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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                June 1, 2009 
  • The Functional Five
  • Practice Safe Sun 
  • 10 Steps to Deal With the Loss of Your Pet
  • Osteoporosis Support Group Info

Feel Better... Live Better

The Functional Five 
By Woody McMahon

Save Time - Increase Benefits

Going to the health club is time well spent for your health. But some days
you just don't have 2 hours to dedicate to your workout. What do you do
then? Here are the 5 best whole body strengthening exercises when
you are short on time. In an effort to help prevent injury, make sure you
are capable of doing the exercises listed.

Getting Started
Start with an 8 to 10 minute warm-up prior to this one or any workout.
Proper stretching at the end keeps your body flexible and injury free.
Your muscles depend on good flexibility to improve strength. As always,
keep your strength training as functional as possible. Training your body
the way you use it in real life provides maximum muscular strength and
prevents injuries associated with multi-movement patterns.


1. Legs and Hips

Squats: To squat safely, place the bar across your shoulders (not your
neck) and keep your back straight, bending slightly at the hips through the
squatting motion. Keep your heels heavy and your head up to maintain good
form. Dumbbells can also be used either hanging at your sides or placed at
shoulder height. These variations are more advanced and should only be
tried after the basic squatting motion is mastered. Proper form is crucial
with this exercise. Breathe in as you go down and out as you come up.


2. Balance

One Leg Balance: Stand erect, back straight and head up. Lift one leg and
try to stand quietly as you balance. Keep your standing leg knee slightly
bent. Do not use your arms to stabilize unless you cannot balance without
them. If you find this easy, place a dumbbell or medicine ball in your
hands. With your standing knee straight, take the dumbbell try and touch
your knee and even your toes if you feel adventurous. Breathe out as you
come up from your knee or toe touch.


3. Core

Roman Twists: Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent, heels on the
floor. Hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands. With your arms and
back straight and knees in a V, slowly twist to the left and then return to
center. Now turn to the right with the same slow motion and back to center.
Remember to breathe out each time you turn left and right. Make it more
challenging by lifting your feet off the floor.


4. Whole Body Strength and Cardio

Star Jumps or Jump Rope: Stand with your feet shoulder apart and hands at
your sides. Jump into the air and as you do, spread your legs and arms
apart so that your body looks like a star. If this seems too much, grab a
jump rope and do several 1 to 2 minute segments or until you feel like you
need to stop. Breathe regularly. Do not hold your breath.


5. Whole Body Strength and Endurance

Walkouts on a Fitness Ball: Start by lying face down on a fitness ball and
with your legs straight and hands in a push-up position. Walk forward on
your hands, keeping your legs straight, until your toes touch the back of
the ball. Keep your back straight and head down looking at the floor.
Return to the starting position and repeat. If you want a little more
challenge, when your feet reach the back of the ball, tuck your knees to
your chest. Breathe out each time you walk out onto the ball.

Eating the right balance of foods can give you many of the antioxidnats you need
for good health. Contact us to discuss how Fresh Start can help you, in a healthy way,
learn to make better food choices. You will improve energy and stamina while feeling and
looking your best. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 to schedule your free Fresh Start
consultation. You can also email to



Practice Safe Sun 
By Woody McMahon 

Good Sun, Bad Sun

In recent times, the sun has been vilified by most doctors, especially
dermatologists. The current message is "cover-up or die". Yes, the sun's rays
do contain ultraviolet radiation that can damage your skin and even cause
cancer with over-exposure. But with careful sun exposure, the benefits 
outweigh the potential risks. That is why the sun has been used as a
therapeutic tool since the times of the ancient Greeks. The sun provides
multiple benefits 
that we badly need.


Ultraviolet Light is Your Friend

For our discussion, there are basically two types of ultraviolet light,
ultraviolet A and B. Ultraviolet A (UVA) contributes to tanning but also
carries with it the potential for premature aging and wrinkles. Ultraviolet
B (UVB), known as the "tanning" ray, is best known for producing vitamin D
but it can also cause sunburns. If you get too much, both types of UV light
can severely damage your skin and lead to skin cancer. UV rays are more
intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and closer to the equator.
At latitudes above 34, UV light is almost non-existent in the winter months,
due to the angle of the sun.


