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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                                                       May 1st 2012

  • Three Easy Ways to Reduce Stress
  • Practicing "Core" Essentials
  • A Posture Perfect! Evening Class is Coming Soon
  • Elements of a Thorough Physical Exam for Your Pet
  • Be Bone Strong!TM Workshop at Dream Yoga Studio
  • Osteoporosis Support News

Feel Better... Live Better

Three Easy Ways to Reduce Stress
By Woody McMahon

You live in a fast paced world; a world your body or mind was never
designed to successfully handle. The relentless fast pace that just
about everyone is keeping contributes to the ever increasing number
of stress relatedillnesses. Heart disease, osteoporosis, sleep disorders,
weight gain and back pain can all be traced to a high stress lifestyle.

When asked, the number one attribute most people would like to
change about their live sis the pace. So the next time you catch
yourself running from here to there and everywhere in between,
consider the negative effects you are placingon your health.

The Damaging Effects of Too Much Cortisol
Prolonged "rat racing" causes cortisol, a stress hormone, to build-up in
the blood preventing your immune, cardiovascular, skeletal and
digestive systems from working properly. High cortisol levels can keep
you from losing or maintaining a healthy weight; give you low energy and
make you feel tired; raise your blood pressure; prevent your bones from
strengthening properly, make it difficult to sleep and can contribute to
depression. Over time, stress destroys your body's ability to function
properly and if left unchecked, can actually shorten your life. So what do
you do if you feel rushed and anxious all the time? What is the best way to
reduce stress and get more enjoyment out of your life? How do you stay
active but not too active?

Try these three practical steps that can greatly reduce
your stress levels and help you live a longer and healthier

Step 1 Simplify Your Lifestyle
If you find yourself running around in a tizzy and realize that you have
over scheduled your life, consider simplification. Approaching life like there
is no tomorrow leaves little time for enjoyment. If you want to live life
to the fullest, you must also enjoy it to the fullest. Being constantly
scheduled means just going through the motions and turning stressful
events into stressful days. The first step to simplification begins by writing
down your schedule and seeing if it looks reasonable. Is there time for a
healthy breakfast? What about a lunch where you actually sit down and
eat; not standing in front of your desk or doing something else at the
same time?

Have you left time for some fun physical activity; a nice walk with a friend
or maybe a stop at Sequoia Health and Fitness? Have someone else look at
your schedule and if they say, "Wow, that looks kind of busy" then it is best
if you go back and remove something from the day to slow things down.
Remember, the emphasis is on enjoyment and not on getting things done.

Step 2 Daily Meditation
If your mind is running at "100 miles a minute" then your body, even when
you are sitting still, will try to keep up. Constantly bombarding your body
with the "100 miles a minute" messages sends it into full cortisol
overdrive. True physical relaxation comes when the mind slows down and lets
your body relax. Daily meditation is a great way to quiet your mind, relax
your body and reduce cortisol levels to improve how you look and feel. In
just 5 minutes a day, you can start a good meditation habit. Here's how.

Find a quiet spot and then sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat
on the floor. Close your eyes and allow your mind to get calm and slow
down. If just closing your eyes doesn't work, you can concentrate on a
candle flame or your breathing as a way to center your attention. A great
little book to help you is called "Meditation: A Beginner's Guide" by
Charlotte Parnell.

Step 3 Make Time to Get Physically Active
When it comes to activity, the old saying "different strokes for different
folks" comes to mind. Don't be tricked by the myth that there is only one
right activity. Forget the "more reps for toning" or "the fat burning
misinformation as well. The key to reducing stress is to find enjoyable
activities and then stick with them. You can dance, ride a bike, chase your
dog or kid, lift some weights at the health club or swim a few laps.

The bottom line; find something that is fun; something you like to do,
something you will keep doing. It's not important if you're any good at it.
In other words, don't let perfectionism or what other people might think
stand in the way of having some fun with your friends.

