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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                March 15, 2009 
  • Fitness Ball Basics
  • Enjoy the Health Benefits of Green Tea
  • Weight Loss Lecture: March 27th 6:30 pm
    Building a Better Support Team


Fitness Ball Basics

Why Use a Fitness Ball?

A fitness ball (also called a stability ball) is a great way to improve
your total body
strength, endurance, core stability, posture and body
awareness. When you first sit on a ball, it is natural to feel unstable and
maybe a bit uncomfortable. The best way to increase your comfort level is
to use the ball more. Use it more often and the faster you'll see better
balance, stronger core muscles, more self confidence and better body
When lifting weights, the fitness ball is a better choice than a
chair or bench because it forces you to balance while conducting these
weight training movements. You'll strengthen your body as a unit and see
better results, faster.


How to Buy Your First Fitness Ball

Fitness balls come in both metric and standard sizes. To determine your
correct size and a preliminary fit, look for height ranges on the box.
Before buying, have the ball inflated to the correct size (measured by a
tape) and perform the following test. First sit just slightly forward and
comfortably on the ball. With your feet 12 inches apart and flat on the
floor and knees at a 90 degree angle; check your knees to make sure they
are slightly higher than the hips. If they are, you have the right size. If
they are too high or too low it means you need the next larger or smaller
size ball.


Fitness Ball Workout Tips

Once you sit on the fitness ball and feel comfortably balanced, do not
place your hands on the ball again until you stand-up. Your lower body and
core want to do the balance work, not your hands. If you are correctly
positioned, you will be just forward of the top on the front 1/3 of the
ball. Sitting on the front third prevents you from falling backwards. By
sitting on the front 1/3, if you were to fall off (which is rare), you
would travel forward, right or left. Changing position on the ball starts
by repositioning your feet first. As you move your feet forward, back, left
or right, your body position will follow.


Once positioned on the ball, pick a spot on the wall in front of you to
avoid looking down at your feet or the floor. Looking forward improves
your ability to balance and allows you to watch the instructor if in a class.
Make sure to sit up straight and maintain good posture. Your breathing
pattern on the ball will generally be tied to any pushing, pulling or
turning activities you are doing.


Fitness Ball Exercises

There are many excellent exercises you can do on a fitness ball. Both for
safety and comfort, it's best to have your fitness professional or someone
knowledgeable with the ball with you the first few times. Here are several
ball fitness exercises listed in order of difficulty.


Beginner Balance

Sit on the forward top third of a correctly sized fitness ball with your
feet about 12 inches a part. While sticking your arms out to the side for
balance, move yourself forward by walking your feet away from the ball. Go
as far as you feel comfortable. Make sure to sit up straight. Now, walk
your feet back again until you reach the starting point. Try moving your
body left or right by walking your feet to the side. Again, go as far as
you feel comfortable. Return to the center and go the other direction next.
Remember to breathe and maintain good posture. Try this for about 5


Core Strengthener

Sit on the forward top third of a correctly sized fitness ball with your
feet about 12 inches a part. Stick your arms out to the side for balance
and then raise 1 leg off the floor about 1 inch. While breathing regularly,
try holding this position for 30 seconds. If you start to lose balance,
just return the foot to the floor and raise it again when you are steady.
Now try this for 30 seconds with the other foot up. Notice if one side
seems easier than the other.


Fitness Ball Bridge

Sit on the forward top third of a correctly sized fitness ball with your
feet about 12 inches a part. Stick your arms out for balance to the front
and slowly walk your feet forward as you lie down on the ball. You are
correctly positioned when your head is flat on the top of the ball. Keep
your hips up and back flat by pushing your bellybutton towards the ceiling.
Check your feet and make sure they are under your knees, hip width apart.
Breathe normally throughout the entire exercise as you hold for a count of
10. Return to the sitting position by pushing with your feet and using your
abdominal and back muscles to sit-up again.


Try these fitness ball exercises for a more dynamic workout. Check with
me for more information and guidance.

