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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                August 1, 2008 
  • Manage Your Stress for Better Health
  • Set a Healthy Example for Your Kids
  • Now in September... Healthy Pets and People Too Seminar
  • Free Active Adults FITT Testing Program
    for Current Clients


Manage Your Stress for Better Health


More Stressors Than You Realize
There are many things that can cause you to feel stressed. Some are more obvious, others are not. It can get a little tricky because stress is generally associated with mental events such as deadlines at work or rushing to take the kids to little league practice. In fact, stress comes in two flavors, mental and physical. Being able to recognize and manage your stressors allows you to live a healthier and happier life. D
on't let yourself get stressed out on the job...then feel the increased strain and pressure both mentally and physically... and finally resort to overeating, drinking or taking drugs to ease the pain and help yourself feel better.

The 4 Most Common Physical Stressors
Physical events that create stress in your body are much less talked about or understood than their mental cousins. Managing physical stressors is as important as mental stressors because they negatively affect your body's healthy functions. Physical stressors severely impair your health and can prevent your body from warding off illness, digesting food properly or repairing damaged cell. The nice part about the physical stressors is you can easily modify them. Once modified physical stressors begin to improve rather than detract from your health. So what are some of the more common physical stressors?

1)  Proper Hydration (Water Intake)
Without enough water your muscles have a difficult time working, the cartilage in your joints doesn't get enough lubrication and your digestive system works inefficiently. Water is also crucial to normal, healthy blood pressure and a strong and balanced immune system. To function effectively, besides other liquids, your body needs just plain water with nothing added to it. Juices, tea, coffee, Crystal Lite, diet and regular soda and a host of other bottled drinks do not meet the need. As a rough estimate, try to drink 50% of your body weight in water in ounces every day.   

2)  Sedentary Lifestyle
Your body was designed to move. Without the right amount of activity, blood pools in the legs and doesn't pump back to the heart efficiently; muscles get weak and knees and backs start to get achy and bones lose calcium causing an increased risk of osteoporosis fractures. Activity can be as simple as walking or dancing. You don't have to be a tri-athlete, track star or bungee jumper to get effective activity. All it takes to be healthy is a little regular movement. If you like the gym, go have fun and workout; go to the park and kick a soccer ball or walk on the trails. Always try to be active with someone else; it will be a lot more fun.


3)  Irregular Eating Patterns
Skipping meals
or eating with an irregular schedule is another physical stressor. The brain does its best given a regular supply of glucose. Glucose is a sugar that is created by the digestion of the food you eat. Skipping breakfast is a common habit that places great stress on your body. Think about it this way. You have dinner at say 6 pm and then skip breakfast and don't eat till 12 noon. That is 18 hours without any food in your body making it very difficult for your brain to work correctly. Start with a good breakfast and make sure to eat healthy portions every 4 hours. 


4)  Eating Too Much Food
Portion control is very important in reducing stress on your body. Eating more food than your body needs, called gastric overload, places great stress on your digestive system. It takes large amounts of energy to digest the food, store the excess calories and eliminate the waste products generated. It is a lot of work for your body to undertake this process every single day. Learn what a healthy portion looks like for you and then stick with it. Don't go back for seconds.

Food Not a Good Stress Solution
You already know this but food, along with alcohol and drugs are used to unsuccessfully manage stress. There is no question that food will help you feel better short-term. It stimulates serotonin production in the brain making you feel better. The difficulty with food is that it takes ever increasing quantities to get the same "feel good." Excess food intake leads to obesity which becomes its own stressor. It is better to find other activities that can help you increase serotonin levels, feel better and keep your waistline in check. Fun activities, games, walking, hobbies, music and art are all good substitutes for food.

When it comes to lowering your stress, having the right program makes all the difference between success and failure. End the struggle with your weight once and for all. Contact us for more information on Fresh Start Healthy Weight or to schedule your free Fresh Start consultation. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to to learn more


Set a Healthy Example for Your Kids

What About Your Children's Health?