If you adopt and practice these three stress reduction tools, your life
will be less stressful and a whole lot more fun.


Would you like to reduce stress and improve your health but don't
know where to start?
I provide several easy to follow programs that can
help reduce your stress while improving your bone health, posture,
balance and strength. Contact me anytime for a no cost consultation at
703-628-2880 or email to

More Effective Ways to Strengthen Your Core
by Woody McMahon

Core Function
Your core is a group of important muscles whose main job is to stabilize
your spine, pelvis and trunk when you are moving during work or play. The
core muscles are also responsible for helping with good posture allowing you
to sit and stand-up straight with less effort. When you say core, most people
think about the abdominal muscles. But in reality, there are many more
muscles involved than just the abdominal group. The muscles of the lower
back, pelvis and diaphragm also play an important role in spinal

Core Important to Posture
Without your core muscles, your body would be too flexible and unable to
hold itself upright even making walking a challenge. It would be impossible
to lift or move during work or play because your spine would want to fold
right in half. A healthy, natural posture would be nearly unattainable
because your lower and upper body could not work effectively together.
The core provides the necessary body stabilization and connection
allowing you to move safely through many different directions and actions.

Training the Core
Training the core is best accomplished in the standing position; not by
performing sit-ups, crunches or leg lifts. Standing is the position that you
will commonly use when lifting and moving during work and play. Any
exercises performed while standing will, by their nature, help strengthen
your core. For certain people, especially if standing is painful or balance
is an issue, core strengthening while lying down is also beneficial.
A combination of standing and lying down core strengthening is important
especially if you have back pain, osteoporosis, shoulder, hip or knee

Suggested Core Exercises

Try adding these three core exercise to your fitness program
and see how much stronger and more stable you feel.

1. Abdominal Breathing: This is one of the most overlooked core
exercises in all of fitness training. Abdominal breathing, or belly breathing
as it is sometimes called, helps to strengthen your diaphragm which is
an important core stabilization muscle. Start by lying on your back
with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet flat on the floor.

Start your next breath by pushing your belly button towards the ceiling
as you breathe in. Keep your chest quiet as you breathe. Hold the breath
for a two count and then slowly release the air from your lungs.

2. Standing Row: This is great exercise that is performed standing and
really works the entire body including the core. You can perform this
exercise with a pulley machine or some exercise bands. Facing the machine,
stand with your knees bent, back straight and head up. Slowly pull the weight
towards your chest as you breathe out. As you pull, squeeze your abdominal
and gluteal (butt) muscles. The squeezing action will help to both
strengthen your core muscles as well as increase the safety of the exercise
by stabilizing your spine and pelvis.

3. Walking Lunge and Press: The lunge is an exaggerated stepping
motion that forces the core muscles to work harder just to maintain your
upright posture. Adding the press to the lunge makes your upper and lower
body work as a team creating both a balance and a lifting challenge. Take one
dumbbell and place it at ear level. Then take a bigger than normal step
forward keeping your knees slightly bent, back straight and head up.

Once you are balanced, breathe out and press the weight above your head
keeping the elbow slightly bent. Return the weight to the ear level and take
your next step forward with the opposite foot. Repeat 6 to 8 times with first
one arm and then the other. These exercises will stimulate not only the core
but your whole body. Add them to your current workout and watch your
balance and stability improve.

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel what it is like to be
a part of the health solution rather than a health burden. If you need
additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email or

call me for a no cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or email to

Posture Perfect!TM Evening Class

A New Posture Perfect!TM Evening Class is Coming Soon
A new evening class is coming soon. 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 that 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!"

