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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                                                               April 15th 2014

  • Machines vs. Dumbbells... Which is Better for You?
  • Eat to Increase Strength, Energy and Stamina
  • Coming Soon LivMD/Posture Perfect!TM Program
  • Unity of Fairfax Health Fair Saturday May 17th  1 to 5pm
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Machines vs. Dumbbells... Which is Better for You?
By Woody McMahon

Over Age 50 Training
As your body ages, certain abilities change. The two abilities that change the most are leg strength and balance. If you are over age 50, the best way to improve these two abilities is to switch from machine style training to working with dumbbells. Dumbbells increase both strength and balance improving your ability to stand, lift, sit and negotiate stairs. Balance and strength are both crucial for preventing falls and fractures.

Get Out of Those Machines
Machine based training is actually unsafe for your spine and also robs you of important balance and coordination benefits. Why are machines so popular at fitness centers if they really offer few benefits? Machines are good for the owners because they are easy to teach and require little or no supervision. What you gain in simplicity you lose in safety and effectiveness. Not a good trade-off.

Less Safe and Lack Effectiveness
At any age, the sitting position places excessive pressure on your spine that can lead to back pain, compression fractures and ruptured discs. Adding the increased pressure to your spine that exercise creates only increases the likelihood of back related injury. Seated exercise also robs you of the opportunity to practice your balance, coordination and lower body conditioning. Standing is the preferred position for over age 50 fitness training.

Dumbbells to the Rescue
Dumbbells are an easy and effective way to increase the safety and effectiveness of your exercise time. Especially when performed in the standing position, dumbbells have the ability to strengthen leg, pelvic and spinal muscles, improve balance mechanisms and act as a weight bearing activity while creating healthy bones all at the same time.

The Perfect Post-Rehabilitation Training Tool
The over age 50 body usually has a few joints that are not working up to full ability. As a post-rehabilitation tool, dumbbells are excellent in providing strength in many directions of movement. If one side of the body is weaker than the other, then the weight of the dumbbell can be matched perfectly to the strength imbalance. As your joints strengthen, dumbbells can easily be incorporated into the exercises you perform regularly.

Get Started With Dumbbells Today
There are a wide assortment of shapes and sizes of dumbbells to use in your fitness program. Most fitness experts consider the dumbbell to be a superior training tool because of its ability to impart total body strength, balance, stamina and full joint range of motion. These qualities are something that most other forms of fitness equipment cannot offer. Let's look at why, especially if you are over age 50, you want to use dumbbells as your primary training tool of choice.

Benefit #1 Full Range of Joint Motion
Dumbbells are non-restrictive when it comes to joint range of motion. As an example, if you have a shoulder problem, a dumbbell can be lifted in the "restricted motion" still benefiting rehabilitation and recovery from the injury. Very light or ultra light weights can be used to regain strength until the shoulder becomes stronger and capable of a full range of motion.

Benefit #2 Better Balance Stimulation
Dumbbells, by their very nature, force you to control and balance your body as you lift. Incorporating dumbbells with other body motions such as single leg balances, lunges, standing one leg presses and even BOSU activities challenge your balance system like no other piece of fitness equipment.

Benefit #3 Asymmetrical (One Sided) Training
A single dumbbell is an effective core strengthener especially when used in the overhead or extended position. Asymmetrical training better stimulates the muscles that are involved in "real world" lifting and carrying and is important for any complete fitness program. It also adds an important stabilization component to all fitness activities by strengthening joints and reducing injury.

Benefit #4 Remove the Dominant Side
Everyone is stronger on one side of their body than the other. Dumbbells allow for independent strengthening of the weaker side keeping the stronger side out of the lifting motion. A more balanced muscular system allows you to perform better at all activities and sports and reduces the potential for injury to the weaker side.

Would you like to improve your strength but don't know where to start?
I provide an easy to follow program called Fit After 50!TM that helps improve your strength, balance, bone health and posture
while reducing back, hip, neck and knee pain. Contact me for a No Cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

Eat to Increase Strength, Energy and Stamina
by Woody McMahon

You Are What You Eat
The foods that you eat can make all the difference in how you feel and perform. To stay strong and balanced, your brain requires regular and consistent amounts of glucose to work effectively. Without this essential fuel, your thinking processes slow down and bodily functions like heart beat, breathing, blood pressure and nerve function all begin to stop working properly. Healthy foods help provide your brain with the glucose it needs to run effectively.

Healthier Eating Makes You Stronger
Poor eating habits can weaken your body and place unnecessary chemical stress on your body. Making healthier food choices feeds your brain, muscles and bones with the proper nutrients they need to keep you moving and enjoying life. When you exercise, your muscles and bones use these nutrients to build and repair. Taking the time to eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner provides the necessary protein that helps build strong bodies.

