Healthy Strides

Fairfax County, Virginia


TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Elizabeth Ittner, M.S.,
Certified Wellness Practitioner

Healthy Strides

Upcoming Featured Events



7:00PM, Book: Gluten Exposed, by Peter Green Also Recommended: Plants vs. Meats, by…



9:00AM, Try a triathlon and challenge yourself without the competition! Starts at 9 a.m…



11:00AM, Book: Vitamania, by Catherine Price Also Recommended: The Cheese Trap, by Neal…

Picture from the Healthy Strides  Calendar

AUGUST - Step 8: School is Cool!

Learning, playing and social connectedness can be beneficial to your mental and physical wellbeing no matter your age.


JULY WINNER - Aleithe DuBravac

What way(s) can you purchase food from locally-sourced farms

A) Through CSA's
B) From Farmers Markets
C) At U-Pick farms/orchards
D) All of the Above

Answer: D - All of the Above

JUNE WINNER - Jeff Feldmesser

Which trail is over 40 miles long, stretches from one end of Fairfax County to the other?

A) The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail
B) The Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail
C) The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
D) The Fairfax County Parkway Trail

Answer: B - The Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail.

MAY WINNER - Jamilah Dalton

How many miles of bikeable trails (shared use) are located within Fairfax County?

a) 50 miles
b) 200 miles
c) 350 miles
d) 500 miles

Answer: D - 500 miles.

500 miles of bikeable trails (shared use) are located within Fairfax County.

APRIL WINNER - Nancy McDonough

You use a reusable cup or bottle to drink the recommended 64 oz. (1/2 gallon) of water per day. You drink filtered tap water – the filter can make up to 80 gallons of clean water. How many days of clean drinking water will you get before you need a new filter?

a) 64 days
b) 80 days
c) 160 days
d) 200 days

Answer: C - 160 days.

1 gal = 128 oz
80 gal = 10,240 oz of water can be filtered
64 oz is the daily recommendation
10,240 / 64 = 160 days of filtered H20
Source: Healthy Life Healthy Planet

MARCH WINNER - Jolene Romanyshyn

Across the entire food production and consumption chain, up to what percentage of all food in the United States never gets eaten?

a) 10%
b) 20%
c) 30%
d) 40%

Answer: C - 40%. Across the entire food production and consumption chain, up to 40% of all food in the United States never gets eaten. This translates to $218 billion lost, which includes the cost of food wasted at the consumer and retail levels, as well as the cost of wasted water, energy, fertilizers, cropland and production.


Feel your heart beat... what part of your heart makes the “thump-thump” sound?

A) The blood moving in and out
B) The four heart valves closing
C) 2 valves closing, 2 valves opening
D) A little guy playing drums in your chest

Answer: B. The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing.

JANUARY WINNER – Jennifer Kaplan

When hiking in cold weather, you should layer your clothing with different types of fabrics to stay dry and warm. Which type of fabric should be avoided?

A) Nylon
B) Wool or fleece
C) Water-wicking synthetics
D) Cotton

Answer: D – Cotton. The clothing layers should consist of several different types of fabrics. Cotton should be avoided in cold conditions. Cotton absorbs and retains water, and therefore it will not keep you warm if it gets wet. Also it can be difficult to dry. Polypropylene or other hydrophobic synthetic fabrics move the moisture (sweat) away from your body to the outside of the layer, reducing evaporative cooling and keeping you dry and comfortable. Wool or synthetic pile/fleece fabrics don't absorb water so they keep you warm even if they get wet. Pile also dries very quickly. A wool sweater or pile jacket provides warmth on a chilly evening. Nylon or Nylon/Cotton Windshells reduce convective heat loss. For raingear, coated nylon is lightweight and works well. Waterproof-breathable fabrics are also possible but are expensive.

