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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                       February 1st 2011

  • Not Just Any Exercise Program Will Do
  • Probiotics… Your Friends in the Bacterial World
  • Posture Perfect! Class Testimonial
  • Hospice Care for Pets
  • New Class Weights for Your Weight 

Feel Better... Live Better

Not Just Any Exercise Program Will Do
By Woody McMahon

Exercise. The Drug of Choice
Exercise is good for your health; that we all know. Numerous studies have
shown that a regular exercise program can reduce stress, improve sleep,
promote better digestion, increase muscle and bone strength, make breathing
easier and alleviate pain. Even with all of these encouraging findings,
many people do not have an exercise program that is right for them.

Did you know that research has found that not all exercise programs are
created equally? Some exercise programs can actually improve your health
and appearance more than others. If you are over 50 or have certain health
problems like back pain or osteoporosis, you need a specialized exercise
program to help you alleviate pain, strength bones and muscles and improve
balance and posture. See how your exercise program compares to "the best of
the best."

The Whole Body Not Just Parts
Science has found that the best way to achieve maximum health and fitness
benefits from exercise is to work the entire body as a whole. So whether
you need to condition your heart and vascular system; strengthen bones;
reduce excess body fat; alleviate pain or improve any other health
condition, a whole body conditioning approach is superior for your health
and fitness. Why is this? During work and play, each muscle is connected to
and supports the others. To maximize benefits, condition your muscles in an
interconnected way. One of the simplest strategies for integrating your
workout is to combine rather than separate all strength training and
cardiovascular time. Take fewer breaks, use heavier weights and try
exercise combinations to keep your heart rate elevated and many muscles
working together.

Include the Extensor Muscles
Most fitness programs spend more time on the muscles you can see and less
on those you can't. The ones you can't see, called the extensor muscles,
are vitally important to good posture, a healthy spine, shoulders, knees
and hips. These muscles: the erector spinae, middle and lower trapezius,
gluteus medius and maximus muscles are the primary support muscles of the
spine, hips and pelvis.

Many back, neck, hip and shoulder pain syndromes, headaches, slipped discs
and poor posture patterns can be attributed to weakness, tightness or
imbalances in these muscle groups. So just because you can't see them
doesn't mean they are not important. Feel free to ask me about some
good exercises for these muscles and add them to your current workout
right away.

How to Get Maximum Benefits
Successful exercise programs have a well designed supported system to
maximize health and fitness benefits. A proper warm-up, water intake, post
workout cool downas well as stretching, nutrition and adequate rest will improve
exercise benefits. Exercise without stretching afterwards is a recipe for
disaster. Tight muscles will narrow joint spaces, placing abnormal forces
on the spine, shoulder, hips and knees. This increased pressure results in
pain and degeneration (arthritis) in the joints.

Adequate water is essential for proper function of muscles, kidneys, heart,
joints and digestion. Good nutrition provides necessary energy and adequate
protein plus other essential nutrients for bone and muscle growth. Eight hours
of restful sleep allows the body to adequately grow and repair the tissues of
the various organ systems.

Osteoporosis Specific Exercise Programs
For maximum safety, exercises involving flexion, twisting and trunk
curling (crunches)
should be avoided if you have osteoporosis. Stronger
extensor muscles help reduce fracture risk by improving posture,
stabilizing the spine and taking the weight off the vertebral bodies. Be very
careful with "one size fits all" exercise programs because they do not
address your specific health and fitness needs or offer the same benefits as an
individualized one. Take the time to seek professional help when creating or
modifying your exercise program. It will be well worth your time and money spent.

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

Probiotics. Your Friends in the Bacterial World
by Woody McMahon

The "Friendly" Bacteria
Bacteria can get a real complex in this day and age. They get blamed for
most of the coughing and sneezing that goes on when in fact, viruses are
really the cause. Anytime a disagreeable meal is eaten and an upset stomach
results, they are blamed for food poisoning. In reality, you cannot live
without the existence of certain bacteria in and on your body. The trick is
keeping the "good" and "bad" bacteria in a healthful balance. Although
sometimes necessary, antibiotics wreak havoc on the natural, helpful
bacteria by decreasing their numbers in the digestive system and on your
skin. Antibiotic therapy can also cause an increase in secondary infections
of the urinary tract, skin and digestive system.

Bacteria and Your Bones
Your body has billions of naturally existing, beneficial bacteria that are
mostly found in your large intestines and on your skin. These naturally
occurring bacteria assist with digestion, strengthen your immune system and
prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They also produce vitamins such as
biotin and vitamin K which are important for healthy bone formation. The
foods you eat have a strong influence on the types and numbers of bacteria
that reside in your intestinal tract.

"You are what you eat" is an old saying that was popularized in the 20's
and 30's by Victor Lindlahr but holds as true today as it did then. The
types of foods you eat will either increase or decrease the numbers of
healthful bacteria in your intestine. It is the non-digestible food
ingredients, such as fiber, that stimulate the types and amounts of
healthful bacteria. These non-digestible substances are called Prebiotics
and they are the actual foods that fortify your healthy bacteria.

