Physical Activity

Physical Activity

For improved health and quality of life, people must be active. Physical activity is defined as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.” Walking, playing with your dog, gardening, attending a fitness class – all these activities count towards health. The opposite of physical activity, called sedentary behavior, is associated with chronic physical and mental conditions.

The good news? All Virginians can increase their physical activity and decrease their sedentary time. We hope to share resources and opportunities to help you get started and stick with it!


FitEx is an 8-week physical activity and fruit/vegetable consumption program. Teams of 6 collectively set group goals and work to achieve them each week. The leader board displays the top teams of the week in your county and across the whole state. The individual profile page indicates personalized progress toward goals as well as contribution to the team goals. The program includes 9 weekly newsletters with recipes, tips, and commentary. For more information, contact your local Extension office, visit the FitEx website, or contact the program manager at

Strong Women, Healthy Hearts Program

Are you interested in becoming more active and learning how to eat and cook more healthfully? The Strong Women, Healthy Hearts Program is for midlife women and men who have mostly been inactive for the past few years and are interested in improving their healthy, vitality, and well-being. Classes are offered in Frederick County for Winchester and surrounding county residents. Contact Rebecca Davis, Extension Agent, at for information on upcoming classes. Participants meet for 90 minutes, once per week for 8 weeks. 

Topics include:

  • Moderate intensity exercise (walking)
  • Menu planning
  • Cooking healthy meals
  • Portion control
  • Sensible, healthful meals vs. restrictive fad diets

Strong Women, Healthy Hearts is a research-based exercise and nutrition program designed by researchers at Tufts University and taught by a trained Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension educator with the goal of helping women improve their heart health. The program is a fun, hands-on way to make positive changes to help participants eat better, move more, and improve the general health and well-being. 

Strong Women, Strong Bones Program

Research shows that strength training helps improve muscle mass and bone density, and reduces risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis. The Strong Women, Strong Bones program is for women and men who are interested in improving their strength, balance, and flexibility. The program targets women and men over 40 but is appropriate for all adults. 

The focus of the program is on performing strength training exercises correctly and safely, working all major muscle groups using a combination of dumbbells, ankle weights, and body weight. 

Classes are offered in Frederick county for Winchester and the surrounding county residents. Contact Rebecca Davis, Extension Agent, at for information on upcoming classes. 

Terry Abston
Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Nottoway County

Selfie of Crystal Barber

Crystal Barber
Extension Agent, FCS
City of Portsmouth

Ian Pasquarelli, portrait

Ian Pasquarelli
Extension Agent, FCS
Albemarle County

Rebecca Davis, portrait

Rebecca Davis
Extension Agent, FCS
Clarke County

April Payne, portrait

April Payne
Extension Agent, FCS
Spotsylvania County

Linda Cole, portrait

Linda Cole
Extension Agent, FCS
Chesterfield County

Emily Pomfrey, portrait

Emily Pomfrey
Extension Agent, FCS
Wise County

Samantha Harden, portrait

Samantha Harden
Assistant Professor & Exercise Extension Specialist
Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise

For more information, please contact Samantha Harden.