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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                June 15th 2010
  • Effective Ways to Stimulate Your Core
  • Food Label Sticker Shock
  • ASPCA Offers Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets
  • August Support Group Meeting "Ask the PT"
  • Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Feel Better... Live Better

Effective Ways to Stimulate Your Core

by Woody McMahon 

Core Function
Your core is a group of important muscles whose main job is to stabilize
your spine and pelvis
when you are moving during work or play. The core
muscles are also responsible for helping with good posture allowing us 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 all play an important part in spinal

Core Importance

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 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.


Suggested Core Exercises

Try adding these two core exercises to your fitness program and feel how
much stronger and more stable you become.


1. 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 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.


2. 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 shoulder height. 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 shoulder and take your
next step forward with the opposite foot. Repeat 6 to 8 times with both


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.

Would you like to improve your health but don't know where to start?

How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your bones?

Do you have weight problems but are tired of dieting? We provide an easy to
follow programs without the gimmicks or fads. You'll also get the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping
you feel and look your best. Please call Woody McMahon for a no cost
consultation, at 703-464-5171 or email to 


Food Label Sticker Shock
by Woody McMahon

Read On

By law, all foods must be labeled to show the ingredients and nutritional
content. Food labels, also called Nutritional Information, are found on the
side or back of all foods. They are a valuable source of information 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 the food label
will be 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 which
gives you important information about food portions right on the package.
The Serving Size, generally measured in cups, ounces or piece, is the
amount of food that is considered to be one serving. So, 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 overeating will generally
eat two or three times the recommended portion size and not really know it.
Sticking to the serving size helps you easily balance your eating plan.
Calorie Density
You know that choosing healthier foods and controlling 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. So as an example, let's look at 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 for the same number of calories as the cake. This is
actually 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 volume of food makes it easier to 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 overeating and loss of water from
your body. Sodium along with chloride combines to form salt, a food
additive that is considered to be a flavor enhancer. Typically, processed
and pre-prepared foods have higher sodium levels to make the food taste
. Of course, if the food tastes too good there is a chance you'll eat
more than is really needed. It is better to limit the amount of foods you
eat that have higher than 500mg per serving sodium content.
Total Fat
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 rate of
metabolism, satiety and healthy skin. The trouble is the fats that have
many helpful functions in your body from maintaining a healthy cell wall,
acting as precursors to most of the hormones, healing and weight loss are
also 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.
Try using food labels as a simple guide to making better food choices and
helping to make healthier eating easier.

High stress living can cause excess weight gain!

Follow our Fresh Start Healthy Weight! system and you'll reduce your weight
and improve your health at the same time. We provide the education, motivation
and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and
look your best. For a no cost consultation, please call Woody McMahon at
703-464-5171 or email to


Pets and People

ASPCA Offers Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets
by Ingrid King

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals®) today reminded pet parents and animal lovers how to keep pets
safe and healthy during summer's dog (and cat) days.

"Summertime is a wonderful time for family and friends to get together and
enjoy themselves, often with a beloved pet," says Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior
Vice President of ASPCA Animal Health Services. "However, even the
healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if
they're overexposed to the heat."


Here are just some of the ways animal lovers can help ensure their pets
have a safe summer:


Visit the Vet. A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer
check-up is a must. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all necessary
vaccinations. Pets should also be given a blood test for heartworm every
year in the early spring. The deadly parasite is transmitted through the
bite of an infected mosquito, and it is recommended that dogs and cats be
on a monthly preventive medication year-round.


Keep Cool. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give your pets
plenty of water when it is hot outdoors. Also make sure your pet has a
shady place to escape the sun, and when the temperature is very high, don't
let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your dog's
body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. "Never leave
your animals alone in a parked vehicle," adds Dr. Louise Murray, Director
of Medicine at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. "On a hot day,
even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no
time, and heatstroke can develop, which is potentially fatal."


Know the Symptoms. According to Dr. Murray, "the symptoms of overheating
in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart
and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, seizures, and an elevated
body temperature of over 104 degrees." "Animals with flat faces, like pugs
and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot
pant as effectively," she says. "These pets, along with the elderly, the
overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in
air-conditioned rooms as much as possible."


Just Say No. Summertime is the perfect time for a backyard barbeque or
party, but please remember that the food and drink you serve your guests
may be poisonous to pets. "Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they
can cause intoxication, depression, comas, or even death," says Dr. Hansen.
"Similarly, remember that the snacks you serve your friends should not be a
treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your
dog or cat severe digestive ailments." Avoid raisins, grapes, onions,
chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.

Pest-Free Pets. Commonly-used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse
and rat baits), insecticides, and herbicide lawn products can be harmful to
cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. While there are flea
products that can be used safely on dogs, these same products can be deadly
to cats, because of the presence of the chemical permethrin. Be sure to
read directions on these products carefully. When walking your dog, steer
clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or
herbicide lawn products. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect
coils out of pets' reach as well.

Water Safety is Pet-friendly. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a
pool, as not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water
gradually and make sure pets wear flotation devices while on boats. Rinse
your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and
try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and
other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.


Beware of "High Rise Syndrome." "During warmer months, we see an increase
in injured animals as a result of 'High-Rise Syndrome,' which occurs when
pets fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured,"
says Dr. Murray. "Pet owners need to know that this is completely
preventable if they take simple precautions." Keep all unscreened windows
or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly


No Fireworks for Fido. Please leave pets at home when you head out to
Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Dr.
Hansen explains, "While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in
severe burns or trauma to curious pets, even unused fireworks are
hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances
such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy

If your dog or cat accidentally ingests a potentially toxic substance this
summer, it is important to contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for immediate assistance.
For more information on having a fun, safe summer with your pet, please

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


Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting
We Are Taking A Summer Break

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: Ask The Physical Therapist

             Christi Wilson, PT will be available to answer all your questions
             on bone safety, strengthening and much more.

Date :
Tuesday August 3rd In-Office Support Group
            Wednesday August 4th Telephone Conference Call

Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc
483A Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA 

Stop wasting your time on piecemeal fitness programs that yield little results. We'll talk
about the essential pieces that you are missing from your current exercise program. For more information and reservations please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171
or email to



Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Do you have questions about how to live a healthy lifestyle? Do you need
accurate, cutting edge solutions to lifestyle and other health problems?
Sign-up for a healthy lifestyle consultation and get the answers you need
now. Click Here for more information.


You can also contact Woody McMahon directly at 703-464-5171 or email to



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) 2006-2010 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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