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



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



7:00PM, Book: Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon KabatZinn Make healthy strides in your…


2019 Calendar Cover

Step 4: Be Active Your Way

Think outside the gym – explore a park! Walk, bike, boat, or find a quiet spot in the green space – all options are healthy options!

Making Healthy Strides in April

  • Try doing an activity, such as yoga, as a family at your local park. You will benefit from the movements and the time together.
  • Pick four physical activities you’d like to try and attempt to do one per week this month.
  • Are you completing your Daily Mile? Did you know… It would take a sloth one month to travel one mile.

May the Fourth Be with You at the Healthy Strides 5K/10K

On your mark and get set for the eighth annual Healthy Strides 5K/10K on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Burke Lake Park. This is the signature event of the Park Authority’s Healthy Strides community wellness program that empowers participants to make big, healthy lifestyle strides by taking small steps each month.

The 10K runs along a wooded path and takes participants around scenic Burke Lake. The 5K follows a tree-lined road through the park and is wheelchair accessible. Race walkers and strollers are welcome on the 5K route. Both courses are USATF certified. The run begins at 7:30 a.m., and all levels are welcome.

This year’s theme is “May the Fourth Be with You” a tribute to the timing of the event being held on May 4, unofficially known as Star Wars Day. There will be fun activities such as a stroller decorating contest, costume contest and character appearances. Wellness stations, including stretching and sports massage, will also be available so you can be a healthy force on and off the race course.

Space is limited to the first 500 runners and walkers, so register early. The initial cost is $35 through Sunday, March 31, and then rises to $40 through Wednesday, May 1 (space permitting). Team registration is also available. Children age two to eight can register for the Lil’ Striders Tot Dash for $8. A portion of the event proceeds fund summer camp opportunities for children living in homeless shelters and transitional housing in Fairfax County.

Packets will be available for pick-up on Friday, May 3 at the Burke Lake Park Ice Cream Parlor from 3 to 7:30 p.m. and on race day at Shelter A from 6 to 7 a.m.

Park roads will close to traffic at 7:15 a.m. for the event, and reopen at 9 a.m. Please allow plenty of time on race morning to make sure you and your spectators are parked before 7:15 a.m. Registrants will receive a commemorative race tech t-shirt and finisher medal. Refreshments will be available to participants, courtesy of Giant. Awards will be given to the top three overall male and female winners for the 5k and 10k races, and the fastest team.

The Healthy Strides 5K/10K strives to be as green as possible. Join these efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle by carpooling, recycling your biodegradable racing bib, and bringing a used pair of sneakers to donate.

For more information, visit Healthy Strides 5k/10k, or check out the Healthy Strides 5K/10K Facebook Event and invite your friends to join you for the run. Healthy Strides is supported in part by Fairfax County Park Foundation, Inova, Cigna, Metro Run & Walk, Giant and Virginia Pediatric Group. Race sponsorships for 2019 are still available.

April 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 |