Don Lambert Memorial Workout

In honor of Captain Don Lambert, the Fitness and Wellness Division and Henrico Police Division will host a memorial workout at the beginning of Police Memorial Week.

  • Monday, May 10 from 6:30-8:00 a.m. at the Hermitage High School Track and Field
  • Henrico County employees only
  • Please be sure you have an updated Assumption of Risk Waiver Form complete.

Public Safety Assumption of Risk Waiver Form

General Government and HCPS Risk Waiver Form

  • Workout details will be published soon. The workout will consist of the track, stairs and field. It will include running, walking and calisthenics. Versions of the workout will be available for ALL fitness levels. Honor Don by participating at your pace. The length of your workout is up to you.

Please email to RSVP by Friday, May 7.

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Transformation starts with YOU… and the support of a Health Coach

Just as a sports coach can help an athlete develop and excel at a specific sport, a Health Coach can assist you in achieving your fitness and wellness goals. Employees looking to be healthier by losing weight, reducing stress, improving diet and nutrition, or creating a more active lifestyle, can now utilize health coaching services offered through the Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division.

Each employee has unique nutrition, fitness, and wellness goals driven by personal history and experiences. There is often a need for guidance and accountability to create a sustainable behavior change, and that is where a Health Coach can assist. The Health Coach can educate employees on their health risk factors, how certain habits or choices may augment those risks, and offer tools to help employees make healthier dietary and lifestyle changes all while providing accountability and motivation to meet their goals.

It is a partnership between the employee and their coach that guides the employee toward the changes they want to make. Together, they will create goals and action plans to achieve those goals. Coaches use their intuition, compassion, and empathy to develop a rapport with employees to make the process productive and successful. Then, the coach will motivate and push the employee to reflect on themselves and see their health in ways they never have before.

To learn more about Health Coaching offered through the Fitness and Wellness Division, visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint Health Coaching page.

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Home Gym Equipment: Functional Over Fancy?

With more people/employees working from home and public gym restrictions, the demand and prices of home exercise equipment have gone a bit crazy. What if you could have a medicine/slam ball, weighted body-bar(s), and sandbag for under $40? With a little creativity, D.I.Y. at-home exercise equipment can be made for much less than expected. In this article, we will cover how to make these pieces of equipment and some general exercises that can be done with each item.  



The sandbag is the easiest of the three pieces to make so let us start there. For making the sandbag you will need a bag of sand (purchased at any big box home store for less than $5), two trash bags, a roll of duct tape, and a duffle bag/gym bag. To start, you need to figure out how heavy of a sandbag you would like to make and pour out sand to get your desired weight. Now with the desired weight in the sandbag, duct tape the opening to keep the remaining sand from spilling out. Next put the bag into the first of two trash bags. Duct tape that bag and then put the second trash bag over everything. Now you want to duct tape everything especially well and then put the whole thing into a duffle bag/gym bag, and you are done.   

Exercises: Deadlifts, weighted get-ups, weighted lunges, bear-hug squats, clean and press, weighted step-ups.  



Medicine Ball/Slam Ball  

This one is a little more involved and requires a bit more patience. For this, you will need a basketball ($5 new from Five Below or any discount store or use an old one), sand, funnel, razor blade, sticky tire plug x 2-3, and duct tape. To start you want to cut a small hole in the basketball (the smaller the better- this one was a little bigger than I would have liked because I couldn’t find my smaller funnel). Once you have your hole cut you just start funneling sand into the ball until you get to your desired weight (max weight is around 25 pounds based on the size of the ball). Once you have filled the ball to your desired weight you will use your sticky tire plug(s) to get a good seal around the hole. Once you have inserted 1, 2, or even 3 plugs you want to put some duct tape over the hole and plugs, this will help seal everything up.  


Pro-tips: Watch out for rocks that will clog up the end of the funnel. When you first start using the ball, it is recommended to slam the ball on a hard surface with the plugs hitting the ground first. This will smush and flatten out the plugs help to seal the hole.  


Exercises: Squats, BOMB tosses, wallball tosses, Russian twists, squat throws, clean over the shoulder, squat and press, lunge and press.  


