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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


August 2014

STEP 8: Balance Your Body

Maintain a healthy body balance by knowing yourself inside and out.

Six Body Fat Myths

Myth #1: Body fat is only under the surface of the skin. While body fat near the surface of the skin, which is known as subcutaneous fat, may be most noticeable, body fat is actually accumulated throughout the body. Organs can accumulate fat, and this internal fat, known as visceral fat, can wrap around the heart and marble muscle.

Myth #2: Muscle turns to fat without exercise. Muscle and fat are two separate entities, and one cannot become the other. People will gain weight after they stop exercising because fat will begin to accumulate more readily because it isn't being burned.

Myth #3: Body fat develops from eating fatty foods. Fat in food will not necessarily turn to fat on the body. Fat is formed from excess calories. When the body takes in more calories than it uses for energy, that excess is stored as fat reserves.

Myth #4: Starving one’s self will burn fat. Depriving the body of calories may initially force it to burn body fat stores. However, if the calorie restriction is too marked, the body may actually go into "starvation mode" and break down fats more slowly. Also, when food is reintroduced, the body may store more fat in anticipation of future deprivation. This can cause a person to gain more weight and body fat than if he or she had just adhered to a moderate diet all along.

Myth #5: A person can lose body fat from just one area. Fat will not diminish in just one spot from targeted exercise. The body burns fat evenly so that one portion is not depleted more than another, resulting in an area of the body that is not naturally insulated by fat. Therefore, a diet and exercise plan will produce gradual shedding of body fat all over the body. Yet, the appearance of diminished fat may be visible in particular areas more so than others.

Myth #6: Muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle and fat weigh the same. A pound of bricks will weigh the same as a pound of cotton. Muscle is more dense than fat, so if a person is exercising and building muscle while shedding fat, he or she will look leaner and be more fit but may not notice a big change in weight.

Source: Seven myths about body fat. (2014, February 11). Chilliwack Times.

Chemical Imbalance

The brain is a network of billions of nerve cells called neurons that communicate with one another to create cognitive [thought], affective [emotional] and behavioral responses. This process would not be possible without neurotransmitters - naturally occurring chemicals in the brain that are the key to cell-to-cell communication. The term chemical imbalance is commonly used to define an irregularity that may exist in the production, absorption or reabsorption (reuptake) of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). However, studies completed during the last decade indicate that the definition of a chemical imbalance should also encompass a variety of other natural chemicals including vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are essential to neurotransmitter synthesis. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, chemical imbalances have been implicated in an array of emotional disturbances like anxiety, panic attacks, depression and ADHD. If you are experiencing any abnormal shifts in mood or sleep, please see your doctor.

Source: The Health Center

Did You Know…?
  • The human head contains 22 bones.
  • If the amount of water in your body is reduced by just one percent, you’ll feel thirsty.
  • The muscle that lets your eye blink is the fastest muscle in your body. It allows you to blink five times per second.
  • 24 of the known 118 elements are found in your body
  • The liver is the largest of the body’s internal organs. The skin is the body’s largest organ.
  • About 13% of the world’s population is left-handed.
  • Our eyes are always the same size from birth.
  • If your DNA is stretched out, it would reach to the moon 6,000 times.
  • Approximately two-thirds of your body weight is water. Blood is 92 percent water. The brain and muscles are 75 percent water.

Source: didyouknow.org

Beyond the Scale


Do you know what you’re made of? Your weight and clothing size are only part of the story. Your health is dependent on more than just your weight. Knowing if you need to lose fat and where you may need to build muscle can help you tailor your diet and exercise plan to meet your specific goals. The InBody230 machine is a convenient and accurate way to measure and monitor your body composition. The InBody measures and reports the amounts and percentages of fat and muscle throughout your body, how your body composition compares to healthy expected ranges, and how many calories you burn. Fairfax County RECenters now have use of two InBody machines. Now is the time to get your personalized report so you can better understand what you’re made of and what it will take to meet your goals. Contact your local RECenter to schedule your InBody assessment and to find out more information.

Source: Biospace

Step Up!

  • KIDS: Name your different body parts, starting at your head.
  • TEENS: Spread the word! Fad diets, starving yourself and excessive exercise are both unsafe and unhealthy ways to lose weight.
  • ADULTS: Pay closer attention to your mood, anxiety level and sleep patterns. Notice fluctuation and make a mental note of the cause.



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!


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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