Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+)
Participation in PALA+ is one way to move toward the recommendations in the latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and Dietary Guidelines for Americans. PALA+ can help you:
- Develop a commitment to regular physical activity
- Move toward a healthier eating pattern
- Set realistic goals to encourage good physical activity and healthy eating habits for a lifetime
- Track your progress in a fun, interactive way using SuperTracker’s Physical Activity Tracker and Food Tracker
The latest PALA+ update was released in March 2017. The PALA+ healthy eating goals have been refreshed to reflect new guidance from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The program completion requirements have also been updated to allow users to make incremental progress at their own pace towards healthy eating goals that they select and the physical activity goals based on their age.
PALA+ is now an eight-week program:
- In the first 5 weeks, log your food and physical activity to begin a routine and reach as many goals as you can
- Beginning in week 6, you must reach your weekly physical activity goal and at least 6 of the 9 weekly healthy eating goals, including at least 1 of the dietary limit goals (added sugars, saturated fat, sodium), to complete the program and earn your award
- If you need more time to reach your goals, you can try again in weeks seven or eight
On January 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the SuperTracker online food and activity tracking tool will be discontinued on June 30, 2018. This announcement will impact two of the PCSFN’s programs: the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) and Presidential Champions.
PALA+ is currently available for participation using a paper tracking log, as well as online through USDA’s SuperTracker platform. With the discontinuation of SuperTracker, the PALA+ program will undergo an operational transition. The PALA+ program will continue to be available for use by using the official PALA+ paper log.
Between now and June 30, 2018, individuals may continue to participate in the PALA+ program on SuperTracker. New users may also participate online and complete the eight-week program as long as they sign up on SuperTracker on or before April 28, 2018. After this date, new users are encouraged to start PALA+ using the official PALA+ paper log. Current users of PALA+ on SuperTracker will experience no change in functionality and may continue tracking their physical activity and food as they complete their eight-week program. June 30, 2018 will be the last day for program users to access PALA+ on SuperTracker. The online version of the PALA+ program will be discontinued when SuperTracker is taken offline.
The PALA+ Awards Store, powered by the Council’s congressionally-chartered National Fitness Foundation, will continue operations uninterrupted.
PALA+ was established in 2001, as part of the President’s Challenge Physical Activity & Fitness Awards Program. At that time, only the PALA+ paper log was available to complete the program. An online version of PALA+ was first launched in 2003. In August 2016, the President’s Challenge closed and an announcement was made that the online version of PALA+ would transition to USDA’s SuperTracker platform. SuperTracker has been the online home of the program since the re-launch in March 2017.
PCSFN encourages all PALA+ participants to continue using the program via the PALA+ paper log to set and achieve their personal health goals.
Frequently Asked Questions about the PALA+ Transition
Q: Why is SuperTracker being discontinued?
A: SuperTracker is a platform of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA has decided to discontinue the application to invest in more modern and efficient ways to help Americans find a healthy eating style that is right for them. SuperTracker will remain accessible through June 30, 2018. See USDA’s announcement here.
Q: Who can I contact for more information about the discontinuation of USDA’s SuperTracker?
A: For more information about the decision to discontinue USDA’s SuperTracker, please visit https://www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker, visit https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/, or contact USDA directly at SuperTrackerHelp@cnpp.usda.gov.
Q: What is happening to the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) program?
A: Due to the discontinuation of SuperTracker, as of June 30, 2018, PALA+ will only be available for participation using the paper tracking log.
Q: Who can I contact for more information about the transition of the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) program?
A: Please read the PALA+ program website for answers to frequently asked questions. You may also email the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition at Fitness@hhs.gov for more information about the PALA+ program.
Q: How can I participate in PALA+ as a current user?
A: Between now and June 30, 2018, individuals may continue to participate in the PALA+ program on SuperTracker. You will experience no change in functionality and may continue tracking physical activity and food as you complete the eight-week program. The last day for program users to access PALA+ on SuperTracker is June 30, 2018.
Q: How can I participate in PALA+ as a new user?
A: New users may participate in PALA+ online by signing up for PALA+ on SuperTracker on or before April 28, 2018. After this date, new users are encouraged to start PALA+ using the official PALA+ paper log. The paper log is available on the PALA+ program page for individuals who wish to begin their participation in the program after April 28, 2018.
Q: What is the PALA+ paper log? How do I continue participating in PALA+ in the future?
A: The PALA+ paper log is a printable document that can be used to record and track your physical activity and nutrition progress as you work through the PALA+ program. After the discontinuation of SuperTracker, individuals interested in participating in the PALA+ program are encouraged to download the paper log to record their progress and earn their award.
