The President's Challenge - Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards

How to Become a Presidential Champion

Presidential Active Lifestyle Award
Presidential Active Lifestyle Award. Wendy Bumgardner ©

The President's Challenge has been a program that encouraged all Americans to make being active part of their everyday lives. For many years, you could earn awards for your physical fitness activities, including patches, medals, and certificates. The program was produced by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, with a mission to promote the benefits of fitness everywhere it can.

Presidential Champions Program

The Presidential Champions Program has being moved to the SuperTracker site managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Registration if free for the Presidential Champions Program.

You can create an account and log your physical activity to earn points. You earn points for every activity you log, based on the amount of energy each activity burns. Roughly, these equal the calories you are burning. Walking 30 minutes or 5000 steps equals about 110 points. You could choose from over 100 different activities. You can set your physical activity target and see your progress towards it each week.

You can connect a Fitbit tracker with your SuperTracker account to automatically log your pedometer steps, or you can manually enter them each day. Linking to your Fitbit account automatically transfers the data for the previous week, so you are off to a good start. You can then log your muscle-strengthening activities to meet goals for two days per week.

Earning a Bronze award takes 40,000 points, Silver requires 90,000 points, Gold requires 160,000 points, and Platinum requires 1,000,000 points.

You could select walking and pedometer as two of the activities and track time or steps. Walking 30 minutes or 5000 steps equals about 110 points. You could choose from over 100 different activities.

Ordering Awards

You can receive your reward after achieving these levels by visiting the National Foundation for Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition and purchasing a patch, medal, shirt, mug or another item from their online store.

SuperTracker Site

The SuperTracker site also includes free tools for tracking your diet. You can use their Food Tracker as a food diary. It analyzes your entries automatically and tracks them towards calorie targets and daily food group targets for grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein foods.

You can use their Food-A-Pedia to look up foods and the My Favorite Foods List to include specific items, combinations, and meals to make it easier to track what you eat. You can also create a recipe that it will analyze and store for your use. If you would like a diet plan, you can also get those on the site. There is a Weight Manager page to log and chart your weight progress as well. The site has reports for food groups and calories, nutrients, food details, meal summary, physical activity, and history charts. The nutrients report can show details for a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and food composition.

Presidential Active Lifestyle Award - PALA+

The PALA+ program is in transition as of August 2016. It is being moved to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's SuperTracker site. The Presidential Youth Fitness Award moved to its own site.

Prior to this reorganization, you could earn the PALA+ award by logging 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days of the week for six weeks for adults or 60 minutes for youth under age 18.

As of 2012, you also focused on a healthy eating habit each week. Just about any physical activity counted. For pedometer walkers, goals were at least 12,000 steps for children and teens and at least 8,500 steps per day for adults age 18 or older. You logged your activity using an online form or printed out the log and recorded it with pen or pencil. You could repeat the program to earn stars. You then could redeem your logs for awards for a small fee, including a certificate, emblem, t-shirt, magnet.

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