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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                                                               June 1st 2015

  • The Truth About Exercise and Your Weight
  • Food Label Sticker Shock
  • Volunteers Needed for the LivMD Investigational Study
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

The Truth About Exercise and Your Weight
By Woody McMahon

Ever wonder why losing weight seems so difficult? Read on to learn why!

Fact: You Can't "Work Off" Those Extra Pounds

For the longest time traditional exercise has been championed as one of the most important fat burning tools available and is frequently linked to "successful" weight loss stories. This misconception has left countless people spending endless hours trying to burn calories in an effort to lose weight. Unfortunately, your body and metabolism do not respond well to just an increase in activity. For the best long-term weight loss results, consider repositioning exercise as a health, not a fat burning tool.

Fact: You Can Eat Many More Calories Than You Burn
Here is a very simple example of why traditional exercise makes for a poor calorie burner. While it may take only a few minutes to eat 500 to 1000 extra calories; it requires 4 to 5 hours of exercise for the average person to "burn off" those same calories. The average person cannot exercise 4 or 5 hours a day so reducing your "hunger drive" is the only reasonable, healthy way to lose weight.

Fact: Reducing Your "Hunger Drive" Sheds The Pounds
I have asked hundreds of people why they eat more food than their bodies need for nutrition. Most people admit that they are stress eaters and eating extra food helps reduce stress and makes them feel better. Modifying the need to eat, or what I call your "hunger drive," is the first step to successful, healthy weight loss. How do you reduce your hunger drive?

Fact: The Right Kind of Exercise Helps Reduce Your Hunger Drive
Research shows that certain types of exercise can play an important role in lowering stress levels and reducing your appetite. This type of exercise is much different than the hours spent on the treadmill. Exercises such as the ones we do in posture class that involve calming and relaxing the body help shift the hormones insulin and cortisol into your "healthy weight" zone.

Fact: Controlling Insulin and Cortisol Levels Help Reduce Your Hunger Drive
Many tools are available to help reduce stress, control insulin and cortisol levels and reduce your appetite. For most, thinking about reducing stress to lose weight takes a shift in weight loss mentality. Reducing stress eating really is the key to long-term healthy weight loss. Making time to listen to relaxing music, reading an uplifting book, using visualization and breathing techniques, walking casually and meditation are all good examples of stress lowering techniques. Lowering stress also helps improve bone health and reduce fracture risk.   

Fact: Building Muscle Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
The latest research has also shown that people who keep their weight off the longest spend part of their exercise time building muscle. By increasing muscle mass, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is increased and your insulin and blood sugar levels are better controlled. These changes allow your body to utilize calories more effectively. Increasing muscle mass by lifting weights also helps improve bone health and reduce fracture risk. 

Fact: You Can Do It
Weight loss is much easier when you work with rather than fight against your body's natural tendencies and metabolism. Combining an appropriate exercise program, stress reduction techniques and healthier eating will yield the fastest and most long lasting results. You will also improve your
health in the process with better balance, less pain, improved posture, lower blood pressure, more energy and an elevated mood.

Commit to losing weight the healthy way by working with rather than against your body. You will see faster, more long term weight loss with much less effort.

Would you like to reduce stress, reduce excess pounds and improve your bone health all at the same time? I provide easy to follow programs that help reduce your body weight while also improving your bone health, posture, balance and strength while reducing fracture risk. Contact me anytime for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

Food Label Sticker Shock
by Woody McMahon

Read On
Food labels, also called Nutritional Information, are found on the side or back of all foods. By law, all foods must be labeled to show the ingredients and nutritional content.  They are a helpful aid when you are trying to start a healthier eating plan. So whether you want to lose or gain weight, increase your protein and calcium intake, reduce excess sugar and salt or monitor fat, learning how to use food labels is helpful in making healthier food choices. Let's explore some of the valuable information available right on the food label itself.

Serving Size
Portions are the clear villain if you are having trouble losing or gaining weight. Fortunately, the food label has what is called Serving Size right on the package that gives you important information about food portions. The Serving Size, generally measured in cups, ounces or piece count, is the amount of food that is considered to be one serving.

Serving Size Examples
As an example, a serving size of nuts will be listed as 8 pieces, crackers as 9 crackers and mixed vegetables as ½ a cup. Most people who are over-eating will generally eat two or three times the recommended portion size and not realize it. Sticking to the serving size is a quick and easy way to balance your eating plan.