Probiotics."Friendly" Bacteria
In the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Nobel laureate Eli
Metchnikoff was the first to describe certain bacteria as having a positive
benefit on humans. He hypothesized that it would be possible to modify the
bacteria in the human digestive tract to improve health and reduce the
effects of disease and aging. To some extent his hypothesis was correct.
The modern term Probiotics comes from his work.

Probiotics are a group of "friendly" bacteria, mostly Lactobacillus or
Bifidobacterium, that are similar to the ones found normally and
beneficially in your digestive tract. What can you do to keep these
friendly bacteria in place? Eat lots of fruits and vegetables which supply
essential Prebiotics and eat foods that contain Probiotics such as yogurt,
fermented and unfermented milk, miso and some juices and soy drinks.
Dannon's Activia yogurt, for instance, is an example of a probiotic food.

Working Together For Your Health. Prebiotics and Probiotics
Together Prebiotics and Probiotics work together to keep a healthy
population of bacteria in and on your body. Probiotics have been helpful in
naturally treating gas, cramping and diarrhea as well as easing the
symptoms of lactose intolerance. Research is being conducted on Probiotics
to treat conditions such as infectious diarrhea; irritable bowel syndrome;
inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Other areas of study are infections with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a
bacterium that causes most ulcers and many types of chronic stomach
inflammation, vaginal infections, skin infections and numerous others.

The Smart Choice
Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, fiber and foods that
naturally contain probiotics is a smart choice for healthy living.
Supplementing with a probiotic along with your other vitamins may also be
a good idea as well.

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

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!"

You can read more about Posture Perfect! at:

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

Pets and People 

Hospice Care for Pets
By Ingrid King 

As veterinary care for pets is becoming more and more sophisticated and as
more pet owners understand the importance of a lifetime of preventive care,
pets live longer lives. But despite all of that, pets still get sick, and
when they do, there are often numerous treatment options. However, some
illnesses are considered terminal, and in the past, euthanasia was often
the only option pet owners would consider at that stage. An alternative to
premature euthanasia that is garnering more attention in the world of pet
care is hospice care.

The definition of a terminal illness is an illness for which there is no
cure. It is an active, progressive, irreversible illness with a fatal
prognosis. Hospice care provides a loving alternative to prolonged
suffering and is designed to give supportive care to cats in the final
phase of a terminal illness. The goal is to keep the cat comfortable and
free of pain, with a focus on quality of life and living each day as fully
as possible.

The decision to stop treatment and begin hospice care can be made at any
point in the progression of a terminal illness. Decisions may range from
choosing to forgo aggressive surgery after receiving a cancer diagnosis
because of a poor prognosis, discontinuing chemotherapy or radiation
because the pet is either not responding or is dealing with side-effects
that are rapidly diminishing his quality of life, or discontinuing
medications because medicating the pet is difficult or impossible for the
pet owner. Rather than opting for euthanasia, pet owners may choose to
provide hospice care for their pet.

Hospice care is not a last resort, and is not about giving up, or about
dying. It's about finding ways to live with a terminal illness, and it may
actually involve providing more care and not less. The decision to provide
hospice care should be made in conjunction with your veterinarian, who
will become an integral partner in the process.

Hospice care involves the following:

Comfort: Provide clean, soft bedding with easy access to food, litter
boxes, favorite sleeping spots and interaction with family members. Handle
pets gently because many terminal medical conditions create discomfort and

Nutrition and Hydration: Provide easy access to food and water. You may
need to experiment with special foods to tempt ill pets. In addition to
feeding a high quality, grain-free canned or raw diet (if you pet is
immunocompromised, raw food is not recommended) diet, you may need to offer
foods such as meat-based baby food (make sure that there is no onion powder
in the brand you buy), for cats, tuna juice or flakes of tuna spread on top
of the cat's regular food, and slightly warming the food to increase
palatability. Make sure the pet always has fresh water available.

Cleanliness: Sick pets may not be able to groom themselves. Assist your
pet with this by gently brushing, and keeping eyes, ears, the area around
the mouth and around the rectum and genetalia clean if she can't do it by
herself anymore.

Pain Management: Pets, especially cats, are good at hiding pain. Watch
your pet for signs of pain - subtle signs may involve hiding, avoiding
contact with family members, or changes in sleeping positions. Cats will
rarely vocalize when they're in pain. Work with your veterinarian to
develop an appropriate pain control program for your pet.

Holistic Therapies: There are many non-invasive, gentle holistic therapies
that can provide relief to terminally ill pets. Energy therapies such as
Reiki, Healing Touch, Tellington Touch and others are particularly

Despite the logistic and emotional challenges hospice care presents for
pets and their humans, it can also be a time of great peace and increased
bonding with your beloved animal companion. It also allows for a gentle
preparation for the impending loss for both pet and human. Diagnosis of a
terminal illness does not have to be the end - it can be the beginning of a
deepening, peaceful, final phase of life for both pet and human.

(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

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

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


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