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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


October 2016

Step 10: Get Up and Get Moving!

Find fitness activities that you enjoy and can stick with on a weekly basis.

Making Healthy Strides

Workout Buddy
Great for those focused on specific, shared or complementary goals (e.g., losing weight, getting stronger, training for an event). Ideal for pals who want to spend more time together and be more active. Workout partners not only get us through a challenging workout, but can help us through life challenges as well. Buddies provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition.
Going Solo
It can be hard to push yourself during solo workouts, and it’s dangerous to lift heavy weights without a spotter. You are more likely to give into your negative thoughts about skipping a workout or not giving your best effort, and derailing your fitness goals.

Source: Experience Life, "Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies"

Fitness Trendy

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is a global leader in both research and exercise education. ACSM releases a report every year of their list of worldwide fitness trends, based on industry experts and global surveys. Looking toward 2016, there has been a shift to a more technology-based fitness model, less group exercise, and more functional training. Here are some of the top trends explained.

Fitness Trends 2016
Click to enlarge

#2 BODY WEIGHT TRAINING: Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable and easy to do anywhere. This allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

#3 HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

#5 EDUCATED, CERTIFIED and EXPERIENCED FITNESS PROFESSIONALS: There continues to be exponential growth of educational programs and competitiveness in the exercise and fitness profession. It is important to always ask for a certification when choosing to work with a fitness professional. All Trainers and Instructors employed at the Fairfax County Park Authority are appropriately certified and are required to maintain their certifications through up-to-date continuing education credits.

#7 FUNCTIONAL FITNESS: Replicating actual physical activities someone might do as a function of his or her daily routine, functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living.

#11 GROUP PERSONAL TRAINING: The personal trainer will continue to provide the personal service clients expect from one-to-one training but now in a small group typically of two to four. This approach offers potentially deep discounts to each member of the group and creates an incentive for clients to put small groups together. Please inquire with your local RECenter’s Fitness Director for Small Group Training options.

#18 CIRCUIT TRAINING: Circuit training is a group of 6 to 10 exercises that are completed one after another and in a predetermined sequence. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a set period before having a quick rest and moving on to the next exercise. Circuit weight training has been around for a long time, and it seems to continue to be popular.

Sources: American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal, "Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends 2016: 10th Anniversary Edition"

Fitness, Expanded

Fitness got a makeover at the Oak Marr and Spring Hill RECenters. Extensive renovations are now completed and ready for your enjoyment. Bring a friend, and come check out these state-of-the-art fitness spaces!

After a year-long construction and renovation project, the newly expanded Oak Marr RECenter is open once again and getting rave reviews from customers. The new, two-story fitness center features all new exercise equipment, lots of natural light and access to the Fitlinxx virtual tracking system, which helps you monitor your progress over time. Oak Marr’s new amenities include treadmills with personal television viewing screens; a hardwood fitness studio for classes, including ballet-inspired barre; a dedicated stretching area; three new multipurpose rooms for fitness classes and other activities; a new spin studio with a projector and pull-down screen; and a vibrant new lobby and sitting room with wireless Internet access to further enhance the customer experience. Additionally, childcare is provided for a fee – check with the site for available times and rates.

Spring Hill RECenter's 15,000 square-foot Fitness Center features over 50 state-of-the art cardio machines, including Woodway treadmills, Precor ellipticals, and Octane lateral ellipticals. A Sci-Fit ergometer along with recumbent bikes and ellipticals provide several seated cardio options for customers with unique needs. For strength training, we have a 16-machine Cybex strength circuit. An elevated walking and jogging track (~12 laps per mile) is accessible on the upper level. The lower level provides a dedicated training area for free-weights, cable stations, and functional training.

Personal Training, group exercise classes and more information is available at Fairfax County Park Authority RECenters

Source: Fairfax County Park Authority

Workout Anywhere

Using weights and cardio machines is a fantastic way to get in shape and stay in shape. But, sometimes you might not have access to what you need, or time to get there. A great way to stick with your fitness goals when you can’t get to the gym is to mix and match some exercises that need little to no equipment at all. Knowing how long you want to work out, break up that time into “work” and “rest” segments for each exercise. Here are ten examples of exercises you can do on your own for a full body workout.

