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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                       January 15th 2011

  • Sit-up Straight or Else
  • Resolution Revolution
  • Posture Perfect! Class Testimonial
  • 7 Tips For Pets and Their People
  • New Class Weights for Your Weight 

Feel Better... Live Better

Sit-up Straight or Else
By Woody McMahon
 

"Sit-up Straight"
Even today, just the thought of hearing those words strikes terror in the
hearts and minds of most adults. Growing up, your mother or father would
say over and over again "Can't you sit or stand up straight?" You probably
tried to heed your parents requests but after a few minutes, go right back
to our old, slumpy self. Do you know why it was so hard to keep that
upright posture? Beyond the obvious cosmetic reasons, why is good posture
so valuable for your health?
 
Posture Basics
Good posture can be defined in many ways. Physical therapists say good
posture is "the state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the
supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity."
Well, that is quiet a mouthful. More simply, when viewed from the side,
good standing posture allows a vertical line to be drawn through your ear,
shoulder, hip, back of the knee and ankle to the floor. Good posture
sitting would allow a partial vertical line through your ear, shoulder and
hip with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor.
 
Why Good Posture is So Important
There is an old saying "form follows function." The architecture of the
body has bones connected to each other through joints with muscles and
other tissues acting as movers and supporters. If the muscles that support
the bones are kept strong and flexible, your body works the way it was
designed. If not then the first physical sign that your critical body
alignments have started to change is poor posture. The first physical
symptom is pain. So the body gives you two warning signals that your
building is beginning to crumble. Posture you see and pain you can feel.

The Health Benefits of Better Posture
Good posture provides improvements in three health areas: circulation,
breathing and digestion. The greatest single benefit of good posture is
more oxygen to the body with less effort by your lungs and ribs. Some
studies say as much as 20% more oxygen is taken in with every breath
when you are sitting or standing erect. Your brain is the single biggest user
of oxygen so increasing those levels improves concentration and memory
abilities. Good posture makes it easier to breathe benefiting health
problems like asthma, COPD and allergies. Your heart can beat slower and
not work as hard when more oxygen is available in the blood. This is
helpful in cases of heart disease, arteriosclerosis, and high blood
pressure.

A Posture Test
The easiest example of how poor posture negatively affects your health is
through the simple act of breathing. As you read this article, take a
moment and try this experiment on yourself. Sit in a chair and slump down
like you might at the office or in front of the television. Now try and
take a really deep breath and notice how much effort it takes to move your
ribs. It requires more energy to inflate your lungs with poor posture.
This time, sit on the edge of the same chair with your knees bent, feet
flat on the floor and your back straight and head up. Now take the same
deep breath and see how much easier it feels.

Evaluating Your Own Posture
There are several ways to evaluate your own posture. Take a moment and
stand in the mirror observing your body from the front and side. See if you
can draw the vertical line that was mentioned earlier on your own body.
Better yet, ask a family member or friend to take three pictures of you;
one from the front, side and back. Now you can easily see if a vertical
line will hit all the right spots.

Correcting Poor Posture

Going from poor to good posture is easier than you might imagine. The
typical exercise program at the gym will not do much for improving your
posture. Special exercises that work the back extensors and middle and
lower trapezius muscles are the best for postural correction. Feel free to
email me for more information on postural exercises and developing a
balanced postural program.

Would you like to improve your health but don't know where to start?
How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your bones?
Do you have weight problems but are tired of dieting? I provide an easy to
follow program without the gimmicks or fads. You'll also get the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while
helping you feel and look your best. Please call Woody McMahon for a no
cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or email to
woody@sequoiahealth.com.


Resolution Revolution
by Woody McMahon 

It is That Time Again
January is the time to make your New Year's resolutions for the coming
year. Most of these resolutions never make it off the launching pad because
of a few basic design flaws. You, like many others, may have just given up
making resolutions all together because your best laid plans always seem to
fail.
Don't get me wrong; resolutions are a good thing. This is not
supposed to be a stressful process. Just like anything else, there is an
easy way and a hard way to get the job done. Here are three helpful
suggestions that can literally "revolutionize" your resolution making
process and have your friends thinking "how did you do that" next January. 

