The best kind of research

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… is the hands-on kind. This piece ran in the April 2013 issue of  Virginia Living magazine. Talk about active reporting; I got to do all sorts of fantastic stuff!

The story was about health and wellness opportunities in Fairfax County, VA, which was found by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to  be the healthiest county in the state in the foundation’s most recent County Health Rankings study.

I set out to discover why and found myself on a 6-mile run with Louis Zamperini’s cousin’s grandson. (Zamperini is the would-be track-and-field olympian whose athletic career was sidelined by WWII. His inspiring survival story, chronicled in Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” is what I listened to when I ran my last marathon.) I went to a ballet barre fitness class and came out with more than one trembling muscle. I tried kickboxing (and loved it) and had a wonderful chat with a nice couple while walking our dog at Burke Lake park.

On the more sedentary side, I got to talk with policy groups dedicated to making Fairfax an even healthier place to be  and I learned a fantastic amount about at-home care for seniors, centralized care for veterans and how massage really can keep you out of the doctor’s office.

Not bad for a week’s worth of work. I really have to pinch myself sometimes.

You can read the full text of the article by clicking on any one of the pages below. And, stay tuned for more on my Virginia Living soda fountain story, coming out later this spring. 
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