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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


September 2014

STEP 9: Active Aging

Staying active encourages health at any age, from youngster to senior.

Catch Yourself – Preventing Falls Outdoors

Whether you are walking around the park to stay active or just going to the store, falls can happen outdoors. In public places, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of falls.

  1. Be aware of where and when you walk, including time of day, lighting, surface and potential obstacles.
  2. When walking for exercise, consider going to well-maintained places such as the mall or a local high school track. Wear shoes that are for exercising, and walk in pairs or groups so you can alert each other to potential hazards.
  3. Travel safely by holding hand rails and moving slowly when climbing outdoor stairs, observing any changes in elevation, curbs or street signs.
  4. While riding public transportation such as buses and trains, always use handrails when available.
  5. When crossing the street, walk in crosswalks and use curb cuts or ramps when they are present. Stop at islands in the middle of the street when available and wait for the next walk sign.

Source: Fall Prevention Center of Excellence (2010, June)

Bone Building

For most people, the amount of bone tissue in the skeleton (known as bone mass) peaks by their late twenties. At that point, bones have reached their maximum strength and density. Up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and age 20 in boys, which makes youth the best time for kids to “invest” in their bone health with the bone building trifecta: calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity.

CALCIUM Calcium is found in many foods, but the most common source is milk and other dairy products. Drinking one 8-oz glass of milk provides 300 milligrams (mg.) of calcium, which is about one-third of the recommended intake for younger children (700-1000 mg./day) and about one-fourth of the recommended intake for teens (1300 mg./day). Other calcium-rich foods include low-fat yogurt (8 oz., 300 mg.), orange juice (fortified 6 fl. oz., 260 mg.), kale (1 c. cooked, 94 mg.), and breakfast cereal (fortified 1 c., up to 1000 mg.). Your children need several servings of these foods each day to meet their calcium needs.

VITAMIN D The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin (sun exposure), from the diet, and from supplements. Experts recommend a daily intake of 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D up to age 70. Vitamin D-rich foods include egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk. The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 4,000 IU per day for adults. However, doctors sometimes prescribe higher doses for people who are deficient in vitamin D.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Any kind of physical exercise is great for kids, but the best ones for their bones are weight-bearing activities like walking, running, hiking, dancing, tennis, basketball, gymnastics, and soccer. Swimming and bicycling promote kids' general health, but are not weight-bearing exercises and will not help build bone density. Organized sports can be fun and build confidence, but they are not the only way to build healthy bones. The most important thing is for kids to spend less time sitting and more time on their feet and moving.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Staying Active at Any Age

Physical fitness is AGELESS.
Aerobic activity. 60-minutes daily for kids; 150-minutes per week for adults.
Gain. Muscle, bone density, mental clarity, sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
Endurance. Running, jogging, walking, swimming for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Lifelong practice. From childhood to older adult, movement is essential to healthy living.
Easy. Fitness can happen anywhere - a gym, the playground, even your living room.
Strength training. All major muscles groups, two times per week for adults.
Success. Fight debilitating health conditions for a more prosperous life.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Step Up!

  • KIDS: Drink two big glasses of milk per day.
  • TEENS: Think outside the box when it comes to physical activity. Step team, skateboarding, rock climbing and camping are all great non-traditional ways to be active.
  • ADULTS: Encourage your elderly family members to take a walk with you for exercise a couple of times this month.



Take 12 Steps to Family 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!
2012 Pain Assessment

Physical Health and Pain Assessment
With Dr. Ben Glassman
Tuesday, September 23, 6 - 8 p.m.
Download Flyer

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.



Take 12 Steps for Family Health in 2014 Calendar
Download Calendar

12 Months, 12 healthy goals. Don't miss out on this year's great family 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!


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.


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Healthy Strides
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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.

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