Start With Three: Pick One
In the past, with all good intentions, you tried to make too many
resolutions which can place you in a no-win situation. Too many resolutions
dilute your energies and add confusion and stress to the whole process.
Adding stress to resolution making is counterproductive to the whole
"improve your health" intent in the first place. Start with three
resolutions (less than three is OK too) and then pick just one to get
started. 

Write Them Down
"The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step," says Lau
Tzu, Chinese philosopher. So for your first step write down the three
resolutions you would like to accomplish for 2011. Then write each one
down
on a large piece of paper. Don't just think about them like you did in
the past. Actually take the time to write them down this time. Make sure
to write each resolution large enough so you can easily see it from across
the room. When you are finished, take the papers and hang them somewhere
they can be viewed conveniently every day. The act of writing them down
tells your subconscious that you are really serious about working on these
resolutions. The ability to see and review them regularly reinforces your
intent to succeed.

Bringing Out the Big Guns
Properly directed, the subconscious is a powerful ally and can make your
resolution process much easier. To get it revved-up, take a few minutes
every day to review your resolutions. This is best accomplished by sitting
for several minutes and reviewing your list. Once you can repeat each
resolution by heart, close your eyes and use your imagination to accomplish
your first resolution. Forget about the other two, just focus on the first
one at this time. 

A Simple Example
So let's say the first resolution was to increase your activity level by
exercising more regularly. Close your eyes and image yourself getting
dressed and going for a walk, lifting some weights or doing some
stretching. Take another moment and see yourself going through your
workout. The clearer your visualization, the stronger the effect is on your
subconscious. It takes just a couple of minutes a day and you are finished. 

Acting on Your Impulses
The subconscious works in strange and mysterious ways. Well, not really.
People just like to think it does and make more of it than necessary. Your
subconscious is actually very predictable. Each time you sit and imagine
accomplishing your first resolution, you are refreshing your intent with
the subconscious. This focused concentration actively stimulates the
subconscious in helping you accomplish your first resolution. The
subconscious in turn will send you subtle signals, nudges if you will, in
the right direction. You will find yourself thinking, "I would like to take
a walk" or "I will be right by the club tomorrow; it is not my scheduled
workout day but I can stop in anyway." 

Do not ignore these messages. Act on them immediately because your
subconscious is subtly helping you to succeed. Pay attention and follow
through on these little motivations because they are designed to help make
it easier to accomplish the first resolution. 

The Second Will Follow
Once you feel like your first resolution is heading in the right direction
or completed, use the same techniques for the second and third. Putting the
subconscious to work can help you successfully accomplish your resolutions
just that much faster.      

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel what it is like to be
a part of the health care solution rather than a health burden. If you need
additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email or
call me for a no cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or email to
woody@sequoiahealth.com
.

Osteoporosis Support News

Posture Perfect! Classes Are a Big Hit!

Posture Perfect's! momentum continues to grow. Here is a glowing testimonial
from one of our class members.

"Posture Perfect! class has not only met my expectations, but exceeded
them! There are several reasons I enjoy the class. The small class size
gives each of us extraordinary personalized training; your knowledge,
expertise, patience, and sense of humor makes me look forward to
coming to a class I thought would be only for 6 weeks; and I have
learned so much more that I expected."

"For example, I now think about my posture every time I sit, and just when
I thought I'd begin to have a hard time rising from sitting on the floor, you
taught me how to make it easier. I try to practice some of the balance
exercises a couple of times a week (I know, I should do it more often!).
I thank you for all I have learned from you so far, and hope to continue
this class for the foreseeable future!"
P.S.

You can read more about Posture Perfect! at:
http://sequoiahealth.com/posture_perfect__classes

New classes for 2011 are forming right now. Please call Woody McMahon at
703-628-2880 or email to woody@sequoiahealth.com for more information,
class times and reservations.

Pets and People 

7 Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year
for Pets and their People
By Ingrid King
 

The seven tips listed below will get 2011 off to a good start and help
make this your best year yet, for you and your pets.