Q: When SuperTracker is discontinued, can I participate in PALA+ online on another website?
A: After the discontinuation of SuperTracker, the PALA+ program will only be available for use with the paper log, and will not be available to use on another online tracker.
Q: What will happen to all my progress and my data in the PALA+ program when SuperTracker is discontinued?
A: All user data and accounts will be purged in their entirety by USDA when the site is no longer available on June 30, 2018. After that date, no previous data will be available and the data will not be preserved nor distributed in any format by USDA. Users are advised to log in and export any PALA+ reports they wish to save well in advance of the closing date.
Q: Can you recommend another Internet-based tool or program to help me track my physical activity or healthy eating?
A: Unfortunately, we are unable to recommend specific tracking tools at this time, but you are welcome to explore our website, www.fitness.gov, for other physical activity and healthy eating resources.
Q: How can I order PALA+ awards that I have already earned or will soon earn?
A: The National Fitness Foundation proudly offers award and recognition items for earning the PALA+. Visit the Foundation for more information on how you can reward yourself, or recognize your friends, family, or coworkers for their PALA+ achievements!
Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the SuperTracker tool will be discontinued on June 30, 2018. The online version of the PALA+ program will be discontinued when SuperTracker is taken offline. Please read the section above for more information.
PALA+ is on SuperTracker, USDA's free online food and activity tracking tool. PALA+ participants have the ability to log individual food items and physical activities on their SuperTracker profile to achieve the program’s goals. Special features of PALA+ on SuperTracker include:
- Customized dietary recommendations, like food group, calorie and nutrient intake goals to help you work towards a healthy eating pattern
- An interactive SuperTracker dashboard to help you visualize and monitor your progress
- Motivational pop-up messages
- Use of SuperTracker’s extensive food database
- Easy access to nutrition and physical activity educational information
- Earn the PALA+ Premium Award by completing the physical activity and healthy eating goal requirements in weeks 6, 7, and 8 on SuperTracker. This PALA+ award is for individuals who take an extra step towards establishing healthy habits for a lifetime, and is exclusive to completing PALA+ on SuperTracker
Watch a video tutorial on how to participate in PALA+ on SuperTracker.
For more information about the PALA+ program on SuperTracker, download the PALA+ User Guide
Sign up for an eight-week PALA+ program on SuperTracker today: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/PalaPlus.aspx
A healthy life is an active life. The physical activity goal for PALA+ has two components - active minutes and active days. Achieve the weekly physical activity goal by earning both. So take a walk or roll with friends, bike ride after dinner, garden, or play a game of basketball at the park. Get your heart pumping and your muscles moving!
- Youth (6 to 17 years old) need to do at least 300 minutes of physical activity each week, and need to be active at least five days each week.
- Adults (18 years and older) need to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and need to be active at least five days each week.
Note: The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily. It is important to encourage youth to perform age-appropriate, variable, and enjoyable physical activity. Also, older adults, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with chronic medical conditions may choose to complete PALA+ using the official paper log if they are unable to reach the amounts of physical activity required through online participation on SuperTracker. For more information on guidelines for these and other populations, please consult the Guidelines.
Start eating healthy. It's easier than you think! With PALA+, participants get the freedom to choose what healthy eating goals they want to work on, which allows you to tailor the program for your specific needs. To achieve PALA+, you need to meet at least six (6) of the nine (9) weekly healthy eating goals, including at least one (1) of the dietary limit goals. Focus on your healthy eating goals every week. When you reach a goal – congratulations! You’ve started a routine for a healthier lifestyle. The healthy eating goals include:
- Six (6) food or drink goals: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Protein Foods, Dairy, and Water
- Three (3) dietary limit goals: Added Sugars, Saturated Fat, and Sodium
Learn more about the PALA+ Healthy Eating Goals
For more information on healthy eating patterns and how to ensure your diet is meeting your nutritional needs within an appropriate calorie level, please consult the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The PALA+ program can also be completed anytime, anywhere by using our paper log! This version of PALA+ has also been updated and reaching your program goals will earn you the PALA+ award. Use this hard copy log to track your progress. Once completed, download your certificate below! Or, if part of a group, make sure to return it to your group administrator to get recognized.
The National Fitness Foundation proudly offers award and recognition items for earning the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+). Visit the Foundation for more information on how you can reward yourself, or recognize your friends, family, or coworkers for their PALA+ achievements!
Congratulations on earning your Presidential Active Lifestyle Award! Download your free certificate today!
Exclusively for users of SuperTracker, the PALA+ Premium Award recognizes individuals who have made an exceptional commitment to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Download your free certificate today!