Solar Phobes

The fear of the sun that has been perpetuated by special interests is
unwarranted. Dr. Robert S. Stern, chair of the Department of Dermatology at
Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, calls people who
avoid the sun at all costs "solar-phobes." These people are so concerned
about getting skin cancer that they stay inside or cover every bit of their
skin. Dr. Stern says "they cover up like they were going out into the
Arabian Desert. The marketing of ultra-blocking sunscreens and special
sun-protective clothing plays into these fears."


Sun Therapy

When UVB light from the sun strikes your skin it begins a cascade of
chemical reactions leading to vitamin D production. We are now learning
that vitamin D is required by every single cell in your body to maintain
health. Just like everything else, some sun exposure is good; a lot can
detrimental. Research has found that 10 to 15 minutes of full body sun
exposure every other day
is adequate to produce enough vitamin D for good
health. Experts are now learning that a lack of sun exposure may be more
dangerous than too much. Can you get too much sun? Absolutely yes! Past the
10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure is when the damage to your skin begins.
That is when covering-up or getting out of the sun is your best option for
skin protection.


Multiple Health Benefits

There is a well-documented relationship between low vitamin D levels and
poor bone health. Now links to low vitamin D levels have been made to
almost every major cancer. Getting some sun may also shake off the
wintertime blues. Research suggests that light hitting your skin, not just
your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Moreover, being
outside golfing, gardening, and engaging in other types of physical activity
is good for your health. In addition, UVB irradiance and vitamin D also provide
important health benefits in preventing or ameliorating such conditions or
diseases as bone diseases and muscle pain, multiple sclerosis, type 1 and
type 2 diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.


Where is the Logic?

Your body was clearly designed to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.
Why? There are no naturally occurring sources of vitamin D in the foods
you eat. If there were, adequate levels of vitamin D could be obtained from
your diet. This is impossible to do. Supplements can be used to improve
vitamin D levels but because of the substantial amounts required, a blood test
is necessary to prevent overdosing. When sun exposure is used to increase 
vitamin D levels, your skin has a natural protection mechanism that stops
production preventing overdosing. Just remember to practice safe sun and
your body and health will thank you for it.

A strong immune system is the key to excellent health. Building a strong immunity is
just one of 8 healthy lifestyle habits we teach. We provide the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best.
For a free consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    

Pets and People  

10 Steps to Deal with the Loss of Your Pet

By Dawn Kairns


Sometimes special animals come into our lives and touch our hearts in a
way that leaves us forever changed. A chapter ends as the familiar road you
traveled together comes to an abrupt and. You are in uncharted territory
without a map. Lost. The world as you know it may look totally different.

Not everyone realizes that the bond between humans and their pets can be
deeper than with a loved human. Some people often spend more time with
their pets than they do with family members. Pets don't judge or hurt us
the way humans can. The loss of their constant, unconditional love can
leave us empty.

There is no best way to get through the loss of a beloved pet. The way
through the grief process is different for everyone. Here are some things I
found helpful when I lost Maggie, my beautiful black lab with whom I had
the most precious of relationships:

1. Hold a ritual after your pet dies and invite friends and family who
knew and loved your pet. Share stories about how your beloved animal
enriched your life and other lives she touched. You may also want to create
a memorial altar with a candle and your pets' photo, along with other items
that belong to or remind you of your pet, such as her dish, special toys,
and a lock of her hair.

2. Recognize that the grief of pet loss can be exceptionally profound and
honor that by giving your grief the space to be. Allow your tears.
Set-aside quiet time each day where you can decrease the demands of the
outside world. Write in your journal. Allow your pain to express and

3. Let in the compassion and understanding of supportive family friends
and strangers.

4. Don't be surprised if some family members or friends are not as
supportive as you might expect them to be
. Allow yourself to take time off
from friends who don't understand the depth of your grief, who try to
downplay your loss because it's an animal rather than a human, or who have
unrealistic expectations of you at this very vulnerable time.