Body Bars   

Out of the gate, these body bars can be highly variable based on your objective. Supplies needed for this are PVC (length and diameter will dictate max weight), two end caps for each bar, sand, and PVC cement, funnel (optional). Pre-cut (as pictured) PVC was used. Pictured on the left is PVC measuring 5 feet by 1.5 inches and on the right is PVC measuring five-feet by 1.0 inch. To start, use the PVC cement and cement one end cap onto the pipe and let it dry. Once the cement is dry fill the PVC with as much sand as you desire. Completely filling the 1.0-inch pipe led to a bar weighing about 8 pounds and filling the 1.5-inch pipe fully led to a bar weighing about 15 pounds. Once you fill the bar to your desired weight use the PVC cement to seal the open end.  

Variability: If you do not fill the pipe all the way up there will be left-to-right swaying of the weight of the bar which can be beneficial for making stability-based movements more challenging.  


Exercises: Overhead press, back or front squats, bent-over row, chest press, biceps curl, weighted step-ups, overhead lunges, skull crushers.  


Hopefully, these equipment ideas get the creative thoughts flowing and give you options to have exercise equipment at home for a lesser cost. We encourage you to try a few workouts as we continue to think of ideas for at-home exercise equipment to publish. If you have questions about any of these items please reach out to Joey Pacelli at 

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Making a Comeback

It happens to so many adults, and likely, it has happened to you: you start working out, you push your body, and start dreaming about six-pack abs and smaller clothing sizes. Suddenly, you see possibilities you never had the courage to dream about. Then WHAM! Something stops you right in your tracks. You get hurt. You get busy. You get tired or burned out. And suddenly the gains in fitness, weight loss and confidence disappear as quickly as they materialized.

So how do you get moving again after being sidelined? The strategies below will help you get going.

Get some perspective. Do you know what happens in your body when you stop working out? There’s a decrease in blood volume and mitochondria (the powerplants in our cells), and your lactate threshold falls. In general, the longer you’ve been training, the more quickly you’ll be able to get back into it after a layoff. In other words, someone who has been working out consistently for 10 years, then has a layoff for a year, will have an easier time of returning to work outs than someone who has been physically active for only a year, then off for a year. Why is that? The longer your exercise history, the bigger the foundation in aerobic strength. You will have built up a much higher level of mitochondria to produce energy, more red blood cells to deliver oxygen to exercising muscles, and more metabolic enzymes than someone who just started working out. Yes, your level of fitness decreases during a layoff, but it won’t drop as low as if you had zero fitness history.

Slow and steady wins the race. Another consequence of taking an extended break from working out is losing conditioning in your muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. It’s difficult to assess how much conditioning you lose or how quickly you lose it, but it’s the weakness in the musculoskeletal system that causes so many people to get injured when they return to working out. This is why a slow and steady exercise plan allowing rest and recovery days are so important.

Walk before you run. Before jumping into a high intensity workout, you should be able to walk for at least 45 minutes (without pain if returning from an injury).  Walking conditions soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and connective tissue), preparing them for more rigorous demands of jogging and running, for example.

Start where you are. Don’t pick up where you left off, or at a weekly workout schedule that you had in the past. Too many times the desire for quick fitness results creates a situation where the individual is doing more than they ought to too soon after injury, and they end up sidelined even longer.

Don’t over medicate. Over-the-counter painkillers might make you feel better in the short term, but they can mask pain that tells you that you should stop. And for some, they can lead to gastric distress. If you can’t run through pain, don’t run. Walk or rest instead.

Cross-train. Working out every day will help speed up improvements in  your cardiovascular fitness, but that doesn’t mean do the same workout each and every day. Add 2 or 3 days of cross-training to your routine. There are so many modes of exercise – cycling, rowing, swimming, using an elliptical trainer – that don’t worsen a previous injury. Also, Yoga, Pilates, weight training and core exercises can help you get stronger.


The Takeaways:

Practice patience: Rushing back to the routine you maintained before your setback is a surefire way to cause an injury.

Mix it up. Cross-train with other forms of exercise that work other parts of your body and still give a good cardiovascular workout.

Be safe, not sorry. As difficult as it can be to rest when you’d rather workout, remember that the conservative approach you take now will yield many happy and productive workouts down the road.

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Tacky Light Run with Team Henrico

Register for the Tacky Light Run with Team Henrico!

Event: Starts at 6pm on Saturday December 14th

Location: Midlothian Mines Park in Midlothian, VA

Parking options: There are several locations around the Midlothian Mines Park that are available for parking including John Tyler Community College and Midlothian High School.

Meet Up: Fitness & Wellness staff welcomes any participants to park and meet us at Midlothian High School and take the complimentary shuttle to the event. We will be waiting from 4:15-4:45 pm and then boarding the shuttle promptly at 5pm to head down to the event.