Calorie Density

Now you  know that choosing healthier foods and controlling their portions is the best way to reach and maintain a healthy weight. The food label can also indirectly tell you about Calorie Density; a measure of the number of calories per portion. This number is not directly listed but you can calculate it by looking at the portion and comparing it to the calorie content. As an example, let's compare the Calorie Density of an apple and a piece of cake. Given the same serving size, the apple is less
calorie dense than the piece of cake.

This means that you can eat a much larger portion of apple and get the same number of calories as the cake. This holds true for most fruits and vegetables because of their water and fiber content. Eating more fruits and vegetables is not only good for your body; but the higher fiber content makes it easier on your digestion and helps you feel full at the end of your meal.

Sodium Content
Sodium content is another good food label value to monitor. Too much sodium has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke as well as promoting over-eating and loss of water from your body. Sodium combines with chloride to form salt, a food additive that is actually considered to be a flavor enhancer. Typically, processed and pre-prepared foods have higher sodium levels than other foods to make the food taste better. Of course, if the food tastes too good there is
a real chance you'll eat more than is really needed. It is better to limit the amounts of foods that have higher than 500mg per serving sodium content.

Fat Content
Eating the right kind of fat is important to good health. With the "low fat" craziness of the 1980's and 90's, fat was seen as a villain. But in fact, fat is very important for numerous body functions including metabolic rate, satiety and healthy skin. Fats have many helpful functions in your body including maintaining a healthy cell wall, acting as precursors to most hormones, wound healing and weight loss. The challenge is that most healthy fats are easily destroyed by light and heat. Today the research supports a balanced approach to fats in your diet. Keeping fats at 30 to 35% of your total daily intake is easy if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables at every meal.

Healthier eating and weight control can be much easier if you use food labels as a simple guide to help you make better food choices.

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel free to contact me for more information on healthier eating and portion control.
If you need additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email or call me and take advantage of my 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 $25. This is the perfect gift, the gift of health, to give to someone you love.

LivMD Updates

Volunteers Need for Our LivMD
Investigational Study

We are conducting an investigation study of the Marodyne LivMD Low Intensity Vibration device. We are looking for a wide range of study participants with a broad set of health conditions. The study will collect a variety of information from the volunteers to assess the effectiveness of the LivMD for:

  • Improving Circulation
  • Restoring motion to joints
  • Redeveloping muscles
  • Assisting as an adjunct treatment for obesity
  • Relieving aches and pains throughout the body

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer study participant, please contact Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to

Here is a testimonial about the LivMD from a psychotherapist in Rhode Island. She read about the LivMD in my newsletter and then decided to buy one and give it a try. Here is her testimonial in its entirety:

"Hi Woody,

I love it!  No back pain any longer and my last osteo scan stunned my doctor showing the first improvement in #s ever.  She said it was a statistically significant change.  I was using it twice a day 7 days a week.  My balance has been much, much improved, energy higher, focus better, sleeping longer.  I sent Marodyne a quick note letting them know the results even though I hadn't been using it very long.  There were no other changes I had made other than the platform.

My life became very sedentary a few months due to other health events. Tests couldn't find anything and I became curious about lymph problems that could be causing the extreme lower leg edema.  I looked at recent research on the LivMD and saw that it can also help with that - hooray! So, I'm back on the machine as of Tuesday - not as vigorous because my feet hurt - hopefully that will improve.

No one I know personally owns one, but a few clients have reported their gyms employ vibrating devices.  Their descriptions make me think they are higher in vibration. They haven't reported any exercises that were added to their routines by the gyms.   I put mine outside on nice days (covered porch) and let people know they can come by on days when I'm working and use it.  (I'm a psychotherapist with a home office.)

Thanks for the check-in - as ever I wish you were in Rhode Island and value your newsletter.  If you ever make videos for purchase of your programs, please let me know.  Are you thinking of exercises people can do while ON the LivMD or in conjunction with its use?

Kyle Hopkins"

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. Come take your first Posture Perfect!TM class for FREE. It's on us... 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 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 hip and leg strengthener); and performed movements
that involved crunching, bending and twisting. (increases 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.

Read more about S.A.F.E. and effective Posture Perfect!TM classes.

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) 2006-2015 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