August Trivia Question

Please fill in all of the fields below:

According to USDA’s MyPlate for kids, half of your plate should contain:

Get Social

Show us your SCHOOL PRIDE – give a shout out to your local school! Tell us what your school does to promote health in its hallways. Tag us at #HealthyStrides

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For best results, follow the Fairfax County Park Authority on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Packing a Healthy Lunch

Building healthy snacks and your lunchbox just got easier! To help your pack snacks and lunches for you and your family, use the following guidelines. Following these simple suggestions can help you to get the nutrition and energy you need throughout the day.

Packing a Healthy Lunch

Sandwiches (Great for snack or lunch!)
The main entrée is a way to get healthy whole grains and low-fat protein into your lunch. If you’re packing a sandwich, go for 100% whole grain breads and tortillas. There’s nothing easier (or tastier) than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread. Or, mix it up by making a roll-up sandwich. Spread refried beans and salsa on a whole wheat tortilla and roll it up. Slice into several small rolls for delicious bean pinwheels.

Kids have small tummies and often like to graze throughout the day. Make every bit count by packing nutritious snacks. Swap out chips for a healthier snack with the same crunch, like whole grain pretzels or crackers (like Triscuits), or a packet of unsalted nuts. Satisfy a sweet tooth with dried fruits, such as raisins or apricots. Make snack time a time to work in healthy fruits and vegetables too!

Vegetables (Great for snack or lunch!)
Veggies are a healthy and crunchy treat at lunch. Celery sticks, baby carrots, cucumber slices or pepper slices are easy to pack and taste great. If you’re a “veggie-avoider,” try adding a tasty dip, like hummus, to encourage you to eat your veggies. Peanut butter, salsa or low-fat ranch dressing in a sealable container are all good flavorful dip options that will make your veggies disappear!

Fruit (Great for snack or lunch!)
Forget the cookies and snack cakes… fruit is the perfect dessert and provides essential vitamins and minerals that help keep you well. Whole fruit, like apples, peaches, plums, grapes, and bananas are easy to pack in a lunch. Pre-cutting apples, pears or oranges are good options too.

Soda and most fruit drinks are high in sugar and one of the main sources of consumed empty calories, not providing any nutritional value. These types of drinks do not hydrate as well as water. No need to buy bottles water to pack in your lunch though, just grab a reusable bottle and add tap water! And here’s a neat trick: Use the water bottle as an ice pack for your lunchbox by filling the bottle ¾ full and sticking in the freezer overnight. By lunchtime, you’ll have ice cold water to drink, and your lunchbox foods will stay cool and crisp.

Grocery List Ideas

  • “100% Whole Grain” bread and tortillas
  • Apples
  • Baby Carrots
  • Bananas
  • Celery sticks
  • Dried fruit (no sugar added) – apricots, raisins, apples
  • Grapes Green and red bell peppers
  • Jelly
  • Low-sodium, low-fat deli meat and cheese
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Peanut butter
  • Refried beans
  • Reusable lunch containers
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Salsa
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • String Cheese
  • Whole grain pretzels or crackers
  • Whole grain tortilla chips
  • Your favorite dips – low-fat ranch, guacamole, salsa, hummus


Source: National Recreation and Parks Association, "Commit to Health"

Tips of the Month

Opt for Water

  • Follow the “8x8” rule, which is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
  • Drinking more water can boost metabolism - especially if your glass is icy cold. Your body must work to warm the water up, burning a few extra calories in the process.
  • 85% of your brain tissue is water – if you're dehydrated, both your body and your mind will be stressed.

Source:, "Diet and Nutrition Quiz: Plans & Facts"

About Healthy Strides

Healthy Strides 12 Steps to a Healthier YouWelcome to Healthy Strides – giving you 12 Steps for a Healthier Year! Don't miss out on this year's great wellness opportunities in the Fairfax County community!

The Healthy Strides 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 and a Wellness Book Club are available each month on different healthy topics.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to experience wellness programs offered across Fairfax County, including Mini-Health Fairs, held quarterly.
  • Empower you to make important lifestyle changes... you can do it!

*There is a registration fee to participate in the Healthy Strides Community 5k/10k.

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