Packet Pick-up: Fitness and Wellness is offering to pick-up participants race packets on Friday (12/13) and bring them to the meet up to distribute. If you sign up and would like your packet picked up early to avoid lines on event day, fax over a copy of your Henrico County I.D. badge to Fitness & Wellness at 501-7200. If you are planning on coming to the meet up and do not make it prior to the 5pm departure your packet will be returned to the event packet pickup location for you to pick-up upon your arrival.

Any questions can be directed to Joey Pacelli at or 804-501-5408

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Holiday Fitness Challenge Starts

Fun Holiday Challenges and competitions help keep you motivated through November and December. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and relieve stress, but it can be challenging to fit in movement around the HOLIDAYS! During the holiday season, festivities will try their best to pull you away from your workouts and regular routines, but don’t let them WIN! Commit to this quick and easy Fun Holiday Challenge workout that will deliver oxygen to your whole body, increase your immune system to fight off colds and increase the release of your “happy hormones!” Focus on eating well and moving more! Don’t wait until January 1 to act on your New Year’s Resolutions! Get in better shape and lose some weight before the NEW YEAR!

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Let’s face it, we all know we need to change certain habits to live better. The problem is putting our desires for better health into action by taking that big step from knowing what we need to do to actually doing it. Through Power Henrico, the Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division offers Health Trip programs addressing two key healthy lifestyle habits – eating and exercise – to help you live well and stay healthy. 

The challenge to lose weight and keep it off is familiar to many. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can be a struggle – and for some, the struggle is lifelong. Because “healthy weight” is such a challenging issue that affects so many people, there are programs that take advantage of individuals by offering quick, effortless weight loss. Perhaps you have tried one or two. Perhaps you have found success with a quick weight loss plan, only to find your success is short-lived.  

Unlike fad diets and get fit quick schemes, the Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life plan focuses on making lifelong behavior changes to help you reach a healthy weight that you can maintain the rest of your life. The ideas shared and the programs offered are simple. They’ll provide modifications you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Healthy for Life is also different from other quick fixes in that it is not one-size-fits-all. Instead, it’s individualized, focused on your specific challenges.  

Yes, you will be asked to invest some planning and effort into making changes, and you will need to open yourself up to new ways of eating and being active. But if you’re willing to make the necessary changes, your risk for lifestyle diseases will decrease, your weight will improve, and you’ll feel better 

The Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life plan will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to make important lifestyle changes. Each month the County Connection will feature a Health Trip Healthy for Life article with relevant behavior change information.  You can practice the highlighted healthy behaviors by participating in nutrition, exercise and well-being classes to empower you to make healthy food and lifestyle choices.  

Together, we become partners for change. Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life will encourage you to change food and health attitudes and behavior – equipping you with new skills and habits to practice.   The articles that follow and the programs to come are based on clinically tested techniques that put you in charge of reshaping your lifestyle by adopting healthy habits and breaking unhealthy old ones. Step by step, you’ll learn how to reshape your lifestyle in a way that’s realistic for you.  

Starting Tuesday, August 6th, join the Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life plan to start living your healthiest life! For more information, check out the Nutrition Page of Power Henrico and start your Health Trip to be Healthy for Life

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The Battle for the Public Safety “Throne”

The 4th annual Public Safety Games brought new opportunities and several unexpected yet exciting twists. The addition of 4 new individual competitions – the 10K run, 10K row, relative strength and CrossFit competitions – brought new energy and excitement to this annual event.  The result was a record setting 43 public safety employees from all three public safety divisions (Police, Fire and Sheriff) showing off their tactical athlete prowess, proving the 2019 Public Safety games the most anticipated competition in the game’s history thus far.

Visit us on the web to view specific results of the “Top Tactical Athlete” and “Fittest Public Safety Division.” 

Congratulations to FFs Ethan Huey, Tyler Brown, Tyrell Austin & Kelsey Thomas for winning the battle for the “Public Safety Throne and the bragging rights of “Fittest Public Safety Division” of 2019 for the Division of Fire!

You can view
the recap video through the Henrico County Public Relations & Media Services YouTube channel here: ( 

If you are sworn public safety personnel and are interested in either the Public Safety Games or joining any of our sworn only fitness programs please contact Joshua Gaskins at or 501-7218. All sworn personnel can view the Public Safety Share Point site here 

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