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As far as feedback on the Posture Perfect!TM class goes, it has not only met my expectations, but exceeded them! There are several reasons I enjoy the class... 

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The Sequoia Advisor

       IN THIS ISSUE                                                               March 15th 2015

  • Prevent Injury by Avoiding These Exercises
  • Osteoporosis Medications... Are They Worth the Risk?
  • A Fantastic LivMD Testimonial
  • New Better Health and Fitness 101 Workshop Series...
    Register Now!
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Prevent Injury by Avoiding These Exercises
By Woody McMahon 

Older Bodies Need Special Care
Older bodies need special care when it involves starting or continuing
an exercise program. These bodies need to pay additional attention
to safety and effectiveness. In the exercise world, safety is often
sacrificed for bigger muscles, stronger abdominals and a smaller belly.
Even Yoga and Pilates, that are generally thought to be safe, have
certain movements that are better to avoid. The bottom line is this;

it is good to "exercise" a little caution when you begin or update
any exercise program. 

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. These
exercises improve balance and flexibility, increase circulation, alleviate
pain and promote usable strength. These health-based exercises are
more concerned with health benefits than sports performance.

Exercises That Can Cause You Harm
Equally important are the exercises that can actually cause injury and
even permanent physical problems. Staying away from these exercises
and substituting health-based ones that provide a healing effect is the
best bang for the buck. I
f you are in the age 50-plus category or, truth
be told, even younger, it best to avoid this group of exercises all together.

Here is a partial list of exercises to avoid:
Side Bends
Toe Touches
Yoga Cat Stretch
Unstabilized Twisting Motions
Seated Exercises With or Without Weights
Sit-ups, Crunches and Straight Leg Raises

Doing More Harm Than Good
All of the above named exercises place unhealthy pressures on the spine
dramatically increasing your risk for fractures and other back injuries.
Not only do these exercises raise your risk for injury, they also have very
little therapeutic value to keep your body strong and independent. Many
people incorrectly believe that they are exempt from my recommendations
because they either have been working out for many years or exercise
regularly. The truth is; all it takes is one spinal or hip fracture to change
your life.

Exercise Related Back Injury is Very Common
The number one exercise related injury is to the back. If you have ever
hurt your back exercising, here are the two main reasons. First, most
beginner exercise programs are performed seated. Sitting places extreme
pressures on the spine that can eventually result in injury. Second,
most people are given or select exercises that are too demanding for
their conditioning level. You are much better off avoiding seated
exercise and only selecting safer and more effective exercises.

Women Are More Affected Than Men
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 require special exercises and techniques to assist
in the successful management of the condition. Unless you have been
tested for a bone health problem, you might never know you have a
problem until it is too late.

Your Over Age 50 Goals Are Different
Another consideration is your goals. As you get older, your exercise goals
change as well. Balance, leg strength, pain relief and joint function all
become much more important than big biceps or six pack abs. As an
example, walking up and down stairs becomes a much more important
goal than the amount of weight you can bench press or curl. If planned
and implemented properly, your exercise program can be a valuable
asset and help you improve your activities of daily living.

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.

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!

Have you updated your exercise program lately? If you have not
updated your exercise program and made it safer and more effective;
you owe it to yourself to call right now. We can start with a no-
consultation and see if you are on the right track. If not, I can help you
get the most out of your exercise time. Give me a call 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 of 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.

By some accounts, up to 4 million alone in this country are now taking these

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 for 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."

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!TM
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

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.

New for 2015
Health and Fitness 101 Workshops

With the best of intentions and thinking that you are doing the right
thing, you set out to improve your heath and fitness. But, after a
month or two, you find yourself either
confused, stuck or giving-up
on your goals of becoming a fitter or healthier person.

Does this pattern sound familiar? All too often you, like many other
people, find yourself working with
information that is inaccurate
or has little value, out-dated techniques and a support team that is
inadequate to assist in the changes necessary to help you look and
feel your best.

To the rescue; the Health and Fitness 101 series of workshops.
Why do I call them 101? You might recall, in college, all the first year
courses were numbered 101. And this is exactly what we will do; skip
the fashionable trends, Dr. Oz "isms," fads, myths and gimmicks and
return to the basics. Just like the coach says to the team when they
are failing miserably, "boys, it's time to get back to fundamentals."

The workshops will help you
simplify the entire process, get you back
on track, dramatically increase your success rate and strengthen your
support system by surrounding yourself with like minded people.