Contact us to discuss how Fresh Start Fit After 50 can help you strengthen
bones and improve energy and stamina; helping you to feel and look your best.
Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 to schedule your free Fresh Start
consultation. You can also email to


Enjoy the Health Benefits of Green Tea

An Ancient Health Drink
Tea is an ancient herbal drink discovered in 2700 B.C. by Emperor Shen
Nung. It's known for both stimulating qualities that come from the caffeine
and relaxing qualities resulting from the hot, aromatic liquid. Green tea
has been studied as a health enhancer showing to help prevent or improve
conditions such as heart disease, cancer, gum disease, skin aging and
weight loss. There are three major types of tea - black, green and white
(oolong) all differing in their effects on the health of your body.
Comparing the Caffeine in Tea and Coffee
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and temporarily wards
off drowsiness, restores alertness, increases concentration and enhances
the sense of taste and smell. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed
legal, psychoactive substance. In North America, 90% of adults consume
caffeine daily. Some caffeine is good for us but too much can leave us
nervous and make it hard to get a restful sleep.
Chemically, the caffeine in tea and coffee are identical. The amount of
caffeine varies in each cup depending on the type of tea, brewing methods
and leaf cut. Green tea has approximately 12 to 40 milligrams of caffeine
per cup. Various teas contain different amounts of caffeine with green tea
containing the least; about one-third less caffeine than black and
two-thirds less than oolong.
What Makes Tea Special?
The medicinal properties of tea are attributed to substances called
polyphenols. Polyphenols act as powerful antioxidants that can protect
your body from free radical damage. Free radicals are responsible for
inflammation and the tissue damage associated with arthritis, cancer and
heart disease. Green tea has more polyphenols than black tea (about 25% vs
4%). White tea is almost as rich in polyphenols as green tea but is
different in composition and less well studied. Green tea is known for its
abilities to fight both cancer and heart disease.
Tea and Your Heath
Numerous studies have shown tea polyphenols to have protective effects
against free radicals, cardiovascular damage, some cancers, infections and
toxins. Most of the direct studies of the effects of green tea have been
done in tissue culture (test tubes) and animal models. The majority of
human studies have been based on statistical correlations, i.e. the
researchers used statistics to link tea consumption and the incidence of
various diseases. The overall impression from the limited human clinical
trials is that tea (especially green and white) acts as a strong
antioxidant in your tissues, particularly the blood, and it also affects
the level and stickiness of LDL (low density cholesterol).
Skin Benefits of Green Tea
There have been a number of encouraging studies of green tea's beneficial
effects on the health of the skin. Topical green tea formulations can
reduce sun damage by acting as an antioxidant removing free radicals and
reducing inflammation in the skin. Some people use a green tea formula
under zinc oxide-based sunscreens. Zinc oxide blocks harmful UVA rays but
does not react with the skin or green tea (some chemical sunscreens can
react with green tea).
To learn more about the health and relaxation benefits of green tea go to: and click on About Tea.

Reducing stress is the key to health and long life. At any age, Fresh Start
provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve
your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start
consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    



Friday Night Weight Loss Seminar Series Continues March 27th 


Building a Successful Support Team
It is important to know how to build a solid personal and professional support team in
your quest for healthy weight loss. In this lecture we'll teach you how to surround
yourself with people who can help rather than hurt you chances for success. 
We'll also look at the importance of Fun Activity when it comes to improving your health
and waistline.


Fixing the Stress-Weight Gain Connection

Stress driven overeating is the number one reason you are carrying around extra

weight. Get stress under control and the extra pounds will just melt away.

This seminar helps change the way you look at your weight once and for all. I'll show

you how to reduce stress induced overeating while taking better care of yourself.

You'll learn an easier and more effective way to get active and eat healthier foods.

I'll prove to you how much easier it is to lose weight when you work with rather than

against your body. 

Big Fat Mistakes! seminar series helps you:

  • Look at the most common mistakes keeping you from dropping those pounds
  • Bust the weight loss and fitness myths that have you stuck at that same old weight
  • Use The Healthy Weight Wheel to create a more effective and healthy plan to lose the weight and keep it off for good

If you are not completely satisfied, we offer a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to loose except those extra inches around the waist. 


Cost: $15 per person or $25 per couple

Class Size: Limited to 20 people
Time: 6:30 to 8:00 pm

When:  March 27th and continuing on the last Friday of the month

Location: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. Herndon, VA

Please dress comfortably and bring water to drink.
For reservations or more information please contact:

Woody McMahon at Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc                   703-464-5171





Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
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) 2006-2009 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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