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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                        March 1st 2013

  • Better Bone Quality and Reduced Fracture Risk
  • The Best Time to Check Vitamin D Levels
  • Keep Pets Away From Lawn Chemicals
  • Upcoming Events... Osteoporosis Workshop April 25th
  • Osteoporosis Support News... New Safe and Senior Yoga
  • Posture Perfect!TM  March 13th Free Demo Class

Feel Better... Live Better

Better Bone Quality and Reduced Fracture Risk
By Woody McMahon

Bone's Major Functions
Bone has three major functions. The first involves providing a structural
support for your heart, lungs, marrow and other organs and the attachment
sites for muscles so that you can move your arms, legs and head. Think of
what a blob you would be without your bones to give you structure. The
second function involves providing protection for your brain and other
internal organs. Finally, bone acts as a mineral storage bank for calcium
and phosphorus helping to maintain a proper acid/base balance in your body
called pH. So you can see that your bones have more than just one function.

The Importance of Bone Quality
The term bone quality may be new to you but it is an important one to
understand. Bone quality describes all the components that keep it
strong and fracture free. By weight, bone is composed of about 10%
collagen matrix, 65% minerals and 25% water. It is not just the minerals
but all three components working together that keep your bones strong and
fracture free.

Bone Density Numbers

Bone quality however is very different from the term bone density.
You may have completed a DEXA test and been told they found a change
in your bone density. Your bone density was either normal or you received
a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia. Take heart because all is
not lost. The DEXA scores you received only tells you about the mineral
density and content of the bone. It cannot tell you the amount or the
health of your matrix or water content. The mineral density then is
considered one
of many risks. It is used, along with other risk factors,
when calculating fracture risk. It is important to remember that
no one risk factor by itself can predict fracture risk.

Bone Density... Only One Risk Factor
Sometimes in the rush to osteoporosis treatment, it is lost in the shuffle
that your DEXA scores are just one risk factor of many to consider
when predicting fractures. It is also important to remember that you
want to prevent fractures, nothing more nothing less. It also bears
repeating that only one risk factor by itself cannot predict fracture risk,
not even DEXA. According to Dr. Susan Ott, MD at the University of
Washington, "In an individual, the quality of the bone, the shape of the
bone, the presence of a fracture or other risk factors, weight, muscle
strength, and the tendency to fall (balance) are all important to
predicting the risk of fracture."

Fracture Risk... Using the
The FRAX tool is a better predictor of fracture because it uses 12
independent risk factors, including bone density, to determine your course
of treatment. The FRAX tool was developed by the World Health
Organization to evaluate fracture risk of patients. The FRAX models have
been developed from studying population-based cohorts from Europe,
North America, Asia and Australia. The FRAX tool gives the 10-year
probability of a hip fracture and/or a major osteoporotic fracture
(clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).

Limitations of the FRAX Tool
The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that the FRAX tool has
the following limitations:
  • Does not include all known risk factors
  • Lacks detail on some risk factors
  • Depends on adequacy of epidemiological information
  • Limited country models available
  • Model relevant only for untreated patients
  • Does not replace clinical judgment
Improving Bone Quality
Now you know that keeping your bones healthy is more complex
than just trying to increase bone density. Your bones and the rest of
your body work together and are dependent upon each other. So your
general health will, to a great degree, determine your bone health.

Lifestyle factors like drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet,
exercising safely and effectively, drinking and smoking habits and how
well you manage your stress are all important in keeping your bones
healthy. Just focusing on one lifestyle change, like eating healthier
foods, is rarely enough to improve your bone health. It takes multiple
changes, in the right proportions, to really make a significant difference
in your bone and body health.

Would you like to improve your bone quality but don't know where
to start?
I provide an easy to follow program called Be Bone Strong!
that helps improve your bone health, posture and balance while reducing
fracture risk. Contact me anytime for a no cost consultation at
703-628-2880 or email to

The Best Time to Check Your Vitamin D Levels
by Woody McMahon

Lowest Levels of the Year
In the winter months, your body uses stored vitamin D from the liver. If
your liver stores are not adequate at the end of the summer, the blood will
show low levels just before spring. Checking levels now gives a much more
accurate indication of whether you are getting enough vitamin D during the
rest of the year. If you supplement regularly with vitamin D, your values
should be much higher and may even be in the normal range.

The Growing Importance of Vitamin D
Once thought to be just a vitamin necessary for strong bones, recent
research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen
varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension,
autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis,
osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and
periodontal disease.

Cancer and Vitamin D
A recent study of women who took vitamin D and calcium showed a 60 %
decrease in breast, lung and colon cancer at the end of the trial over the
women who took a dummy pill. When the researchers dropped the cases
discovered in the first year, assuming those cancers had been present but
unnoticed when the trial began, the reduction in cancer in the vitamin D
group was an astonishing 77% lower. This study reinforces other studies
showing that it is harmful to your health to have low blood levels of
vitamin D.