1. Feed a species appropriate diet. Nutrition is the foundation for good
health. Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to thrive. If
you're not already feeding a raw or grain-free canned diet, consider making
this the year you make the switch. Your pets will thank you for it. You'll
find a wealth of information on feline nutrition, and on how to switch your
cat to a healthier diet, on The Conscious Cat. Even though dogs are
omnivores, they, too, will thrive on a diet high in meat and low in grains.
Also known as the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), this
wholesome and natural way of feeding is always an improvement over most
commercially available pet foods.

2. Regular veterinary check ups. For cats, the American Association of
Feline Practitioners recommends a minimum of annual wellness examinations
for all cats in its Feline Life Stage Guidelines. According to the
guidelines, "semi-annual wellness exams are often recommended for all
feline life stages by veterinarians and veterinary organizations. Their
reasoning includes the fact that changes in health status may occur in a
short period of time; that ill cats often show no signs of disease; and
that earlier detection of ill health, body weight changes, dental disease,
and so on, allows for earlier intervention." For dogs, annual check ups
should be a minimum, with bi-annual check ups for dogs seven and older.

3. Keep your cat's teeth healthy. Dental disease is the most frequently
diagnosed health problem for pets, and, if left untreated, can lead to
serious health problems including heart, kidney and liver disease. For more
on why good dental health is so important for your pet, click here.

4. Regular playtime and exercise. Make time to play with your pets.
Regular playtime will not only keep your pets happy, it's also a wonderful
time for you to bond with your pets, and it helps you relieve your stress.
Additionally, it provides exercise for your pet.

5. Meditate with your pet. The benefits of meditation for humans have been
scientifically proven. It just so happens that cats make the ideal
meditation companion. I don't have any experience with meditating with
dogs, but would love to hear about yours if you have. For more on how to
meditate with your cat, click here.

6. Educate yourself about pet health. You are your pet's guardian when it
comes to health issues, and the more you know, the better off your pet will
be. The internet can be a great resource, but be sure that the sites you
visit provide factual and reliable information.

7. Do something for less fortunate pets. Helping others is an integral
part of a life well lived, and it's good for your health. Even though we'd
like to be able to, we can't save every pet in need of a home, but there
are things you can do to help, from donating money to your favorite
shelter, to fostering pets for a local rescue, to volunteering time at a
shelter to give the cats and dogs some love and attention.

 (c) Ingrid King 2011
 

Ingrid King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. She is
the author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. Her
online magazine News for You and Your Pet goes out to subscribers around
the world. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, has been called "educational cat
nip for the cat lover" and is a comprehensive resource for conscious
living, health and happiness for pets and their people. For more
information about Ingrid, please visit http://www.ingridking.com/

New Class Weights for Your Weight

A Weight Training Class Specifically Designed to Help you Safely
and Permanently Lose Weight...

I have over 26 years experience helping people like you lose weight the
safe and healthy way. My class use scientifically effective tools to help
you permanently lose excess weight.

Note: This is NOT a Boot Camp or Biggest Loser program that have both
been shown to be unhealthy and unsafe ways to lose weight.

Weights for Your Weight will teach you the (3) most important tools for
healthy weight loss:

  1. Stopping Stress Induced Eating
  2. Building Muscle to Reduce Fat
  3. Making Healthier Food Choices

The class is one hour long -
1/2 hour devoted to Healthy Eating and Stress Reduction
1/2 hour devoted to effective Weight Training

Weights for Your Weight is offered in both individual, partner and 4 person
small group formats.

For more information, please contact Woody McMahon directly at
703-628-2880 or email to woody@sequoiahealth.com
.

Continued Good Health,

Woody

Woody McMahon
The Sequoia Advisor

 


-------------------------------------------------

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Drive
Herndon, VA
20170

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed
as a health-care diagnosis, treatment regimen or any other prescribed
health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the
understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine
or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care
practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not
advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to
matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that
readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No
action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The
material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound
at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the
authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to
replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult
with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The
publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Copyright (c) 2006-2011 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

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