  1. Swan Dive
    How to do it: Lie face down on a mat with arms stretched overhead, toes pointed. Lift your arms and legs about 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 1 count, imagining your legs being pulled out and back, away from your hips. Then, circle your arms out to each side of your body behind you. Exhale and reach your arms toward the toes, palms facing the body. Hold for 1 count, then bring arms back to starting position and relax entire body to ground. That's one rep.
  2. Leg Extension Crunches
    How to do it: Sit with hands on the floor behind you, palms down and fingers toward butt. Lean back on sitting bones, tighten abs, and raise both legs off floor. Bend knees and crunch legs in toward body; extend legs, then raise them as high as you can. Lower legs toward floor (but don't touch).
  3. Caterpillar Walk
    How to do it: Stand with feet together. Bend over, bringing hands to floor, then slowly walk hands forward to come into push-up position with hands in line with shoulders; do one push-up. Keeping hands planted, walk feet toward them and return to standing; that's one rep. Keep your core tight throughout the move.
  4. Squat Side Kick
    How to do it: With feet hip-width apart, slowly lower into a half-squat, keeping knees over toes. Raise right knee to hip level, then extend right leg to the side, straightening left leg as you push out through your right heel. Pull right knee in, and return to starting position. Switch sides, and repeat.
  5. Tricep Dips
    How to do it: Sit with knees bent and feet hip-width on floor, hands behind you on either side of hips, fingers forward. Lift hips off floor and shift weight back. Bend and straighten elbows, leaving feet flat, then come onto heels and repeat.
  6. Low Lunge Hover
    How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart before stepping your right foot back, and lowering into lunge stance with the left knee over the ankle. Bring your arms over your head and hinge forward from the waist. Lower the chest forward toward the thighs as your arms reach forward. Lift the right leg while straightening the left.
  7. Side Crunch and Pulse
    How to do it: Lie face up, knees bent to 90 degrees, hands behind head. Lower knees to left and crunch up; do 15-25 reps. Return to start, lift shoulders, extend left arm, and pulse forward for 15-25 reps. Repeat sequence on right side.
  8. Y-Squat Calf Raise
    How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward. Reach your arms up toward the ceiling, forming a Y. Keeping arms raised and chest lifted, lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise yourself up quickly, coming up onto the balls of your feet, then immediately lower into another squat.
  9. Chair Twist
    How to do it: Stand with your feet together. Bend knees, reaching hips back (knees behind toes), lowering until thighs are nearly parallel with floor; raise arms forward and up. Rotate torso to right and secure left elbow on outside of right knee. Hold for 3 breaths; return to starting position. Repeat on left side.
  10. Warrior III
    How to do it: Stand with the feet together, and lift up the left leg with a pointed toe, putting your body weight onto the standing, right leg. Continue to lift your leg and drop the head and torso so they form a straight horizontal line from head to toe with the arms at your sides. Engage your core and make sure the left thigh, hip, and toes are aligned. Remain facing down and keep your back as straight as possible. Ensure your right knee doesn't lock and center the weight on the middle of the foot. Hold for 5 breaths and then slowly return to standing. Switch legs and repeat.

Source: Health, "25 Exercises you Can Do Anywhere"

Get Info for the 50+ Crowd at the Park Authority’s 50+ Web Portal

50+ Connect, Engage, Play The Fairfax County Park Authority has launched a website specifically for residents age 50 or older. The 50+ Engage-Connect-Play portal provides one-stop shopping for information on Fitness & Wellness, Arts & Learning, Gardening & Adventure, Giving Back, and more that’s geared toward Baby Boomers and active seniors.

Staying active and staying connected are key to good health and happiness at any age, and the Park Authority is making it easier for older residents to find new ways to engage as family and work demands change. In Fairfax County, 23.2 percent of households include adults who are 65+, and this group represents 11.5 percent of the county’s total population.

Go to Fairfax County Park Authority - Fifty Plus to see which of the thousands of Park Authority classes are most popular among Baby Boomers and the 70+ crowd. Find out about concerts, fairs, festivals and other park events that appeal to older residents. Book a tee time at a golf course, register for an art or gardening program, or find activities to entertain the grandchildren. Visitors to the site can also explore ways to give back to their community through paid and volunteer opportunities in the parks.

This initiative is part of the larger, countywide effort aimed at addressing the needs of a rapidly aging population in Fairfax County. U.S. Census figures show that there is a net in-migration to Fairfax County of persons age 85+. Among Fairfax County residents age 80 or older, 47.5 percent have one or more of the following: serious difficulty with walking and/or climbing stairs, difficulty dressing and/or bathing, or a cognitive disability.



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Take 12 Steps for Your Health

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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 22, 2017
2016 Healthy Strides Community Expo, SpringFest, April 30, 2016

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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