Healthy lifelong habits

  • young man running in the woods

Purpose

Learn how to use proper nutrition and exercise to build a healthy lifestyle.

Description

Plan a series of activities over a period of three to six months to help the members of your team learn the habits of a healthy lifestyle. These activities should be planned by various team members and chosen from the following five fields of emphasis. You should also choose and plan a culminating activity—such as a triathlon or fitness competition among teams—from one of the fields of emphasis. Consider including other youth in these activities.

Fields of emphasis

Personal development

  • Learn about the body mass index. Ask team members to calculate their BMI and develop a plan to improve their health.
  • Invite a dietitian to teach your team about healthy eating portions and habits. Develop a plan for your team to improve their eating habits.
  • Lead a sports night or fitness activity where the members of your team learn some new skills.
  • Learn about and apply the principles of regular exercise. Record your eating, exercise, and other physical activities for at least 12 weeks.
  • For 12 weeks, track and limit the amount time you spend playing video or computer games or watching TV or movies.
  • Learn about substance abuse and other addictions and how to avoid and overcome them.
  • Invite a doctor or other medical professional to teach your team about the benefits of sleep. If necessary, help your team members find ways to get enough sleep.

Service

  • Provide fitness tracking sheets to members of your Church unit so that they can track their diet and exercise.
  • Provide a list and description of hiking trails, bike paths, and other resources in your community. Test these trails and rate their difficulty.
  • Offer to volunteer for or serve meals at a local shelter or other facility.
  • Plan an activity to teach proper safety precautions—such as seat belts, bike helmets, and reflective vests for jogging—to your community.

High adventure

  • Plan, organize, and lead a health competition with other Varsity teams. The competition could last for several months and end in a large-scale activity where the team members compete in physical skill, nutritional knowledge, and overall health. You could also measure the teams’ performance of physical tasks at the beginning of the three months and measure their performance again, granting points to the teams with the greatest improvement.
  • Organize a fitness activity, such as a 5K run, triathlon, or bike ride.
  • Lead a 50 miler or other hike for your team.

Special programs and events

  • Invite an expert on addiction recovery to teach your team principles of addiction recovery. Learn how to avoid and overcome addictions.
  • Join a community campaign and volunteer to distribute information on the harmful effects of tobacco, drugs, or drunk driving.
  • Invite other teams or groups to join in your healthy living challenge.

Advancement

  • Personal fitness merit badge
  • Sports, swimming, cycling, or other fitness merit badge
  • Varsity letter or pin in a fitness activity

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