Karyl Moesel of Vienna looks like a pro as she spars with trainer AJ Smiley from Title Boxing Club in the City of Fairfax. Moesel says she was looking for something a little more active and interesting than the traditional offerings for the Non-Youth groups.
Photo by Andrea Worker
On Sunday, Sept. 23, from 1-4 p.m., the Stacy C. Sherwood Center in Fairfax was the place to be when Get Fit City of Fairfax presented the free 2012 Whole Health Fest. The 14,000-plus square feet of the facility’s main level became a maze of vendors, exhibits, demonstrations, tastings and activities, all focusing on fitness, nutrition and general wellness.
In the first exhibit hall, the perimeter of the room was lined with booths. Staff from the City of Fairfax Parks and Recreation Department distributed copies of the fall edition of their magazine “Leisure Times” and made sure that attendees got the full scoop on all the fitness and leisure opportunities available in the area. The exhibitors also included The Pantry Police, Certified Holistic Health Counselor Jill Dulaney’s company offering personalized nutrition and wellness coaching. The team from Conquer the Clutter was on hand to offer tips on organizing your surroundings. INOVA Health Source offered nutrition and cardiac health information and Title Boxing Club, newly opened in the City of Fairfax, had them lining up to try their hands at sparring with one of the club’s trainers or having a go at the heavy punching bags. Probably one of the biggest attractions of the exhibit area was the chair massage, offered to more-than-willing volunteers by staff from Comfort and Joy Wellness Spa in Fairfax.
If you could bring yourself to finally get past the informative exhibits, then the Food Hall beckoned. Just outside the room where healthy food samples were being devoured and cooking demonstrations were underway, local celebrity Madeline Steppel was chatting with the fest-goers and signing copies of her cookbook. The 9-year-old from Reston was the Virginia winner of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Healthy Lunch Challenge” contest with her recipe entry for “Fish Chowder and a Fruity Salad.” Steppel and her mom Debra attended a special White House State Dinner for all 54 winners in August, dining with the first lady, meeting the president, and touring the White House and local DC landmarks. During the Health Fest, the youngster also took to the podium to present a slideshow and talk about her experiences.
As if all this wasn’t enough to entertain the crowds, there was still all of the action in the Dance Room to catch. To showcase just a few of the programs they have available this season, the Parks and Recreation folks brought along some of their talented instructors. David Cohen led a group from teenagers to seniors in a series of Tai Chi exercises. Martha Hemingway gave a rousing clogging demonstration. Andrea Webb led a Flow Yoga Group, and Cami St. Germain introduced the crowd to Nia, a non-impactive cardiovascular movement practice, inspired by martial arts, dance and healing arts like yoga. It’s performed barefoot to diverse music and is adaptable to each participant’s ability, providing aerobic and strength benefits at every fitness level.
In a week when new studies warned that more than 50 percent of the population are heading toward obesity in the near future, organizers Cherie Lejeune and Catherine Read provided an afternoon filled with nutritional and fitness education, activity and fun for all ages.