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Health & Fitness July 26-Aug. 2

Send announcements to the Gazette, by e-mail to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. 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 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 www.inovahealthsource.com, but pre-registration is required for a username and password. Class fee is $15. Register online at www.inova.org or by calling 703-204-3366.

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 YogaKala@aol.com.

"Fall Fighters" is dedicated to helping seniors improve their balance and learn more about ways to stay strong and steady as they age. The "Fall Fighters Challenge" is a series of balance tests, based on the Tinetti Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment, the Berg Functional Balance Scale, the Field Sobriety Test and childhood schoolyard games (and yes, it is fun!). Seniors are able to then track their improvement as they do regular exercises proven to improve balance, such as tai chi and yoga, which are offered daily at St. Martin's Senior Center. Call Maryanne at 703-751-2766. All Seniors welcome.

Yoga & Health Studies Center offers classes at 7918 Bolling Drive, Alexandria. Four classes per week beginners to teachers. For private classes, to arrange seminars at your convenience or more information, 703-765-7707 or e-mail nandg@patriot.net .

His Kingdom Ministries, 2707 Dewitt Ave., Alexandria, will be teaching "Your Best Life Now," on Sunday mornings from 10-11 a.m. Free. 202-409-4761 or 703-329-1594.

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.

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 8 p.m. at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Blvd. Call 703-660-8798, or e-mail ea-alexandria@cox.net.

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.

The American Red Cross Blood Services Region is urgently seeking volunteers to assist its blood collections staff at blood operation sites in and around Washington, D.C. A commitment of two blood drives per month is requested. This position is offered to people who are at least 14 years of age, have transportation, and weekday, daytime availability. Training is provided. Call 1-800-272-0094x1, or e-mail karlofft@usa.redcross.org.

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 joyfulheartyoga.com.

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.

The Alexandria Health Department has a volunteer opportunity focusing on emergency management. The position involves a commitment of 1700 hours over the next year with an Americorps educational stipend of $4725 upon completion. Flexible hours and some work-at-home possibilities. Individual will be directly involved in emergency preparedness and volunteer management. Contact John Clizbe, Emergency Planner, Alexandria Health Department, 4480 King St. Call 703-838-4400, Ext. 275.

Alzheimer's Support Group. The Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group meets the first Wednesday of each month, at 4:30 p.m., at the Alexandria Adult Day Health Center. The group is free and open to the community. The Alexandria Adult Day Health Center is located at 1108 Jefferson St. Call 703-838-4224 before attending to verify time and location.

Alexandria Red Cross relies on volunteers to sustain its humanitarian mission for disaster relief efforts, to teach first aid and CPR, for the Friendly Visitor Program and other community service work, special events, administrative support, to work with the Junior Red Cross and for blood donation services for the citizens of Alexandria. Training is provided. Call 703-549-8300 or see the Web site at http://www.alexandriaredcross.org.

Haven of Northern Virginia sponsors several ongoing free bereavement groups meeting throughout Fairfax County. For more information, call 703-941-7000 or visit www.havenofnova.org.

The Mount Vernon Community Wellness Initiative has published a free educational pamphlet, "High Blood Pressure: Learn the Facts and Reduce the Risks." The pamphlet is being distributed to churches, libraries, pharmacies, physician's offices and community organizations. For a copy, call 703-360-4000.

Yoga in Daily Life offers yoga 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. Free trial class the first week of each session for newcomers — next session begins Aug. 13. Drop-ins welcome anytime. Visit www.yogaindailylifeus.org for complete class schedule or call 703-299-8946.

YMCA Alexandria is holding the areas largest Action Health and Wellness Festival in September held in the YMCA parking lot, 420 E. Monroe Ave. and is searching for vendors. Showcase health and wellness services, resources, crafts or supplies for adults and children. Contact Lucresha Murphy/Linda Blake for registration information 703-838-8085.

YMCA Alexandria offers monthly registration for its cardio workout with Thurston McClain, Sunrise Yoga and Prop Pilates classes. All programs are great for beginners to advance level exercisers looking for a challenge and variety to their workout program. Class registration runs is monthly and located at the YMCA at 420 East Monroe Ave., 703-838-8085. Call the YMCA for any class fee information at 703-838-8085.

CrisisLink has been helping people deal with anxiety, stress and crisis throughout the entire metropolitan area for 35 years. Call 703-527-4077 or 1-800-784-2433, or learn more about their confidential, free hot line and crisis response services on the web at www.crisislink.org.

"Living healthier, being more social, and helping others" are all ideas perennially at the top of people's resolution lists. Here's a suggestion to tackle all three at once. By joining the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training (TNT) program, individuals can actually complete their New Year's resolutions and have fun doing it. TNT can take people of all skill-levels (including beginners) from sitting on the sofa to the finish line of an endurance event. Participants will adopt a new lifestyle that they maintain even after their event is over. For additional TNT information, call The National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 703-960-1100; or visit: www.teamintraining.org.

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 Naomi Project is an all-volunteer resource program for pregnant and newly parenting mothers. The organization has been serving women and families in Northern Virginia for over 11 years promoting healthy pregnancies, fostering good parenting skills, and helping clients prepare for productive futures. Contact Kathy Shinal with The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at The Campagna Center. Call 703.549.0111 X129 or e-mail kshinal@campagnacenter.org.