4 Ways to Improve Physical Fitness

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Improving your physical fitness can seem challenging, but by taking small steps to improve your exercise and eating habits, you can do it! You should aim to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week. Try jogging, kickboxing, stair-climbing, or any exercise you enjoy that gets your heart-rate up! It can help to download a fitness app to keep track of your progress and encourage you to meet your goals. If you don’t have time to exercise on certain days, try finding small ways to get yourself moving. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or do sit-ups during commercial breaks. Besides exercising, you’ll want to eat a balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Try to stay away from unhealthy foods like fries, candy, and baked goods, since these aren’t a good source of nutrients. To learn how to make other lifestyle changes to improve your fitness, read on!

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Fitness Institute International, Inc.

  • Excellence & Integrity in Education for Over 40 Years

  • Comprehensive Academic Instruction

  • Extensive Practical Training

  • Most Legally Defensible Personal Trainer Certifications

Since its incorporation in 1978, Fitness Institute has been committed to empowering individuals and enhancing lives through sound education in health and fitness for the general public. Additionally, the Institute has provided for the continuing education and professional development of fitness instructors and personal trainers as well as preparing instructors and trainers for credible national certifications. These instructors and trainers have in turn assisted their clients in improving their personal health behavior.

Comprehensive Education & Professional Certification

To provide the requisite knowledge base in exercise science and documentation of such training, Fitness Institute offers a premier program of comprehensive education and extensive training to prepare students for professional certification. Unlike weekend or short-term cram courses, the Institute has established a reputation that attracts serious and discriminating instructors and trainers, who desire more than cursory instruction and meaningless certification – they insist upon a “first class” education and “credible” certification.

Course of Study & Standards

Since a certificate is no more valuable than the training behind it, Fitness Institute subscribes to a demanding course of study that is taught by professionals with graduate degrees in exercise physiology, nutritional biochemistry and the practice of medicine. Standards are those outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) that are the recognized authorities within the field of exercise science.

Program Structure

The Institute offers six training courses, each of which is sixty hours in length and extends over a ten-week period. Classes meet twice a week for three-hour sessions and are conducted during the days and hours indicated on the accompanying ‘Course Schedule’. Individuals may take one course at a time, which is recommended for those working during the day, or may double/triple up on courses, which is frequently the case with out-of-town students who can devote full time to study. Each of the six courses leads to the award of a certificate of training; and upon successful completion of the Exercise Science Foundations course along with the five “Specialist” courses, the student is awarded the Certified Personal Training Specialist (CPTS) credential. At this time, students are well prepared to sit for nationally accredited certifications with ACSM and/or NSCA.


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Personal Fitness Merit Badge

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

Personal Fitness Merit Badge

Requirements were
January 1, 2020.

To see the changes which were made,
Click here.

For the previous requirements, Click here

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
  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
    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
    7. What
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23 Things You’re Doing That Would Horrify Your Dentist


If going to the dentist isn’t exactly your favorite annual appointment, you’re not alone. According to a 2018 survey from the American Dental Association (ADA), just 58 percent of Americans visit the dentist in an average year. However, skipping those check-ups is just one of the many ways you’re likely harming your teeth. With the help of dentists, we’ve rounded up all the surprising habits that could be causing your teeth irreparable harm.

Soda Water

While opting for carbonated water instead of sugary drinks may get a thumbs up from your general practitioner, the same can’t be said for your dentist. According to Adam Silevitch, DMD, a partner at Pediatric Dentists NYC, seltzer can cause serious problems for those who drink it regularly. “Even if it’s unflavored, it contains carbonic acid, which can wear away tooth enamel,” says Silevitch. While you may be unwilling to ditch that soda water entirely, drinking more non-carbonated water in addition to the fizzy stuff can help.


Though a squeeze of lemon might do wonders for your water, the fruit’s acidity can harm the protective layer of enamel on your teeth, according to the dentists at Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas. “A good rule of thumb when preparing a 32-ounce bottle of lemon water is to add only the equivalent of about half a lemon. That should be plenty of lemon juice for a single day,” the dentists advise.

Woman looking in the mirror and brushing her teeth, ways you're damaging teeth

When you brush immediately after consuming foods and beverages high in acidic properties, like orange juice and other citrus products, it can harm your teeth, according to the experts at Colgate. Eating acidic foods weakens your enamel and brushing weakened enamel can cause it to erode. To avoid this potential decay, wait at least 30 minutes for your enamel to settle before brushing your teeth.

old man brushing teeth, things that would horrify your dentist

You definitely can have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to brushing your teeth. “This might sound counterintuitive, but brushing hard with a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage your teeth and harm your gums,” says Silevitch. Instead, to avoid irritating your gums and damaging your teeth, gently massage them with a soft- to medium-bristled toothbrush for two minutes, two or more times each day.

asian woman sleeping with her mouth open, ways you're damaging teeth

If you’re snoring or breathing through your mouth at night, you’re doing more damage than just drooling on your pillowcase. “Mouth breathing is a daily habit that can wreak havoc on the teeth,” says Sharona Dayan, DDS, DMSc, a board certified periodontist and founder of Aurora Periodontal Care in Beverly Hills. When you breathe through your mouth, she explains, you rapidly dry out your oral tissues, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. The solution? Getting tested for allergies or a deviated septum can help with the anatomical components, while behavioral modification for daytime mouth-breathing can help quell the problem during the day.

woman with toothpick in mouth, ways you're damaging teeth

Toothpicks may seem like a helpful tool when it comes to removing those last bits of dinner from in between your

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Helping You Lose Weight, Get Stronger, Live Better.