You can read more about Posture Perfect!TM at:

Pets and People 

Elements of a Thorough Physical Exam for Your Pet
By Nancy Kay, DVM

Have you ever gone to the doctor and realized after
the visit that
those healing hands never actually touched your body?
C'mon now, that's not okay! Nor is it okay for your veterinarian to
skimp when it comes to examining your pet. In veterinary school,
we are taught to perform a thorough physical examination on each
and every patient. It would be a travesty to miss a new heart
murmur or enlarged lymph node on a patient that presented
for limping. The sooner abnormalities are detected the more
likely we are to gain an upper

Listed below are the elements of a thorough physical examination for
your dog or cat. Bear in mind, it takes no more than a minute or two
for a seasoned vet to competently complete the following (by the way,
it helps if you are not talking when the stethoscope is being used!):

  • Assessment of overall alertness and appearance
  • Evaluation of gait
  • Evaluation of the skin and haircoat
  • Measurement of body weight, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate,
    and capillary refill time (the time it takes for the gum line to become pink
    after it has been blanched by finger pressure)
  • Examination of the eyes, ears, nose, and oral cavity
  • Palpation of lymph nodes
  • Palpation of the thyroid gland (specific for cats)
  • Auscultation of the heart and lungs (listening with a stethoscope) on
    both sides of the chest
  • Palpitation of the abdomen
  • Rectal examination (specific for dogs that are middle aged and older)

Vets perform physical exams differently in terms of order of events.
No matter in the least as long as everything is included. And please
remember, such thorough exams are not to be reserved for only the
annual office visit. If your kitty is vomiting or your dog has an ear
infection, you should expect the whole shebang (although your dog or
cat would probably prefer a mini-exam).

(c) Ingrid King 2012

Ingrid King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. She is
the author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. Her

online magazine News for You and Your Pet goes out to subscribers around
the world. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, has been called "educational cat
nip for the cat lover" and is a comprehensive resource for conscious

living, health and happiness for pets and their people. For more
information about Ingrid, please visit
Workshops at Dream Yoga Studio
Come and Join us for our First Summer Workshop at
Dream Yoga Studio

Be Bone Strong!TM Osteoporosis Workshop June 2nd from 1 to 3 pm
This 2-hour workshop offers a complete, personalized bone and joint
health program that nicely compliments your yoga practice, if you have
Be Bone Strong!TM goes beyond just increasing bone density, and clearly
and easily teaches you a step-by- step process to improve bone health.
Some of the topics that will be covered are eating for a stronger body,
stress and bone health, vitamin D essentials, reducing inflammation for
healthier bones, and bone health exercise strategies. Based on the
principals and teaching of the Meeks MethodTM; this is the only program of
it's kind in the Northern, VA area. This workshop is a good introduction
to Woody's 4-Week
Be Bone Strong!TM Mini-Course that starts at
Dream Yoga on June 6th at 11:45.

If you have questions or need more information please contact
me at or call 703.628.2880.

Why The Workshop Series?
Luann Fulbright, the owner of Dream Yoga Studio asked me to offer
three of my signature Fresh Start!TM programs in workshop format.
The workshops bring you practical and valuable information to help
kick-start your health and fitness program for the New Year.
Each workshop is followed by an 8 week series of continuation
classes. These classes help
you learn new skills and get the support
need to more easily accomplish your health and fitness goals
for 2012.

Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center is located in McLean, VA.
Luann and I thought that my Be Bone Strong!TM, Healthy Weight!TM
and Posture Perfect!TM programs would fit nicely with her ever
expanding wellness vision and class offerings. You can learn
more about the interesting and diverse offerings at Dream Yoga

and Wellness Studio at

Osteoporosis Support News

2012 Osteoporosis Resource Center's (ORC) 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

NEW Yoga for Boomers & Beyond
When: Mondays 6:45 to 8 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $154 for one class a week for 7 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Gentle Yoga for Seniors
When: Mondays 11:45 to 12:30 PM or Tue 11:45 to 12:30 AM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $48 for one class a week for 6 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Posture Perfect!TM
Level 1 Class

When: Thursday 6:30 to 7:30 PM for 8 Weeks
Where: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483 Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $160 for one class a week for 8 weeks
Email 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 unique 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
Beginners: 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.

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) 2006-2012 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.

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    Middleburg, VA 20118