These workshops cover a variety of topics and are hands-on, personalized
and limited to six participants (4 minimum). The workshops will continue as
an ongoing class for those who are interested. All the workshops will begin
in January. Dates and times to be announced.  Please contact me at
703.628.2880 or email me for more
information or to register.

Here is a Sampling of Topics:

Weight Training 101
Weight training has been shown to be one of the best ways to enhance
both physical and mental health. Weights are also an excellent companion
to your Posture Perfect!TM exercises. In this workshop you will learn weight
lifting safety, functional weight training techniques and body weight training
for maximum health and fitness benefits. Weight training has been shown

clinically to improve osteoporosis, back pain, multiple sclerosis,
Parkinson's disease, mental impairment and diabetes.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

De-Stress 101
Managing stress is the most overlooked way to improve your physical
and mental health. Stress unnecessarily contributes to many different health
In this workshop you will learn how to implement a variety of
stress reduction techniques such as focused breathing, mindful stretching,
meditation and visualization. If you are less stressed you will s
leep better,
have fewer headaches, experience less aches and pains and have better
memory and thinking skills.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

Healthy Weight 101
Losing weight is not as complicated as most people make it. But when you
make it complicated, it is very difficult to succeed. Excess weight gain is
closely tied to
stress eating and cannot be fixed by counting calories and
exercise alone. In this workshop you will learn how to effectively stop
stress eating, learn correct portion control and a body fat burn exercise

Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

Healthy Bones 101
Strengthening your bones is important to reducing your fracture risk and
maintaining a high quality of life.
Most people make the mistake of trying to
improve their bone health by diet and exercise alone. They overlook the four
important steps that are necessary for healthy bones. In this workshop,
you will learn about and how to implement the four important steps to
healthy bones. Stronger bones help reduce your fracture risk and allow
you to enjoy life more.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30

Flexibility 101
Practicing regular flexibility activities is the best way to improve circulation
while reducing stiffness, muscle and joint pain and fatigue. Improving circulation
also helps speed healing and reduce premature aging. In this workshop, you
will learn a simple 30 minute stretching program using the green stretching
strap. These straps were invented and are used by physical therapists all
over the world. Increasing your flexibility helps you feel healthier.
Length: 90 minutes Cost: $30 

In-Home Health-Based Exercise Instruction

For those of you who cannot get to my office or would prefer to work in the
privacy of your own home, I am offering all of my classes and instruction
at your home or office.
Please contact me at 703.628.2880 or email me
woody@sequoiahealth.comfor more information or to schedule a
no-cost telephone consultation.

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 towel, a bottle of water
and an exercise mat if you have one.

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.

LivMD Updates

I just received an amazing testimonial about the LivMD from a psychotherapist
in Rhode Island.
She read about the LivMD in my newsletter and then decided to buy
one and give it a try. Here is her testimonial in its entirety:

"Hi Woody,

I love it!  No back pain any longer and my last osteo scan stunned my doctor
showing the first improvement in #s ever.  She said it was a statistically
significant change.  I was using it twice a day 7 days a week.  My balance
has been much, much improved, energy higher, focus better, sleeping longer.
 I sent Marodyne a quick note letting them know the results even though
I hadn't been using it very long.  There were no other changes I had made
other than the platform.

My life became very sedentary a few months due to other health events.
Tests couldn't find anything and I became curious about lymph problems
that could be causing the extreme lower leg edema.  I looked at recent
research on the LivMD and saw that it can also help with that - hooray!
So, I'm back on the machine as of Tuesday - not as vigorous because my
feet hurt - hopefully that will improve.

No one I know personally owns one, but a few clients have reported their
gyms employ vibrating devices.  Their descriptions make me think they
are higher in vibration. They haven't reported any exercises that were
added to their routines by the gyms.   I put mine outside on nice days
(covered porch) and let people know they can come by on days when
I'm working and use it.  (I'm a psychotherapist with a home office.)

Thanks for the check-in - as ever I wish you were in Rhode Island
and value your newsletter.  If you ever make videos for purchase
of your programs, please let me know.  Are you thinking of exercises
people can do while ON the LivMD or in conjunction with its use?

Kyle Hopkins"

We are still looking for volunteers for our LivMD investigational study.
Please give Woody McMahon a call at 703.628.2880 or email to

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) 2006-2015 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.


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Healthy Weight 101
(See description below)
March 18th
2 to 3:30 pm
Cost: $30

Call Woody at
to reserve your
spot today!


    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