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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                        March 15th 2013

  • Exercises to Avoid For the Over Age 50 Crowd
  • Osteoporosis Medications... Are They Worth the Risk?
  • Upcoming Events... Osteoporosis Workshop April 25th
  • Osteoporosis Support News... Yoga Nidra and Safe Senior Yoga
  • Posture Perfect!TM  April 10th Free Demo Class

Feel Better... Live Better

Exercises to Avoid For the Over age 50 Crowd
By Woody McMahon 

Exercise Safety A Top Priority
In the exercise world, safety is often sacrificed for bigger biceps,
stronger abdominals and a smaller waist. In a younger persons world, that
might be OK. But if you are member of the over age 50 crowd, caution is
advised as you begin to get active or continue to pursue your current
exercise program. In other words, it is good to "exercise" a little
caution as you get more active and improve your health.

Exercises That Heal Your Body
Scientific research has shown that the right kind of exercise has a
strong ability to help heal your body and relax your mind. In many cases,
the healing effect is stronger than even the best medications for the
problem. Research also shows that after age 50, exercise safety is your
top priority.

Your Over Age 50 Goals Are Different
As you get older, your exercise goals change as well. Balance, leg
strength and joint function all become much more important than big biceps
or six pack abs. How well you can balance becomes much more important than
the amount of weight you can bench press or squat. Your exercise program
becomes more practical and designed to improve your activities of daily
living. Exercises will change to meet your more current health and fitness

Health Based Exercise Programs
Health based exercise programs can help you feel better and prevent your
body from becoming the bent over "poster older adult" you see in the
pictures. Once you begin to work with these specialized exercises, you
will feel changes in your body. Your exercise program will safely help
improve your posture, balance and strength while having a beneficial
effect on your bones, breathing, digestion, heart and memory.

Exercises That Can Cause You Harm
There are several exercises that "don't do your body any good," especially
if you are in the age 50-plus category. Truth be told, these exercise
movements don't serve younger bodies well either but youth are less apt
to listen to my story anyway.

Here is a partial list of exercises to avoid:

Side bends
Toe touches
Twisting motions
Seated exercises with weights
Sit-ups, crunches and straight leg raises

Doing More Harm Than Good
All of these exercises place unhealthy pressures on the spine,
dramatically increasing your risk for fractures and other back injury.
Most of them are easy to avoid because they do not provide essential
movements that help keep your body strong and independent. Many people
incorrectly believe they are exempt from my recommendations because they
either have been working out for many years or exercise regularly.
Not so I say.

Exercise Related Back Injury is Very Common
The number one injury at the health club is back related. There is a reason
for that. The back injury stat is directly related to the unreasonable demands
that many exercises place on your back. You are much better off avoiding
them and substituting something that is safer and more effective.

Women more than men must be careful to avoid these exercises because
of bone health issues. Osteoporosis and low bone mass (osteopenia) are
both conditions that can easily be worsened by the use of unhealthy
exercise practices. Unless you have been tested, you will never know you
have a problem.

So exercise is good "YES" but it is better to be safe than sorry when it
comes to your exercise program. Will you still be able to get a good
workout without all of these unsafe movements? Absolutely!


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

Osteoporosis Medications... Are They Worth the Risk?
by Woody McMahon 

Bone Medications Carry Risks
At some point in their lives, many women must decide if they are going to
take medications to try and increase their bone density. Usually this
occurs after a bone test called a DEXA. The DEXA test measures the density
of the bones in the hip and the spine giving a number that is referred to
as a DEXA score. If the score is low, (osteopenia or osteoporosis), then
your doctor may recommend medications to increase the score.

Osteoporosis and Bisphosphonate Therapy
Dr. Susan Ott, Professor of the Department of Medicine at the University
of Washington, Seattle is one of a handful or experts who presents a balanced
and conservative approach to using medications for the treatment of bone
health problems. She has
prepared an excellent research article entitled,
What is the Optimal Duration of Bisphosphonate Therapy? It is a clear
and concise discussion of the benefits and risks of the most common
class of osteoporosis medications called the bisphosphonates.

Fosomax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast
You may not recognize the medications by the name the bisphosphonates
but you certainly are familiar with Fosomax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast.
Dr. Ott says, "As with any drugs, bisphosphonates should not be used
indiscriminately. They are indicated for patients at high risk of fracture,
especially those with vertebral fractures or a hip bone density T score
lower than ??"2.5."

Are These Medications Being Overprescribed?
The answer to that question maybe unfortunately yes. Dr. Ott describes
the fact that these medications are being prescribed for many more
patients than they were first intended. These medications were
initially approved by the FDA for patients at high risk of fracture, especially
those with vertebral fractures or a hip bone density T score lower than ??"2.5.
Now many more women are taking the medications. By some accounts, up
to 4 million alone in this country.

What Are The Risks?
The risk associated with over-prescription is that these drugs can carry
serious side effects that include atypical femur fractures and jaw
osteonecrosis. Because of the way these medications work, long-term use
(over 5 years) tends to create bones that are denser but also
substantially more brittle. In some ways, extended use of the
bisphosphonates contributes to the very problem they are trying to solve.

Additional Highlights of the Report
"Reports of adverse effects with prolonged use have caused concern about
the long-term safety of this class of drugs. This is particularly
important because these drugs are retained in the skeleton longer than 10
years, because there are physiologic reasons why excessive
bisphosphonate-induced inhibition of bone turnover could be damaging, and
because many healthy postmenopausal women have been prescribed
bisphosphonates in the hope of preventing fractures that are not expected
to occur for 20 to 30 years."

"Another common misunderstanding is that the bone density increases
because the drugs are "building bone." After 3 years, the bone density in
the femur reaches a plateau. I have seen patients who were very worried
because their bone density was no longer increasing, and their physicians
did not realize that this is the expected pattern."

"A study of 50 women treated with bisphosphonates for 6.5 years found
that 33 percent had a mineralizing surface of zero. This means that
patients taking bisphosphonates are forming very little new bone, and one
third of them are not forming any new bone."

"But bisphosphonates may have long-term negative effects. One purpose of
bone remodeling is to refresh the bone and to repair the microscopic
damage that accumulates within any structure. Without remodeling, cracks
can accumulate. Because the development and repair of micro-cracks is
complex, it is difficult to predict what will happen with long-term
bisphosphonate use."

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

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 April 10
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 Nidra Relaxation and Meditation
When: Monday March 25 - 6:45P to 8P
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $20

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
When: Wednesday 12:00 to 1:00
PM and Thursday 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Where: Congregation Beth Emeth 12523
Lawyers Road, Herndon, VA 20171
Tuition: $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

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.

Advanced: 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