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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


June 2016

Step 6: Go on an Adventure

Daily life is YOUR adventure... stay positive and enjoy the twists and turns! You control your adventure, so keep your eyes looking straight ahead and try not to compare yourself to others.

Making Healthy Strides

Outside Play Outdoors, a child learns on multiple levels with each new adventure: imagination abounds and the love for physicality grows. Playing outside helps children become better learners, and more physically active, and happier! Inside Play Researchers have found a disorder called “Nature Deficit Disorder”. Basically, this means that not playing outdoors and with nature is really detrimental for kids. Being close to natural settings reduces stress, improves motor coordination and concentration.

Source: Psychology Today

Enjoying the Journey of Life
By Debbie Gisonni of the Huffington Post

By the time most of us are adults, we start to live a good part of our life somewhere outside the present. Even when we're not physically doing anything, we tend to spend a lot of time exercising our mind by thinking about what has already happened or what might happen or what we want to have happen, rather than enjoying what's happening at the current moment.

I have a friend I've known for over 20 years who seems to spend her entire life racing from one activity or emotion to the next without ever being fully present. She's always running late, talking a mile a minute on several different topics or having an emotional meltdown. Sometimes when I'm with her, I feel as if I'm in one of those zany dreams where you keep jumping from one unrelated scene to another, with no beginning and no end -- just continuous but different streams of consciousness. I want to say to her, "Stop, look, and listen!" And while she might hear my words amid the clutter in her mind, she's already deleted them and moved on to some other thought. When you live your life in this manner, it might feel exhilarating at first, but you can't possibly focus on anything or anyone right in front of you. Your life journey becomes one big blur of images with no meaning.

Life is most enjoyable and meaningful when you are present in every moment. Living in the past or future, as we often do, only serves to drain your spirit. The past, whether successful or full of failures, is done and over with. You can't change it. Worrying about the future is also a burden. No matter how much you plan, life is uncertain and the future is unknown. It makes no sense to spend your time worrying about something you truly can't control.

So instead of living in the land of "I could've, should've, would've" or "what if," try living in the land of "I am," because now is the only moment you can affect and enjoy. Take some time to notice every detail in the backdrop of your daily life -- the colors, the smells, the people. Savor every moment. Like snowflakes, no two are the same, and can never be recreated.

Source: Debbie Gisonni of the Huffington Post, 10/28/2013

The Best Staycation Ever

A staycation is a vacation where you stay at home or near home while creating the environment of a traditional, leisure vacation without the long-distance travel expenses.  Here are 10 fun, family-friendly activities that are sure to make your staycation a memorable one.

  1. Behind-the-scenes tours: museums and factories, fire stations and police stations, movie theater projection room, the pinsetters at a bowling alley, television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities.
  2. Museums, observatories, planetariums: Art, science, children’s, aviation, history are just a few adventures that await you!
  3. Historical Exploration: Sully Historic Site, Historic Green Spring Gardens and Historic Huntley offer tours, programs and activities great for historians of any age.
  4. Scenic train rides: Ranging from about 30 minutes to day-long trips. Some have pretend “train robberies” and other shows.
  5. Water parks: Try the Water Mine at Lake Fairfax Park or Our Special Harbor Spray Park at Lee District Park.
  6. Zoos and aquariums: Many zoos also offer behind-the-scenes “VIP” tours and have special camp programs for kids.
  7. Sporting events: From Little League to professional teams, the options are almost limitless. Equestrian events at Frying Pan Farm Park are also great fun.
  8. Nature: Camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and wilderness viewing areas are plentiful at local county parks.
  9. Local festivals: Celebrate Fairfax and the Herndon Festival are both offered annually in June.
  10. Outdoor Amusements: Mini golf, carousels, train rides, and boat rentals are offered at many county parks at a low cost.

Source: Consumer Reports

Adventure Living

Life isn’t all great. You will make mistakes. Through those mistakes, though, you will begin to realize life’s lessons. Here are six life lessons that will help you to overcome fear and begin living life as an adventure.

  1. Just do it. Want to move? Want a new job? Want to write a book? Do what it takes to prepare. The point is to actually take action rather than just planning it in your mind for months or years and constantly making excuses as to why you can’t do it. Will it be easy? Maybe not. Will it be rewarding? Absolutely.
  2. When faced with sink or swim, choose swim. Sometimes you will be faced with difficult and unfamiliar situations, like a new culture. First observe, then learn, and then swim. It’s always more fun to enjoy the culture from the inside.
  3. Erase expectations from your mind. Places, situations or people won’t always be as you had envisioned. Search in the circumstances for a positive aspect. Maintain an open mind. You never know where life will take you, and for what reason.
  4. Make mistakes as often as possible. When doing something new, it’s best to just get out there and start making as many mistakes as you can. You will mess up, and people will correct you, and you will learn.
  5. Live in a constant state of wonder. When you move somewhere new or start at a new job, your world is full of excitement and wonder! Then, as time passes on, it starts to become more normal. The excitement fades and the wonder disappears. Even if you have lived in the same area or worked at the same company for a long time, there are still wonders to be discovered and exciting things to see. Try to put on some wonder-glasses, and attempt to see your “same” world as a whole new world. You’ll be amazed by what happens.
  6. Stay in touch with those you love. It’s really easy to get caught up in a new adventure and forget to keep in touch. It’s so important that family and friends know that you’re always thinking about them and that you miss them.

Source: Tiny Buddha blog



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Take 12 Steps for Your Health

Download Your

Take 12 Steps for Your Health in 2016 Calendar

Download 2016 Calendar

12 Months, 12 healthy goals. Don't miss out on this year's great wellness opportunities in the Fairfax County community! The calendar contains fitness and wellness tips, ways to improve your nutritional habits, and better health ideas for kids, teens and adults. Also, the calendar contains coupons to use throughout the year. STEP UP to better health!

The Take 12 program is free and anyone can participate at any time. This program is designed to:

  • Help you accomplish healthy goals each month, with tips to keep you going for the duration.
  • Give you access to information - free workshops are available each month on different healthy topics and bulletin boards loaded with information are posted at all the RECenters.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to experience fitness and wellness programs offered across Fairfax County.
  • Empower you to make important lifestyle changes... you can do it!
  • Plus, sign-up to receive the monthly e-newsletter, packed with recipes and healthy tips, upcoming events, and opportunities to achieve your Take 12 goals!

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Download the Take 12 Pledge

2016 Healthy Strides Community 5k/10K, Burke Lake Park, April 23, 2016
2016 Healthy Strides Community Expo, SpringFest, April 30, 2016
Join Us Nest Year

We are seeking support from local businesses and organizations for Take 12! Steps for Community Health in 2015. Our participants are the same people your business is looking to attract. Take advantage of this opportunity.


Achievement Award Winner

Healthy Strides Race and Expo are
2015 NACo Award Winners


Healthy Workshops and Events are always being added!
Check our events calendar often for great opportunities in the community.

All events are free (unless indicated with a "$") and require advanced registration.
To register, please email


We are looking for people who have used the Take 12 program and found better health as a result of their participation. We are also looking for any kind of feedback about the program - the calendar, events, workshops, tips, articles - anything that you want to tell us, we're listening! Email us at


Take 12 Newsletter


Phone: 703-324-8423

Mailing Address:
Fairfax County Park Authority
Attn: Take 12 Program
12055 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 425
Fairfax, VA 22035-1118

All content within is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your health. Always consult your physician or health care provider before taking any new medication, beginning any program of exercise, or following any health or wellness advice contained herein.

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