Are you old enough, or young enough, to remember the President's Physical Fitness Challenge during your school days? Gym classes tracked progress in categories such as sit-ups, push-ups, shuttle run, 12-minute walk/run, and pull-ups for boys and bent-arm hang for girls.
Kids today can still do that at school, but NEW this fall is a nationwide program for ALL ages, called the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award or PALA.
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is promoting a healthy lifestyle by encouraging us all to get more active. To earn the PALA, kids have to engage in 60 minutes of activity, five to six days a week, for six weeks. Adults need only 30 minutes a day for the same time frame. The minutes do not have to be all at once. Three 10-minute walks would qualify an adult for one day.
Boy Scouts of America is encouraging everyone associated to participate: Scouts, Venturers, Parents, Volunteers, Council Staff, Board Members, Friends of Scouting, and BSA Alumni.
Choose your state and your council, then create an account to track your progress as part of your council's team. (As of now, Hawkeye Area has only two on the team, and one of them is me.)
Over 90 activities are listed within the program, including canoeing, yoga, Nintento Wii, home repairs, unicycling, and juggling, among the more traditional activities. Participants can also track pedometer steps each day.
Those without convenient Internet access can track their progress on paper, using the form found here:
Those looking for a greater challenge, or who already surpass these requirements are invted to try the President's Challenge program instead.
Patches and more for the PALA are available for purchase.