Better Food Means More Energy
Making better food choices helps your body run more efficiently leaving you with more energy for work and play. Foods that have been processed are usually less nutritious and contain higher amounts of calories, trans fats and chemicals while being lower in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Picking foods that work with rather than against your body helps your feel better.

Many Aches and Pains Related to Chemicals in Your Food
Many times aches and pains are the result of unhealthy eating habits. Chemicals in the food increase the stress on your body as it works to remove these unhealthy substances from your system. The increased chemical stress shows up as aches and pains. Fruits and vegetables have an almost magical way of improving muscle and joint pain. How do they do this? Fruits and vegetables contain much higher levels of water, vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. That is why your mom told you te eat your fruits and vegetables.

Regular Eating Intervals Improves Your Stamina
Your brain needs regular amounts of energy from glucose to perform at peak levels. Sporadic eating or skipping meals altogether places large amounts of stress on your digestive system, pancreas, liver and brain. Meals at uneven intervals make your body think it is starving, forcing a slowing in metabolism. Skipped meals also means your muscles will be low on vital nutrients making it difficult for them to perform over long periods of time.

A few simple eating changes can go a long way to helping make your body feel stronger while giving you more energy and stamina.

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days.
Are you having trouble eating sensibly? Does all the confusing information on eating and lifestyle just make things worse? If you need personalized suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email or call me 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.

Low Intensity Vibration (LIV)
Comes to Sequoia Health

The Marodyne LivMD is a machine that looks much like a bathroom
scale. Standing on it, the LivMD provides your body with a low intensity,
low amplitude vibration. The special vibration frequency has been
shown to provide a safe stimulation benefit on bone, muscle and
nerve cells.
Several years ago Marodyne and I were discussing
bringing one of the LivMD machines to my office. It looks like that
day has finally arrived.

The initial research on the LivMD is promising for osteopenia, back
pain and osteoporosis as well as improved stability and balance. A recent
study of 710 adults over age 60 said this," LMHFV (LIV) is effective in
fall prevention with improved muscle strength and balancing ability
in the elderly. We recommend its use in the community as an
effective fall prevention program and to decrease related injuries."

Ian Cutts, the Marodyne representative, is coming to my office on
Friday April 25th to discuss bringing an LivMD to Sequoia for client use.
He also wants to talk about using my Posture Perfect!TM program as
an exercise companion to help increase the benefits derived from
using the machine. Stay tuned as events unfold and for more
information. Click Here to learn more from the official Marodyne

Upcoming Events and News

The Art of Wellness: A Health and Healing Fair
Sigrid and I have been asked to participate in the Unity of Fairfax
health and healing fair in May.

Here is the event information:
Unity of Fairfax Health and Wellness Fair

2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA 22124

Saturday May 17th, 2014 from 1 to 5pm


There's No Place Like Home
Pat Williams and I will offer our how to stay in your own home workshop.
Pat and I will provide valuable
information and answer your questions
on how to safely and comfortably stay in your own home. The exact
time for our workshop is still to be determined.

Workshop #2
Osteoporosis... There is Something You Can Do About It!

I will also be offering a 45 minute demonstration and workshop covering
the many facets of improving your bone health. I will discuss the
importance of vitamin D, explore the stress-bone health connection
and review many other bone health topics. I will also show you some of
the health-based, bone buildiing exercises we practice in our
Posture Perfect!TM classes.

Come by our table where we will offer postural assessments, fitness program
consultations and much more. Hope to see you there.

There's No Place Like Home Workshop Series...

Our next regularly scheduled workshop is at:

Congregation Beth Emeth
12523 Lawyers Rd, Herndon, VA 20171

on August 26th, 2014 from 2 to 3pm

Pat Williams of GraceFul Care and I will
provide valuable
information and
answer your questions on how to safely
and comfortably stay in your own home.

Pat and I believe that your home is your castle and, for many
beneficial reasons, you want to stay there as long as possible.
Deciding to stay at home may be one of the biggest life changing
decisions you will ever make

Fortunately, we are here to help you plan and make good decisions
allowing you to stay in your own home for as long as you want

In our workshop we will discuss the many health and quality of life
benefits of staying in the comfort of your own home rather than
moving to a retirement facility. We will outline the logical and
important steps necessary to keep you in your home.

Just like we tell all of our clients, "You Can Stay, We Can Help!

Recent research has shed some interesting light on the darker side of
retirement home living. Everything from higher costs to the loss of
personal freedom and independence has been examined in these
recent reports. These reports have determined that living in a
retirement setting is not as easy or as glamorous as you might think.

Click Here to read more about our wonderful, new program.

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 2 towels, one face and one bath,
a bottle of water and an exercise mat if you have one.

I am offering in-home health-based exercise instruction for
those who cannot leave their home. Contact me to find out more!

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.

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 backaches 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. (All of these increase 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) 2006-2014 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