Badge Support | Health and Fitness Activity Badge
Our bodies are our most valuable vehicles. They give us the means to move, feel and think, and the freedom to explore and experience the world. By taking care of our bodies – by keeping active and eating well – we give ourselves the best possible chance to live lives of vitality and adventure
While young people grow and develop, nutrient-rich diets and active lifestyles lay a solid foundation for happy, healthy lives. A healthy lifestyle makes for a strong body, which is less likely to develop disease, and better able to fight them off.
But remember, it’s really important to encourage healthy eating and exercise within a positive framework. Young people shouldn’t be scared or pressured into healthy habits but rather excited by the possibilities and benefits of taking care of themselves. By fuelling their bodies with nutrients, they’ll have the energy to be active, agile and able to navigate and thrive in the world, whether they’re playing football with friends, climbing mountains or swimming seas.
Young people are more likely to stick to healthy habits if those habits are integrated into their lifestyle and – more importantly – fun! Give young people the best chance to live their lives to the full by giving them support to develop healthy habits while attaining these badges.
The Health and Fitness Activity Badge is an easy way to inspire young people to take care of themselves. To earn their badges they’ll need to take part in three agility activities. With the new Jaffa resources supporting the Beaver Healthy and Fitness Activity Badge, delivering this badge has never been easier. Young people can fulfill these requirements with a game of dodgeball, a relay race and an obstacle course.
They’ll also need to learn about a variety of healthy food and make a snack using some of these foods. Jaffa’s healthy food activities can help you out. Show your young people how to make grilled banana boats, rainbow fruit kebabs, trail mix for camp or how to play the human fruit machine game so they can learn more about the nutritional benefits of fruit.
To earn this badge they’ll also need to measure their heart rates before and after completing a range of physical activities (and understand the reasons behind the change), and inspire others to know more about health and fitness. Support them to learn even more with a true or false game to teach them some fruity facts or print out this healthy eating word search.
Another way to get young people thinking about what they’re eating is by encouraging them to work towards their Cook Activity Badge where they’ll need to find out what makes a balanced diet. Or challenge them to think about how they would create healthy meals whilst cooking on fires at camp while they’re working towards the Camp Craft Activity Badge or the My Outdoors Challenge Award.
Jaffa resources created especially for Cubs are on the way to support you deliver the Our Skills Challenge Award to your Cubs. In the meanwhile get them developing healthy habits by working towards the health and fitness elements of the Our Skills Challenge Award.
Encourage them to try two new sports or physical activities (at least once!). They could try out tennis, dance, basketball, tai chi – the options are endless. As part of the badge requirements Cubs should also take part in three activities supporting healthy habits, this could be healthy eating, exercise, learning how the human body works or another activity agreed with you.
Other badges that support health and fitness for Cubs include the Cubs Athletics Activity Badge, Athletics Plus, Martial Arts Activity Badge, Physical Recreation Activity Badge, Cubs Cyclist Activity Badge,and the Chef Activity Badge too.
There are so many ways to encourage young people’s interests in sports and health. Why not get a local sport personality to visit, or arrange a community fun day crammed with activities? Or get them thinking about the effects of healthy and unhealthy foods by inviting relevant professions such as a doctor or a dietician to join a meeting for chat.
You could also encourage your Cubs to keep a sleep diary or arrange an activity to make collages out of parts of the body to get them thinking about how our bodies connect to what we eat.
At the end of this blog, you’ll find further ideas to encourage healthy cooking for young people.
Within the Scout section, young people get to focus on healthy food and fitness participation via the endless array of sports and activities they could play. They might want to work towards their Athletics Activity Badge, Athletics Plus Activity Badge, Climber Activity Badge, Street Sports Activity Badge or Scouts Cyclist Activity Badge for example.
The Athletics Activity Badge is a really accessible way to get young people moving, enjoying a healthy sense of competition and having fun, by participating in a range of activities, from discus to high jump. There is plenty to inspire them too. The Olympic Games is a prime example of the amazing things the human body is capable of and the great places athletics can take you.
To earn their badges they’ll need to run through an appropriate warm-up and warm-down routine using all the main muscle groups (you’ll need to explain why both routines are important). They’ll also need to talk about the safety rules in athletics, particularly throwing and jumping events, such as high jump, long jump and javelin. They should also think about the most appropriate clothing to wear.
After this prep work, they’re all set to take part in events. To achieve the badge they’ll need to take part in six events across a range of activities, including field, track and team events. In all activities the focus should be on improving their individual distance or time over a number of attempts. To complete their award, they should find out and explain to you and their other leaders how to take part in athletics in your local area.
When facilitating athletics events here are some important safety tips to bear in mind.
- Encourage young people to avoid injury by stretching well both before and after events.
- For field events we recommend the shot weigh around 2.73kg, the discus 1kg and the cricket ball 0.135kg.
- Young people should be especially careful when doing the high jump. They’ll need to think about the way they jump, how they’re going to land and what they are going to land on.
- Proper equipment must be used at all times and unless expert tuition and supervision is available, no young person should attempt the Fosbury Flop. The scissor jump is an easier way to do it.
Encouraging healthy eating with Cubs and Scouts
- One of the best ways to understand what we eat and what goes into our food is by getting into the kitchen and cooking for ourselves through the Cook or Chef Activity badges.
- Take a look at these healthy recipes for young people from the NHS.
- Show your young people how to read food labels.
- Support them to explore this interactive EatWell Guide.
- Check out these one pot camping recipes – think vegetable-loaded chickpea hash or red lentil sloppy joes – for inspiration on how to cook healthily on camp.
Find further ideas and inspiration when it comes to badge support here