Yeah, it can be confusing when you don't understand CICO.

It’s time to learn about The CICO (“calories in, calories out”) Diet!

You probably have questions like

Steve, does CICO work? 

Will counting calories help me lose weight?

Okay, what the hell IS a calorie?

Well my friend, you’ve arrived at the right place!

I’ve been writing about this stuff for 12 years, and our team of coaches help their Online Coaching clients with all types of diets (including CICO). We are really flippin’ good at it!

Here’s what we’ll cover to answer the question: “What is CICO?”

It’s time to get started!

What Is the CICO Diet plan?

I guess this is kind of CICO, in a way

“CICO” stands for “Calories In, Calories Out.”

The CICO Diet is a weight-loss strategy where the participant tries to tip the balance of what they eat (calories in) against what they burn (calories out).

That’s pretty much it.

It doesn’t really matter what food you eat, because there are no restrictions on any specific food groups with CICO. 

It also doesn’t matter what exercise you do (if any).

As long as you get the equation right, and the calories you eat are lower than the calories you burn on a daily basis, you’re good to go.

Naturally, Barney would like CICO, because it doesn't forbid beer.

The CICO Diet is really simple and has helped quite a few people lose weight. 

This is likely why the CICO Diet has grown in popularity in the subreddit r/loseit. 

Is Losing Weight Really About Calories?

One way to lose weight is to be eaten, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Yes. Losing weight actually does come down to burning more calories than you consume.

It’s about as close to fact as we can get in nutrition science.[1]

As we address in our guide How to Lose Weight (The 5 Rules of Weight Loss), our bodies obey the Laws of Conservation of Energy and Thermodynamics: 

To lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we consume regularly. 

With this knowledge, it makes sense to design a diet specifically around this principle: match the calories you eat (in), with the calories you expend (out).

No other food rules need to apply:

As long as you meet your calorie goal, you can forget about the rules of any specific diet.

I can see why CICO might appeal to the Joker...

This appeals to me personally, because I’ve created my own guidelines for how to eat, and I don’t pledge allegiance to any particular dieting strategy.

Because I’m a mind-reader, I know your next question is likely…

Does Calorie Counting Work? (CICO and Weight Loss)

You can totally eat Dim Sum on CICO!

In principle, CICO works.

In practice, it becomes a little more complicated. 

Okay, fine, A LOT more complicated.

That’s because a lot of things influence “calories in.” 

Ditto for “calories out.”

Let’s break some of this down.

Here are some of the things that impact “Calories In:”

  • Appetite: how hungry we are is going to drastically affect how many calories we consume. Hormones, our body composition, and tastes and preferences will all impact our appetite.[2] 
  • Calories absorbed: the preparation of food will affect the bioavailability of calories. For example, cooking starches
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Letter: Dentist offices will pose risks to patients and staff – Opinion – The Columbus Dispatch

I am writing out of concern for Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision, announced on Monday, to allow dentist offices to go full speed ahead. From a health standpoint, this is incredibly irresponsible.

For over two months we have listened to all of the dangers of this elusive and deadly pandemic to now suddenly announce it’s OK to ask dental hygienists to work inside a possibly asymptomatic patient’s wide-open mouth for 45 minutes while only being about 6 inches away is ridiculous.

It’s a known health fact that the spread of COVID-19 is by air droplets that can stay in the air for up to three hours, which means the next three to four patients will be breathing the potentially deadly germs the previous patient exhaled since they were not wearing masks. Is this worth the risks just to get a nonemergency teeth cleaning or whitening?

Many people get their teeth cleaned every six months, so some might have missed one appointment while dental offices have been closed, which is not a life-or-death matter. The governor’s protocols of wearing masks, social distancing and putting up partitions cannot be applied to typical dentistry.

Dental hygienists usually don’t have access to all of the protective equipment doctors in hospitals have (who can now perform elective surgeries), so they should not be grouped in the same proclamation from the governor.

The governor now allows elective surgeries to reduce a patient’s pain or life-altering health condition, which I applaud, but teeth cleaning and whitening does not fall into these categories.

To allow these nonemergency dental procedures to proceed while not even knowing when a decision will be made for it to be OK to get a haircut is totally irresponsible! Let’s get Ohioans tested first!

Larry Pogue, Blacklick

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