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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                               March 15th 2016

  • When You Train, Don't Forget Your Brain!
  • Up and Coming Health and Fitness Events
  • March 17th Community Fall Prevention Screening Workshop
  • Video... Sara Meeks, PT Talks About The LivMD Benefits
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Gift Certificates

Feel Better... Live Better

When You Train, Don't Forget Your Brain!
by Woody McMahon 

Your Brain Needs Help as Well
Science has made many important discoveries in the field of fitness and conditioning. Unfortunately many of their cutting-edge findings are not being included in the typical exercise program. New findings surrounding brain health, exercise safety, balance and posture have all changed the look of the modern fitness program. Because falls, fractures and unhealthy brain changes are all on the rise, your exercise regimen wants to include activities that help cover all the bases. To get the most benefit for the time spent, it is best if your ex
ercise program prepares you for the greatest number of real life scenarios. We call these scenarios ADL's (Activities of Daily Living).

Your Body and Brain Both Like Variety
Your muscles
and brain adapt very quickly to repeated movement patterns and postures. Learning something new is an excellent way to stimulate muscle and brain cells. Instead of the old-style stationary exercises, learning multiple movement patterns keeps you safer and injury free during daily activities. Adding exercises that stimulate your brain and balance helps keep you from falling and boosts coordination during ADL's.  Engaging your brain as you exercise also helps form new connections improving memory and thinking ability.

Transition From "Old Style" to Cutting-Edge
"Old style" fitness is what you see happening in health clubs and YMCA's all over this area. People standing on treadmills and sitting on bikes getting their cardiovascular training and then going to lift weights using seated exercise machines is what we call "Old Style" fitness. These programs lack balance training, flexibility, real world cardiovascular stimulation and brain training activities. This style of conditioning has been used for over 50 years with limited results.  

Here are four simple suggestions to maximize your exercise benefits for both your brain and body and bring your exercise program into the 21st century. These changes will also make your new program safer, more appropriate and twice as effective.

Suggestion 1: Use Movement Based Exercise Sequences

Seated exercise machines place unsafe loads on your spine, rob you of balance training and restrict your range of muscular motion. Movement based exercises such as lunges, squats and dynamic warm-ups simulate real world activities in your daily life. You can improve strength, balance and coordination all at the same time. Movement based exercises are safer for your spine and provide better balance training as well.

Suggestion 2: Challenge Your Dynamic Balance Regularly
It is one thing to stand on one leg and practice your balance. But dynamic balance practice more closely simulates actual daily activities that include shopping, cleaning your house and walking to catch an airplane flight. Including dynamic balance activities in your exercise program increases both the mental and physical challenge of your workout. Balance is learned when you are young and it can deteriorate if not practiced regularly. Many people blame their lack of balance on age. But in truth,
sitting more, not practicing your balance and weak leg muscles are really more to blame. 

Suggestion 3: Use Balls and Paddle Drills to Enhance Your Brain Health
Using a simple ping pong paddle and ball or a practice tennis ball is all you need to light your brain on fire. Take the ping pong paddle and ball and see if you can balance the ball on the paddle. Start palm up for 2 to 3 minutes and then try palm down. Next bounce the ping pong ball on the paddle into the air 10 times and then stop the ball on the paddle without touching the ball with your other hand. Again try this activity for 2 to 3 minutes.

Suggestion 4: Try a Brain Games Sport
You don't need to be an athlete to try a brain games sport such as ping pong, Pickleball or tennis. Your brain needs just as much physical stimulation as the rest of your body to make sure that the signals it sends to your muscles are fast and accurate. Your brain is not only a thinking organ but orchestrates your balance, coordination and movement patterns on a daily basis. Training your brain while you train your body is the "smart" way to workout.

Do You Have a Modern Fitness Program? A stronger body, better balance and a healthier brain means a more confident you that can go out and have more fun. If you need additional suggestions and advice on modernizing your health and fitness program, contact me for a no cost Strategy Session at 703-628-2880 or email to We can figure this out together and get you into a cutting-edge fitness program today.