Vitamin D Basics
Vitamin D was originally misnamed and is actually not a vitamin at all.
It's a naturally occurring hormone, produced when ultraviolet B rays (UVB)
from the sun strike your skin. If the skin produces more vitamin D than is
needed, your liver stores the excess. In a natural vitamin D cycle, the
skin produces enough vitamin D in the spring and summer lasting you
through the winter when vitamin D production is at its lowest due to
clothing and  reduced hours of sunlight. If you live in the northern
latitudes, this is the time of year your body will have its lowest
levels of vitamin D.

What Steps Should I Take?

1. Get Your Vitamin D3 Levels Checked
Your physician can administer a simple blood test to check for 25
hydroxyvitamin D levels. Optimal levels are around 50 ng/mL (125 nM/L).
You can also order a home test kit for vitamin D from the Vitamin D council

2. Get Sunscreen Free, Sun Exposure (5 to 15 minutes)
5 to 15 minutes in the middle of the day is adequate for vitamin D
production. The average person needs about 5000 units of vitamin D
daily. You make approximately 20,000 units of vitamin D after 15 minutes
of summer sun.

Depending on the color of your skin (darker skin requires longer exposure
times) this brief sun exposure should be adequate for healthy vitamin D
production in the spring and summer months. In the fall and winter,
vitamin D supplementation is about the only way to keep blood levels
within the normal range.

3. Supplementing with Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is readily available from health food stores and is
inexpensive. It's always recommended to have your doctor check your
vitamin D3 levels before taking supplements. Excess vitamin D3 can be
harmful to your body.

Vitamin D from Food
It is almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from your food alone. For
all practical purposes, Vitamin D must come from either sun exposure or
supplementation. Here are the primary foods that are naturally high in
vitamin D listed in International Units (IU): Salmon (3 1/2 oz.) 360 IU;
Mackerel (3 1/2 oz.) 345 IU; Sardines (3 1/2 oz.) 270 IU; Fortified juice
(8 oz.) 100 IU; Milk (8 oz.) 98 IU; Egg yolk 25 IU

To learn more about vitamin D go to:

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

Pets and People 

Keep Pets Away from Lawn Chemicals
By Ingrid King

While a green lawn is pretty to look at, you should think twice about how
you go about achieving that lush, green look. The pesticides used in lawns
and gardens are hazardous, and can even be deadly, to pets. Pets absorb
pesticides through their paws or lick them off their bodies. In addition,
pets can be exposed to pesticides when they eat grass.

Some of the chemicals found in herbicides are also brought indoors on
your shoes. An EPA funded study in 2001 found that 2,4-D and dicamba (a
chemical used in herbicides) are easily tracked indoors, contaminating the
air and surfaces inside residences and exposing children and pets at
levels ten times higher than pre-application levels.

This should be enough to make any pet owner think twice about using
chemical fertilizers. There are plenty of natural and organic alternatives
to these chemicals that are not only safer for your pets, but also
friendlier to the environment.

Insecticide and pesticide poisoning is always an emergency situation and
requires immediate veterinary attention. Symptoms of insecticide poisoning

· Excessive salivation · Tearing of the eyes · Excessive urination

· Muscle twitching · Weakness · Difficult breathing · Collapse · Nausea

· Vomiting · Abdominal pain · Weakness · Dizziness · Unsteady gait

Repeated exposure to phenoxy herbicides (such as 2,4-D) may affect the
liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and skeletal muscles. Some
pesticides contain chlorophenoxy acids and are poisonous to the blood,
leading to anemia, neutropenia (low white blood cell count),
thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), and feline distemper.

Don't put your pets' health at risk - look for natural alternatives to
keep your lawn green and your yard weed-free.
offers resources for better choices.

(c) Ingrid King 2013

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

Upcoming Events

Osteoporosis... There is Something You Can Do About It!
Thursday April 25th from 10am to 11am

Join us as we explore the many facets of a healthy and logical approach
managing osteoporosis. I will be presenting this informative free one hour
workshop through The Shepherd Center Health and Wellness Class series
in Oakton, VA.

Understanding and managing osteoporosis is not as difficult as you might think.
There is, however, much to learn about the topic and many things that you can
personally do to improve your bone health and reduce fracture risk.

y one hour workshop will help you understand:
  • The myths, facts and misconceptions that surround bone health
  • The significance of the DEXA scan number and the importance of FRAX
  • ADL(Activities of Daily Living) safety to reduce fracture risk
  • The right exercise program... a powerful bone protection system
  • Medications... weighing the benefits and the risks
  • Nutrition and hydration and its importance in building stronger bones
  • The stress-osteoporosis connection and what to do about it
The introductory workshop will be offered as an 8 week continuing series.
For more information or to register for the workshop please contact
Woody McMahon at
or 703.628.2880.

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 March 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
Gentle Yoga for Seniors Classes
When: Monday February 25 from 11:45A to 12:30P
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $32 for 4 classes plus a make-up
More information:
or call Bonnie at 703-407-2065 for more information.

Safe Yoga for Boomers & Beyond Classes
When: Monday February 26 from 6:45P to 8P
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $88 for one class a week for 4 weeks plus make-up
More information:
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.

    483A Carlisle Drive
    Herndon, VA 20170

    300 West Washington Street
    Middleburg, VA 20118