Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

Send announcements to the Mount Vernon Gazette, by e-mail to, by fax to 703-917-0991 or by mail to 1604 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

Inova HealthSource is pleased to offer influenza vaccinations to children ages 6 months and older at these locations. Adults of all ages may also receive their flu vaccinations at these sites. Pre-registration is requested call 703-204-3325:

* Inova Alexandria Hospital- Every Friday between Oct. 6 and Dec. 29 from noon-3 p.m. at HEC Auditorium, 4320 Seminary Road. 703-504-3008.

* Inova HealthPlex- Every Wednesday between Oct. 4 and Dec. 27 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at 6355 Walker Lane. 803-797-6801.

* Inova Mount Vernon Hospital- Every Tuesday between Oct. 3 and Dec. 26 from 9 a.m.-noon at Hospital Lobby, 2501 Parker's Lane. 703-664-7000.

Generations Dance & Fitness Studio is holding an open house from Nov. 28 with a Tango performance by Maria Pradilla and party at 7:45 p.m. to Dec. 23. Generations Dance & Fitness Studios is located in Old Town Alexandria at 816 North Saint Asaph St. and has been instructing beginning to advanced dancers for over five years. Maria Pradilla, owner of Generations and the Generations Dance Survival DVD Series, is a world-ranked Argentine Tango dancer. For additional event or registration information contact the studio office at 703-535-3595. Visit

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation recently awarded $20,000 to Alexandria’s Battered Women’s Shelter to support its ongoing efforts to help women affected by domestic violence. Alexandria’s Battered Women’s Shelter is one of 150 shelters throughout the country receiving a $20,000 grant this year.

The Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women provided support for this grant.

Lowe's and its customers, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, are helping families in Northern Virginia this holiday season through the home improvement retailer’s “Homes for the Holidays” donation program, which kicked off Nov. 13 nationwide. Already in its third year, Homes for the Holidays provides customers the chance to donate to Northern

Virginia’sHabitat for Humanity affiliate by adding a donation onto their checkout total at their nearest Lowe's store. The program ends Dec. 11. During the holiday season, representatives from Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia will be at the Lowe's of Alexandria to promote Homes for the Holidays and recruit volunteers for future Habitat builds. For more information about Lowe’s Habitat for Humanity programs, visit

The Alexandria Department of Human Services invites the public to help make the 2006 holiday season brighter for disadvantaged families, foster children, and seniors by participating in the City's Holiday Sharing Programs. Individuals and groups take part in the program by purchasing gifts or certificates for a designated Alexandria family, foster child

or senior citizen. Gifts may be delivered directly to recipients or brought to the City's Human Services Center for distribution by staff. The Department of Human Services is also seeking volunteers to help sort and deliver gifts at the Human Services Center on Dec. 13, 14 and 15 from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Individuals, families and groups can request more information or enroll in the program by contacting Suzanne Kratzok at 703-519-3318, ext. 206, or bye-mail to Persons interested in donating toys alone should call Community Partners for Children at 703-683-1012.

The Sexual Assault Response and Awareness (SARA) Program will be offering two support groups beginning in January 2007. The Significant Others Support Group is a six-week, co-ed group for partners of sexual assault/sexual abuse survivors. Group topics will include the recovery process, communication, and intimacy. This support group will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:30–8 p.m.

The Creative Expression Support Group is for adult survivors of sexual assault or sexual abuse that will incorporate non-verbal forms of expression, such as poetry, art, and journaling. This six-week group is for those who have previously participated in another support group. The support group will meet on Wednesdays from 6:30–8 p.m. Both support groups are sponsored by the SARA Program, and will be held in Alexandria. For more information on becoming involved, contact Jen McLish at 703-838-5030.

The Employer of the Year Award seeks to honor employers who exemplify qualities of fairness, equality, sensitivity and support for women employees in the workplace. Since 1986 the Alexandria Business and Professional Women have chosen 11 recipients for this award. The Physicians & Midwife Collaborative Practice won the 2006 Employer of the Year Award. The company provides a very necessary service to women and provides to its female employees, opportunities for job training and upward mobility. The company helps employees develop new talents and skills supports flexible work schedules to accommodate child care needs provides a flexible spending plan for dependent care costs provides medical and dental insurance offers a partially-matched 401-k retirement plan paid parking annual merit evaluations based on equal pay for equal job responsibility and skill.

The award was accepted on behalf of the practice by Dr. Mary E. Cutting, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. Dr Cutting has been in private practice in Alexandria since 1984. She graduated from Fort Hunt High School (now West Potomac High School) in Mount Vernon, and went on to Holy Cross College and University of Virginia School of Medicine. After completing her OB/GYN residency at Georgetown University Hospital, she entered private practice, and married her high school sweetheart, Bill. They have one son, born in 1990. Dr. Cutting is board certified and has a special interest in menopause and perimenopause. The company’s Alexandria office is at 4660 Kenmore Ave., Suite 902, Alexandria. 703-370-4300.