5. Let people know if you need to talk about your lost pet. Many
well-intended people may try to change the subject to make it easier on you
and you may need to let them know that it's okay to talk about it.

6. Find a pet loss support group locally or online and make use of the
national pet loss support hotlines.

7. Nurture yourself. Get a massage. Take walks that nature. Meditate. Have
lunch with a supportive friend. Do what feeds your soul.

8. Know yourself well enough to know if getting a new pet at this time
will help or hinder
your grief process. Some people do fine jumping right
in with a new dog or cat. Others may resent having a new animal in the
house too quickly.

9. Help animals at your local humane society or get involved with the many
breed rescue groups in your area. It may help ease your pain if you allow
your love from your lost animal to become part of a bigger purpose, such as
assisting and caring for homeless animals.

10. Try new things to discover more of yourself; those creative endeavors
you have often considered but have never tried.

We all have to face grief and loss eventually. It's one of the great
equalizers in life. Allow your pet's death to ripple the foundation of who
you are, as death often does. When we experienced loss, it may be a good
time to let go of what no longer fits in your life; what isn't you. In my
case, after I lost Maggie, I changed both personally and professionally. I
hope my steps on the road from loss to healing can now benefit you in your
time of loss. As devastating as the loss of our beloved animals can be,
this time can also be an excellent opportunity to examine our purpose in
life and find new meaning.

Dawn Kairns is the author of "Maggie: The Dog Who Changed my Life:  A Love Story".
A family nurse practitioner turned writer, Dawn Kairns has also published in
nursing journals, American Fitness magazine, The Daily Camera, and
Real Travel Adventures Magazine. A lifelong animal lover, her passion
for dogs led her to volunteer with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley,
Front Range Labrador Rescue, and Freedom Service Dogs. In the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina, Dawn volunteered with the Humane Society of the United
States in Mississippi, assisting the displaced Katrina dogs. Her own dog
and cat are rescues.

Help for Brittle Bones... Be Bone Strong!

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Osteoporosis Support Group Lecture June 9th @ 6 pm 


Prevention is Easier Than Cure With Osteoporosis

Your lifestyle makes a substantial and important contribution when it comes to preventing and treating osteoporosis or osteopenia. Our monthly lecture on osteoporosis will help you: 

  • Look at the most common lifestyle mistakes preventing your bones from getting strong
  • Discuss the "Big 5" healthy lifestyle habits that improve bone quality
  • Demonstrate safe and effective exercises to improve bone quality and strength

Cost: Free

Time: 6:00 to 7:00 pm

When:  June 9th 

Where: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. Herndon, VA

Please dress comfortably and bring some water to drink.
For reservations or more information please contact:

Woody McMahon at Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc   703-464-5171


Looking for Support Group Sponsors and Volunteers!

Give us a call to help....

New Fresh Start Program... Be Bone Strong!

We have just introduced a new Fresh Start program called Be Bone Strong! Another
in our series of healthy lifestyle programs, Be Bone Strong! is the only complete osteoporosis prevention and repair program. Unlike other programs that just
focus on medications, calcium and vitamin D to increase bone density, Be Bone Strong! works to modify ALL the lifestyle factors that lead to poor bone quality.
Included in the program are:

The "Big 5 for Healthy Bones"

1. Dietary changes that balance protein with fruit and vegetable intake.
Fruits and veggies contain greater amounts of water, minerals and antioxidants with generally lesser amounts of animal protein to reduce total body inflammation.
2. Calculate optimum water intake for maximum hydration. Water is very important
in helping the kidneys regulate pH and detoxify the body.
3. Increase daily stress reduction activities. This helps lower cortisol and homocystein
levels while reducing calcium loss.
4. Establish year round vitamin D3 levels in the 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L).
This should be confirmed by regular 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing.
5. Safe and sufficient weight bearing exercise to stimulate muscle growth and balance. This is essential for increasing bone quality and preventing falls.


Test your bone knowledge and take our Strong Bones Healthy Body Quiz at


To learn more about Be Bone Strong! or to schedule a Free consultation, please go to and click on Be Bone Strong!.

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

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) 2006-2009 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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