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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


January 2015

STEP 1: Best Foot Forward

Get outside for a fitter winter! Better your health and support your community by taking a wintry hike in the parks!

Making Healthy Strides

  • Give Back: Consider our furry friends when thinking about making a charitable donation. The Animal Shelter is always in need of paper towels, grooming supplies, carriers/crates, food dishes, plastic baggies, towels, batteries, Dawn dishwashing soap, and gift cards.
  • Go Green: Get the whole family knitting in the evenings. It's not a gender-exclusive hobby anymore and you can create your own eco-friendly warm clothes for your green winter season.
  • Get Active: The Fairfax County Park Authority maintains a number of parks that are suitable for sledding. Sledders must furnish all of their own equipment and engage in this activity at their own risk. Parks with the best sledding hills include: Mason District Park, Jefferson Manor Park, Cardinal Forest Park, Greenway Heights Park, and Westgate Park.

Hike in the New Year

For many Americans, New Year's Day offers renewed promises to live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. On January 1st, you can join in the celebration by participating in a fun and revitalizing First Day Hike! First Day Hikes offer an up close and personal opportunity to engage the flora, fauna, history and wildlife that are preserved in local parks.

First Day Hikes is part of an effort to promote healthy lifestyles and year-round recreation in the great outdoors. These hikes also offer a great way to cure cabin fever, to discover something new about your state parks and to burn off extra holiday calories! On New Year's Day, more than 22,000 Americans take to the trails and hike a collective 43,911 miles.

Source: Recreation.gov

Keeping Winter Green

Take on a fresh approach to your cold-winter habits. With these five tips, you'll be on your way to a healthier, greener winter.

  1. Choose Safer Antifreeze. Standard ethylene glycol antifreeze is toxic and lethal. Propylene glycol offers a much less toxic alternative. Recycle spent antifreeze to minimize environmental impact. Ask your repair shop about on-site recycling or find a local collection facility at earth911.org.
  2. Fight Frost Naturally. To prevent ice from covering home and car windows, rub the inside of the glass with a saltwater-soaked sponge; dry with a clean cloth. You won't see it, but a residue from the salt will remain to ward off frost.
  3. Use Better De-icers. Steer clear of rock salt (sodium chloride) and urea-based de-icers. Go with sand, which provides traction without damaging salt-sensitive landscapes, and calcium chloride, which may still hurt vegetation, but is free of the cyanide present in rock salt.
  4. Burn Smarter. Start fires with dry kindling of well-seasoned hardwood, which offers a cleaner burn. Keep flames hot and bright. When the fireplace is not in use, close the flue to keep warm indoor air from escaping out the chimney.
  5. Minimize Idling. Beyond wasting fuel, excessive idling strains cylinders, spark plugs, exhaust systems, and engines, which work best in motion not in neutral. Warm up your car by driving it.

Source: Whole Living

Cover Your Cough!

Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses are spread by coughing, sneezing, or unclean hands.
To help stop the spread of germs,

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Put on a facemask to protect others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




Take 12 Steps for Community Health


Download Your

Take 12 Steps for Community Health in 2015 Calendar

Download 2015 Calendar

Download 2014 Calendar

12 Months, 12 healthy goals. Don't miss out on this year's great community 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!
2015 Healthy Strides Community 5k/10K, Burke Lake Park, April 25, 2015

2015 Healthy Strides Community 5K/10K
Burke Lake Park, April 25, 2015, 7:30 a.m.
7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, VA 22039

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.



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 Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov.


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 Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov.


Take 12 Newsletter
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Email: Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov
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 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/take12/ 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.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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