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The Sequoia Advisor

       IN THIS ISSUE                                                               January 15th 2014

  • The Importance of Good Posture
  • Resolution Revolution
  • Workshop Series... There's No Place Like Home 
  • Posture Perfect!TM Gift Certificates Available
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

The Importance of Good Poture
By Woody McMahon

"Sit and Stand-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 Very 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
The months of January and February are a good time to make your
New Year's resolutions. Most of these resolutions never make it off the
launch pad, not because they are bad, but because they include a few
basic design flaws. You, like many others, may have just stopped
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 immediatley "revolutionize" your resolution making
process and have your friends thinking "how did you do that." 

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. For your first step, write down the three
resolutions you would like to accomplish this year.
Don't just think
about them like you did last year but actually take the time to
rite each one down on a large piece of paper.

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
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 coming to a posture
. Take another moment and see yourself going through your activity.
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

Give the Gift of Health!
Posture Perfect!TM Classes...

Looking for the perfect healthy birthday gift for someone?
Consider purchasing a gift certificate for one or several
Posture Perfect!TM classes. Gift certificate amounts start
at $20. This is the perfect gift, the gift of health, to give
to someone you love.

Upcoming Events and News

Workshop Series... There's No Place Like Home
On January 28th, 2014 Pat Williams of GraceFul Care and I will
begin a quarterly workshop series entitled
There's No Place Like Home.

We believe that your home is your castle and, for many beneficial
reasons, you want to stay there as long as possible. Deciding to
stay may be one of the biggest life decisions you will ever make

Fortunately, we are here to help you plan and make good decisions
allowing you to stay in your own home for as long as you want

In our workshop we will discuss the many health and quality of life
benefits of staying in the comfort of your own home rather than
moving to a retirement facility. We will outline the logical and
important steps necessary to keep you in your home.

Just like we tell all of our clients, "You Can Stay, We Can Help!

Recent research has shed some interesting light on the darker side of
retirement home living. Everything from higher costs to the loss of
personal freedom and independence has been examined in these
recent reports. These reports have determined that living in a
retirement setting is not as easy or glamorous as you might think.

Click Here to read more about our wonderful, new program.

Beginner Posture Perfect!TM Classes in Herndon,
Reston and Arlington

We have beginner Posture Perfect!TM classes in Herndon, Reston and
Arlington. Take your first class for FREE and see how much taller, more
balanced and relaxed you feel afterwards. To register please contact
Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a face and bath towel,
a bottle of water and an exercise mat if you have one.

Starting in 2014, I am offering in-home health-based exercise
instruction for those who cannot leave their home.

Posture Perfect!TM for Spinomed Program
I have created a new companion back strengthening exercise program to
help anyone wearing the Spinomed orthosis. The classes include helpful tips
on getting the most from your Spinomed as well as exercises that help
strengthen your back, improve your posture and increase your balance.

Click Here to learn more about this exciting program.

Posture Perfect!TM First Class FREE

If you have never tried Posture Perfect!TM you owe it to yourself to
come to one of our convenient classes and see how good it makes you
feel. We want you to give us a try so come take your first Posture Perfect!TM
class for FREE. It's on us... so what do you have to lose?

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

The FREE Posture Perfect!TM 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 hip and leg strengthener); and performed movements
that involved crunching, bending and twisting. (increases the risk of spinal
compression fractures)

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
posture, strengthens your bones, enhances your balance, alleviates back
aches 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!"
Paula S.

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

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) 2006-2014 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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