Inova HealthSource is now offering online classes for new parents and persons interested in losing weight. "Baby's First Foods" is an online course for working parents with no time to attend an on-site class. Tips are given for when to introduce solid foods and what types of foods to offer. The other class is "Weight Loss 101" and includes basic tips and strategies for healthy eating in our busy lives. Classes are available at anytime at the participant's convenience. The site is, but pre-registration is required for a username and password. Class fee is $15. Register online at or by calling 703-204-3366.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and Virginiaâs Community Health Centers are working hard to treat and prevent diabetes throughout the Commonwealth. Diabetes is a disease that disproportionately affects minorities and was the sixth leading cause of death in Virginia in the year 2003. Virginia's Community Health Centers are recommending that patients learn more about the disease and the risks associated with it. During November, if you think you might have diabetes or if you think someone you know may have diabetes, be sure to schedule an appointment to visit a provider at a Community Health Center to get tested and take an active role in your healthcare decisions.

The Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross was honored recently for its outstanding blood collection program. The Greater Chesapeake & Potomac (GC & P) Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross, which serves the blood needs of communities stretching from southern Pennsylvania to Northern Virginia, recognized the Alexandria Chapter as its "Chapter of the Year" at a special ceremony last moecutive Director James E. Cleveland accepted a plaque on behalf of his team. GC & P Chief Executive Officer Gary Ouellette visited the Alexandria Chapter this week to personally deliver the plaque, where it will hang for visitors to see. The Alexandria Chapter collected just under 4,300 units of blood at over 150 blood drives throughout the city last year, making them the most outstanding Red Cross Chapter within the GC & P Region.

Alexandria Library Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St. is hosting two health events geared towards maturing patrons still on the move:

* On Monday, Nov. 27, 1 p.m., Dr. Wendy Gasch will address the topic of "The Aging Eye" including issues such as dry eye, flashes and floaters and other common eye problems that occur with aging. This is sponsored by the Prevention of Blindness Society and the Talking Book Service of Alexandria Library. This event is free and open to the public. Call Talking Book Service with questions, 703-519-5911.

Inova's "Fight the Flu" will run until Dec. 31 and clinics can be found by visiting or call 1-877-895-5BUG (5284). Flu shots are available for everyone over the age of 6. $25/shot. Register by visiting or calling 703-204-3325. For more information, call 703-204-3339.

Yoga Classes are offered by YogaKala at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., on Saturdays, 10 a.m. for intermediate and 11:25 a.m. for beginners, and at the Carlyle Towers, 2151 Jamieson Ave., on Thursday 6 p.m. for intermediate and 7:15 p.m. for beginners, as well as Fridays, 10 a.m. gentle yoga. Cost: $15 per class or $96 for eight classes. For more information, call 703-549-0484 or e-mail

Yoga in Daily Life offer classes for people of all ages and physical ability, seven days a week in the Del Ray area of Alexandria at 2402 Mt. Vernon Ave. Meditation classes also offered. Newcomers can take part in a free trial class the first week of each session. Next session begins Dec. 18. Drop-ins welcome anytime. Visit for complete class schedule or call 703-299-8946 for more information.

Inova Cancer Services’ Life with Cancer program will sponsor a series of events to encourage exercise and education among breast cancer patients and survivors. The series, held each Wednesday, Oct. 18-Nov. 8 at Inova Alexandria Hospital, 4320 Seminary Road, Alexandria, includes stretching and toning exercises from 6-7 p.m. to overcome fatigue associated with radiation and chemo therapies, and information sessions from 7:15-8:30 p.m. to discuss breast cancer treatment options, breast reconstruction, nutrition and intimacy issues that face cancer survivors. To register, call 703-776-2841 or visit

The Inova Hospital System asks the public to give blood. There is a need for all types of blood, with an emergency need for Type O-positive & O-negative. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. There are T-shirts for all donors. Call 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372). A photo ID is required. Allow one hour for donation. In the Alexandria/Mount Vernon areas, blood can be given at

Inova Alexandria Hospital, 4320 Seminary Road, 703-504-3500 or at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, 2501 Parker's Lane, 703-664-7229.

Emotions Anonymous is a 12-Step fellowship for people whose emotions are causing difficulties in their lives. A local group of Emotions Anonymous meets every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Shiloh Meeting and Conference Center, 1400 Duke St. Call 703-660-8798, or e-mail

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Hotline helps those who are newly diagnosed or under treatment for breast cancer. Staffed 24 hours a day by trained peer counselor breast

cancer survivors: 1-800-221-2141 in English with interpreters available in 150 languages; 1-800-986-9505 in Spanish. Also one-on-one matches with a breast cancer survivor.

Haven of Northern Virginia is offering the following Bereavement Support Groups at 4606 Ravensworth Road, Annandale:

* General Bereavement Group: First and third Wednesday evening of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

* Suicide Survivors Bereavement Group: First Tuesday evening of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

* Widow/Widower Support Groups: First and third Thursday evening of each month, 2-3:30 p.m.; Second and fourth Tuesday evening of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

Joyful Heart Yoga for body, mind and spirit. Mondays, 10 a.m., at St. Marks, 6744 South Kings Highway and 5:30 p.m., at Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal St.; Tuesdays, 7 p.m., at Mount Vernon Unitarian, 1909 Windmill Lane. Call Sandy at 703-971-2214 or go to

Burn Survivors Group. A group for people with serious burn injuries and their family and friends meet from 7:30-9 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month except December in the American Red Cross Building, 123 N. Alfred St., Alexandria. For more information, call 703-698-1626.

Take off Pounds Sensibly, TOPS chapter VA #280, Alexandria, meets Thursdays, at 10 a.m., at the Hollin Hall Senior Center on Shenandoah Road. For more information, call Joan at 703-751-6086.