
    1. Complete the aerobic fitness, flexibility, and muscular strength tests, as described in the Personal Fitness merit badge pamphlet. Record your results and identify those areas where you feel you need to improve.
    2. Keep track of what you eat and drink for three days. Identify three healthy eating goals you want to work on.
  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.). Keep a log of your weekly healthy eating goals. Repeat the aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility tests every four 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. Discuss how well you met your healthy eating goals over these 12 weeks. 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.

Physical Fitness Tests specified for requirements 6 and 8 are as follows:

  • 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. Run/walk one mile as fast as you can
  • 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.)
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 test procedures presented in the merit badge pamphlet.

Sit and Reach Box for the Flexibility Test:
To see instructions for building the Sit and Reach Box, Click here.
The illustration shows dimensions for constructing the reach box in inches, while the requirement table in the pamphlet stipulates measuring the Scout's reach in centimeters (cm). Either attach a tape measure calibrated in both inches and cm to the top panel, or mark the top panel in cm. The measuring scale should extend from 0 at the front edge of top panel to 53 cm at a point 0.34 cm before the back edge. That should place the 23 cm point 0.14 cm behind the face of the foot panel.

BSA Advancement ID#: 10
Scoutbook ID#: 84
Requirements last updated in: 2023
Pamphlet Publication Number: 35927
English Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 641577
English E-Book Stock (SKU) Number: 656061
Spanish Pamphlet Stock (SKU) Number: 619146
Spanish E-Book Stock (SKU) Number: 656062
Pamphlet Copyright Date:  

Worksheets for use in working on these requirements: Format
Word Format PDF Format

Blanks in this worksheets table appear when we do not have a worksheet for the badge that includes these requirements.

Page updated on: July 27, 2023

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