March 17th Fall Prevention Workshop and Screening at Congregation Beth Emeth...

Fall Screening and Prevention Program! 

Thursday March 17th is our first community fall prevention workshop and screening at Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon. Workshop and screening times are at 1 pm and 6:30 pm at Congregation Beth Emeth. All educational workshops and screening events are free and open to the general public. Continuing fall prevention classes will be offered at a nominal charge. For more information please contact Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to

To register go to

We are seeking additional community Fall Prevention partners in the Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties. Please contact me for more information.

A Commitment to Fall Prevention
At Sequoia Health we are committed to helping our clients and the community prevent falls and fractures. Problems with your balance can occur at any age and generally develop slowly over time. Better balance and a stronger body are THE KEYS to preventing falls, fractures and improving the quality of your life. To read more about our fall prevention program and testing go to

Virginia Fall Prevention Coalition
We have joined the Virginia Fall Prevention Coalition that is a part of a national Falls Free initiative started in 2006 by the NCOA. As a part of the coalition, we will offer free balance testing at our office in Herndon and at selected partner sites throughout Northern Virginia. We will also hold regular falls prevention workshops and balance classes to help people reduce their fear of falling, enhance their balance and increase the quality of their lives. Call for more information about becoming a partner site.

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance
We are offering one of the best falls prevention programs in the world. What makes this program so unique is that it has been shown through scientific and clinical research papers to reduce the frequency of falls by over 50%. Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance modifies eight traditional Tai Chi movements and creates a unique, therapeutic balance system. The movements and activities integrate motor, sensory and cognitive components to improve postural control, balance, gait and enhance performance of daily functional tasks and mobility for older adults. The classes are especially helpful for those who have movement and cognitive impairments and balance challenges such as Parkinson's and Alzheimers's disease.

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance is a 2 hour a week, 24 week program. It has the potential to prevent and manage various diseases by improving balance, circulation, coordination, confidence, well-being and quality of life in middle-aged and older adults. It is a great addition to the CDC recommended goal of participating in 150 minutes of regular exercise per week.

To introduce as many people as possible to thos wonderful program, I am offering FREE introductory classes for the Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance functional therapy program. 

For more information please contact Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or by email to

Up and Coming Events

Free Weights Friday (FWF)... Fridays at 10 am
Free Weight Friday is a beginner, small group training class that offers a complete, functional whole body strengthening program in a comfortable studio environment. FWF is an ongoing class that blends dumbbells and medicine balls, whole body movements, dynamic warm-up, balance activities, stretching and brain exercises all in one. FWF incorporates the latest and safest techniques to help improve bone health, sports performance, cardiovascular fitness, balance and coordination. Call for more information and registrations.

Osteoporosis... There is Something You Can Do About It!
Workshop March 16th Lansdowne Woods 1-2 pm

Many people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia do not have a health, fitness and lifestyle program that will keep them fracture free. In this one hour workshop you will learn:

  • How important your balance is to reducing falls and fractures
  • The need for a spine and hip targeted exercise program to reduce fracture risk
  • By improving your posture you can reduce your fracture risk 24/7
  • Simple changes in your nutrition and water intake can affect your bones  
  • Starting a safe and effective exercise program can reduce your fracture risk by over 30%

Call for more information and registrations.

Falls & Fractures!
We Can Help You Stay Safe!

A Simple 10 Minute Test That Can Save Your Life!

Our Fall Prevention Screening offers three simple tests that can accurately predict your risk of falls, future mobility and balance that can lead to fractures and other injuries. These tests are a part of the CDC- STEADI Fall Prevention Program. Once you know your score and risk level, we'll help you create a falls prevention and balance program to reduce your risk of falling. You can practice these simple activities at home or join one of our Falls Prevention Classes.

To lean more go to Fall Prevention Screening and watch the videos that demonstrate the tests that we will use in your screening. For more information or to schedule your screening contact Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to   




Sara Meeks, PT Talks About the Benefits of the LivMD

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 $25. This is the perfect gift, the gift of health, to give to someone you love.



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) 2006-2016 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