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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                        January 15th 2013

  • Stand-Up Straight or Else
  • Resolution Revolution
  • Upcoming Events... Healthy Weight!TM Workshop
  • Osteoporosis Support News
  • Posture Perfect!TM Free Monthly Demo Class

Feel Better... Live Better

Stand-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 your 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 quite 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. When sitting, good
posture can be measured by drawing 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 and benefits 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
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 front of 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.

The RestonPatch Writes About Posture Perfect!TM

Robin Lundgren of the RestonPatch wrote a terrific article on our
Posture Perfect!TM classes. If you have not read it and looked at the
pictures go to

Come join us for the ever popular Posture Perfect!TM classes
How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your
bones? What if you had 7 powerful exercises that would just take 10 minutes
a day to improve your posture, strength and balance? Posture Perfect!TM
does all of that and more. Please call Woody McMahon for a no cost
at 703-628-2880 or email to
to see if Posture Perfect!TM is right for you.

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 launch 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
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

intent of "improving your health." Begin by starting with three resolutions
(less than three is OK too) and then pick just one to get yourself going. 

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 2013. Then write each one
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

Upcoming Events

Healthy Weight!TM Workshop at Sequoia Health
Saturday January 19th 10 am to 12 noon 
Over the years I have watched too many people try and fail to
lose extra weight all because of making some very simple mistakes.
Working with your body instead of against it makes the process so
much easier.

Healthy Weight!TM workshop busts the myths and fallacies found
in most weight loss programs making it easier for you to succeed.

In just two short hours I can show you how to:
  • Enjoy Your Food More and Battle it Less
  • Show You How Dehydration Effects Your Weight
  • Stop the Number One Cause of Excess Weight Gain
  • Create a Stress Reduction Plan That Really Works
  • Eliminate Calorie Counting Forever

Cost: $49

Click Here to read more about my Healthy WeightTM program.
Please contact Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to for more information or to make
your reservation.

Be Health Smart!
Facebook Page and E-Book Series

For over 30 years, I have been helping people improve their health and
fitness. With all the information (and misinformation) out there, it can
be very challenging to know what and who to believe. One of my goals
for 2013 is to begin an information service capable of
cutting through
the confusion and
simplifying your path to better health and fitness. 

That is the reason why I decided to start the Be Health Smart!
Facebook page and E-Book Series. I have elicited the help of
Megan Smith, RD and together we will give you the straight scoop,
bust a myth or two, simplify the confusion, lessen the madness and help
empower you to make good health decisions. We will also act as a
sounding board so you can ask your questions and get good answers.

Megan Smith, RD is a registered dietician with a specialty in bone health
and healthy weight loss. Over the years, I have been impressed with her
straight talk, level headed approach and captivating writing style pertaining
to food and healthier eating habits. If I might take the liberty of saying so,
she is "One Sharp Cookie!" and I am glad to have her help on this project.
Please Click Here to learn more about Megan and her expertise. 

Please watch for updates over the next few weeks as our Facebook page goes
live and we start providing a simpler approach to health and fitness; a clear
and effective alternative to many of the existing health and fitness myths.

Posture Perfect!TM Free Demo Class
Monthly Series
Next Demo Class February 13
th  from 1 to 2 pm

We are holding FREE Posture Perfect!TM demo classes on the second
Wednesday of every month from 1 to 2 pm. These classes are held
Congregation Beth Emeth on Lawyers road in Herndon, VA.

so please call Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to for more information or to make
your reservation.

Posture Perfect!TM demo class helps introduce you to the many
benefits of our safe and effective posture, balance and strength program
co-developed by Sara Meeks, PT and Woody McMahon, personal trainer.

Come and experience how each class can help strengthen your bones,
improve your balance, alleviate back aches and neck pains, improve
osteoporosis and teach you how to sit and stand-up straighter. 

The History of
Posture Perfect!TM

When I developed the Posture Perfect!TM classes over 2 years ago, there
were no safe and effective exercise programs available for
over age 50 adults.
Everywhere I looked there
were older adults in classes that used seated
exercises (bad for your back); machine style exercises (bad for your balance)
treadmills (a poor leg strengthener); and performed movements that
involved crunching, bending and twisting. (increases the risk of spinal

Posture Perfect!TM
solved all of these problems by offering
a safe and effective
approach helping older adults become more active. Each class
improves your
strengthens your bones,
enhances your balance, alleviates back
and neck pains, reduces fracture risk and teaches you how to sit
and stand-up straighter. 


We have several people in our current classes who are coming to strengthen
their bones
and over half of the others are interested in exercises and posture
changes to help make their backs and necks feel better.

Please call Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to for more information, class times and reservations.

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

"Posture Perfect!TM 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 than 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!"

Click Here to read more about S.A.F.E. and effective Posture Perfect!TM

Osteoporosis Support News

2013 Osteoporosis Resource Center at Qi Elements Classes

Current Class Schedule

Tai Chi for Osteoporosis
When: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-2:30 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $105 for one class a week, $190 for both classes
Email or call Roger 703 435-4400 for more

Yoga for Boomers & Beyond
When: Monday
6:45 to 8 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $154 for one class a week for 7 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Gentle Yoga for Seniors
When: Monday 11:45 to 12:30 PM or
Tuesday 11:45 to 12:30 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $48 for one class a week for 6 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Posture Perfect!TM Level 1 Beginner Classes
Wednesday 12:00 to 1:00 PM and Thursday 6:30 to 7:30 PM            
Congregation Beth Emeth
12523 Lawyers Road, Herndon, VA 20171
$160 for 8 classes in 8 weeks
or call Woody at
703-628-2880 for more information.

What is the ORC?
The ORC is unique in the Northern Virginia area offering safe and effective
exercise classes including Personal Training, Yoga, Tai Chi and
Posture Perfect!TM We also offer classes and consultations for people with
osteoporosis, osteopenia, back, hip and neck pain as well as other
bone and joint health problems.

"What makes the ORC exceptional is that it offers safe and effective exercise
programs that can help improve posture, balance and strength for bone
and joint health problems" says Woody McMahon one of the center's
co-directors. "For the first time people that come to the center can feel
comfortable that the exercises they are performing will only do good and
not cause any harm."

Who Benefits From Our Classes

Beginners: Our unique classes are great for someone who wants to begin
a safe and effective exercise program but does not know where to start.

Post Rehabilitation: Our classes offer a safe and effective transition from
physical therapy to more general exercise that help to safely strengthen
important stability muscles.

The classes are perfect for tennis players, golfers or runners
who want to enhance their bodies to improve their sport and continue to
play safely and injury free.

Newsletter Sign-Up
Sign-up for our FREE newsletter The Sequoia Advisor to stay informed
about all of our future class offerings, workshops and seminars. It is
easy... just go to and enter your
name and email address.

We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our classes.
Please call Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to for more information.
Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon
The Sequoia Advisor

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

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) 2006-2013 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.


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    A mindful and holistic approach to Fall Prevention, Balance, Full Body Functional Strengthening and Posture Exercises for All Ages! Our Science-Based Exercises are Safe and Appropriate for Your Ability. Our Exercises Help Improve Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Fear of Falling, Balance and Strength Problems. Reston, Great Falls, Herndon, Middleburg, Arlington Sterling and Northern Virginia.

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