Skip to main content
Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

our twitterour facebook page linkdin

All Are Welcome!
Senior Discounts


Click Here
to read
my latest BLOG
on the Reston
RestonPatch Features
Posture Perfect!TM

Click Here to Read More>>

What People Are Saying About
Our Classes and Programs


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... 

More Testimonials>>>

The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                        May 1st 2013

  • Three Easy and Effective Ways to Reduce Your Stress
  • Practicing "Core" Essentials
  • Upcoming Events... Workshop June 1st Stress and Your Bones and Body
  • Osteoporosis Support News... Yoga Nidra and Safe Senior Yoga
  • Posture Perfect!TM  May 8th Free Demo Class

Feel Better... Live Better

Three Easy and Effective Ways to Reduce Your 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 related illnesses. 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 lives is the pace. So the next time you catch
yourself running from here to there and everywhere in between and
not making any time to rest, consider the negative effects you are
placing on 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

Stress and Your Body
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

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 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 only 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 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 that allows you to
move safely through many different directions and actions.

Training the Core
Training the core is best accomplished in the standing position. This 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
very helpful especially if you have back pain, osteoporosis, shoulder, hip
or knee problems.

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 also 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

Upcoming Events

Stress Workshop June 1st 10 to 12 Noon

Stop Stress From Damaging Your Bones and Body!
Join me as I help you explore the many facets of a healthy and effective
approach to reducing stress and improving your health. This informative, two hour
workshop will be held at Sequoia Health and Fitness at
483A Carlisle Drive,
Herndon, VA. The cost is just $39.

Stress can contribute to many health conditions in your body such as osteoporosis,
sleep troubles, high blood pressure, over-weight conditions, heart disease and
arthritis. Come and learn how, in a healthy and natural way, to reduce stress
and strengthen your bones and improve the health of your body.

My two hour workshop will help you understand:

  • How stress can negatively effect your bones and body
  • Ways to identify the events that create stress in your life
  • The stress/food connection and what you can do about it
  • How to change your reaction to stress and improve your health and happiness
  • Effective tools that you can use to neutralize the damaging effects of stress

Workshop space is limited to 8 people. For more information or to register for the
workshop please email Woody McMahon at
or call 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 May 8
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.

The FREE 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.


About this Newsletter

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:

To learn more about Posture Perfect!, please contact Woody McMahon:

You are receiving our free newsletter from this email

    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