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



12:30PM, Log rolling, the sport of lumberjacks, is having a competition at the Mount…



11:00AM, Book: In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan Make healthy strides in your own…



7:00PM, Book: Train Smart, Run Forever, by Bill Pierce and Scott Murr Make healthy…



7:30AM, Head out to Burke Lake Park on May 4th and join the Fairfax County Park…


2019 Calendar Cover

Step 2: Self-Love is Key

February is the month of love – the time of year you get to show your loved ones how much you care. It is also important to show yourself love. Take time this month to do the things you enjoy.

Making Healthy Strides in February

  • One time per week, take “me” time and enjoy an activity just for you.
  • Work on positive thinking. Take Lucille Ball’s advice: “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.”
  • Are you completing your Daily Mile? Did you know – 1 mile is equal to 5,280 feet and comes from the Roman word mille passus?

Get Back to YOU

It can be seen as a gushy, self-absorbed or even taboo topic in some circles, but loving yourself – who you are, physically, emotionally, socially, etc. – is a really important part of overall health. Maybe a past situation has been on your mind, causing you to lose sleep. Or you are upset about the length of your hair. Or you feel like you have lost touch with friends. These things, though they seem completely different, all roll into your total picture of yourself, a.k.a. self-esteem, pride, self-worth. Let’s make February the month to get back to YOU… and LOVE all that makes up YOU. Here are a few tips to get you thinking, and loving, in the right direction.
  • Tell yourself what you love about yourself
  • Be ok with what “is,” rather than what “could be”
  • Focus less on winning the approval of others
  • Distance yourself from those who bring you down
  • Forgive your past self
  • Start making changes that need to be made
  • Embrace mistakes – they’re going to happen
  • Show gratitude for who you are and what you have right now
  • Do something daily that makes you happy
  • Give yourself a fair chance to explore new ideas and opportunities
  • Listen to your intuition and be honest with yourself
  • Believe in your abilities
  • Focus on writing your story, instead of reading, watching and hearing about everyone else’s
  • Pay close attention to your life as you’re living it
  • Loosen up and be less serious about it all
  • Go out of your way to be loving and kind to others

Source: Marc & Angel Hack Life, "16 Simple Ways to Love Yourself Again"

February Sponsor

This Healthy Step sponsored by

January Sponsors

CHALLENGE YOURSELF in 2019 by completing a mile a day! You can walk, bike, run, hike, swim… you name it, as long as you’re purposeful and you’re participating in an activity outside of your normal day-to-day routine. This has to be an extra effort for your health in order to count. For instance, distance from the car to the store would not count, nor would steps completed throughout your day. The Daily Mile only counts if you’re being active with purpose.

GET ACTIVE DAILY in the ways that make you feel good. Here are some examples of activities you can do by yourself, with a friend, or with a group.

Walk Jog Fitness Class*
Bike Run Dance
Hike Ski  
*1 mile equals 2,000 steps or 64 lengths in a 25-meter pool

STAY ACCOUNTABLE. Use the Healthy Strides wall calendar as a tool for accountability – each day has a little bubble you can check off for your daily mile. You can also keep track of your total miles for the month and the year using the calendar.

At the end of the month, REPORT your achievements. You will be reporting based on the honor system – be honest with yourself, this is supposed to be challenging!

You can self-report in two ways:

  1. By subscribing to the Healthy Strides e-newsletter – there will be an easy link to click each month for reporting.
  2. Come back to this page at the end of each month and report below.

GET REWARDS. Complete The Daily Mile Challenge, earn rewards!

100-199 miles reported = 2 RECenter daily admission guest passes
200-299 miles reported = Healthy Strides water bottle
300+ miles reported = Healthy Strides t-shirt

(Rewards will be given in January 2020, after December reporting is logged.)


Make healthy strides in your own life by joining the Healthy Strides Wellness Book Club! This club is for adults, and meets at different Fairfax County Public Library sites each month. Discussion on the featured books will be led by a Healthy Strides Ambassador, on topics in health, fitness, nutrition and wellness.

Download the 2019 Schedule and Reading List

Wellness Book Club

Play an important part of creating a healthy culture and community in Fairfax County! We are seeking people who are passionate about health and wellness, who are familiar with FCPA’s Healthy Strides program, and who want to tell a story of community wellness through parks. As a Healthy Strides Ambassador, you can participate in any of these roles:

  • Walking Group Leader – lead walks for the Healthy Strides Walking Group program. Must complete a basic training and commit to at least one hour per week.
  • Wellness Book Club Discussion Leader – read the book of the month (complimentary) and lead the discussion for that book at the scheduled Fairfax County Public Library.
  • Staff Support – help with Healthy Strides events, including the 5k/10k, monthly workshops and health fairs
  • Outreach – attend community events, representing FCPA’s Healthy Strides program
  • Park Rx Advocate – talk to doctors and medical practitioners about prescribing parks.

What is Park Rx?

Park Rx There are currently more than 400 studies that demonstrate the numerous health benefits that nature provides. FCPA’s Park Rx program is encouraging local medical practitioners to act on this research and prescribe park visits and activities as a way for managing chronic health conditions. There will be resources for patients and practitioners on the Healthy Strides website, coming soon.


All Healthy Strides Ambassadors receive a Welcome Packet, including a special Healthy Strides Ambassador t-shirt, water bottle, and “Ask Me” pin, as well as the benefits of being an FCPA volunteer.


  • Click, APPLY (at the top).
  • You will be taken to a login screen. If you’re an existing FCPA volunteer, login to your account.
  • If you are NEW, click the “NEW VOLUNTEER SIGN UP” button at the top right.
    • This takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Please fill out the necessary fields, and review the documentation provided. Also, indicate your availability (the last question)



Connect with new people, breathe fresh air… Get OUT and WALK! Healthy Strides Walking Groups meet at local parks on a weekly basis. Walk distance, level of difficulty, and population vary by group. All walking groups are led by a trained Healthy Strides Ambassador.

Healthy Strides 12 Steps to a Healthier You

About Healthy Strides

Welcome 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 5k/10k.

Contact Us
Healthy Strides Program Coordinator:
Elizabeth Ittner, M.S., Certified Wellness Practitioner
Wellness Program Coordinator, Fairfax County Park Authority
Email |