Kids follow your example, like it or not.  If you set a healthy example, they will closely mimic your behavior.  More often than not if you are overweight, your kids will be too.  This is the most obvious example of a familial health problem.  But what if you are stressed out, what happens to your kids stress levels? If you are sedentary what happens to your kid's activity levels?  For better or for worse, your children rely upon you to set a good example for their health and well-being along with many other aspects of their lives.


We Are What We Eat and Do

In a recent issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers stated that "the rising incidence of chronic health conditions among American children is going to be a serious challenge for the future provision of health and social welfare resources in this country." It went on to explain how obesity, asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have all gone up in the last 30 years in the US largely due to unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Shocking Statistics and Facts

Dr James Perrin, professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School said that: "These new epidemics in chronic health conditions among children and youth will translate into major demands on public health and welfare in upcoming decades." Perrin suggests "Active prevention efforts likely offer the best hope of reversing these trends." His colleague Dr Steven Gortmaker said, "We know that major health conditions progress into adulthood; so if these trends continue, we will see increased health care costs and decreased quality of life, as many of these young people find their opportunities limited." 

Perrin and his colleagues reviewed many studies and found that the evidence overall suggests there are more American children with health conditions today. They give some examples, comparing rates in the 1970s with today's incidence:

  - Obesity in children and adolescents has more than tripled from 5% to 18%

  - Asthma has doubled to nearly 9%

  - Cases of ADHD now includes about 6% of school children

  - Overall, between 15 and 18 % of all American children and adolescents have some sort of chronic health condition. Nearly half this number could be classed as disabled.

Major Reasons for the Problem

Perrin and his associates found several major reasons for the decrease in overall child health:

  - Stress on parents reducing the time and energy they spend on their children

  - Increase in sedentary time and kids spending more indoors time watching TV

  - Fewer parents offering active role models

  - Overall increase in calories consumed with more fast food and sugary drinks


Solutions to the Problem

If you are a parent, step-up to the plate and act as a healthy role model for your kids.  Just like learning to brush their teeth at an early age, teach them how to get active, eat healthier and reduce stress.  Help them to grow-up living a healthy lifestyle.  They need someone to show them how to feel and look their best.  Start by including your kids in a trip to the health club or take a Frisbee to the park and run around for an hour.  Have some fun.  It's good for you and your kids will love you more for it.  


Staying active and physically fit is the best way to avoid chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, osteoporosis and depression. Commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. No matter how old you are, Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    


Now in September... Healthy Pets and People Too

September 13th from 9 am to 12 noon you can bring your canine companion and learn some fun ways to help improve each others' health and conditioning. Let your dog show you how to be more active and you reciprocate and help their muscles and joints feel much better. In our fun session you'll learn: 

  • An effective activity warm-up and stretching cool down
  • Proper hydration (water intake) for you and your dog
  • A fun "no equipment" fitness circuit that you can do together
  • Simple pet massage techniques to help maintain his or her natural
    state of health and well-being

Cost: $45 per pet

Class Size: Limited to 10 pets
Location: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

Please come dressed to be active and bring water for both you and your pet.
For reservations or more information please contact:

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


Ingrid King at Healing Hands                                                             703-309-4296


Free Active Adult FITT Testing Program
for Current Clients

Your Conditioning is Important to Your Health
Research continues to show the positive effects of good physical conditioning on maintaining your heath and independence. You noticed I said physical conditioning not exercise; there is a big difference. Physical conditioning is a broader measure of fitness. It includes stamina, balance, flexibility and strength as its important components. Just going to the health club or Yoga studio is not enough to put you in good physical condition!


The Signs of Poor Physical Conditioning
The body will tell you when you're not paying enough attention to it. Stiff and sore muscles and joints, back and neck pain, shortness of breath walking up stairs, headaches, difficulty getting out of a chair, sleep trouble, arthritis and difficulty tying your shoes or putting on your pants are all signs of lack of physical conditioning. The best way to maintain your independence as you get older is to have a conditioning program that keeps your body in top condition.     


Testing for Physical Conditioning
We are offering FITT, the physical conditioning testing program affiliated with the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards program for adults. Once you complete the tests, you'll receive a conditioning score. You can compare your score with a national ranking system to see how well you did. For those interested in improving their score, we are offering an assessment fof your current fitness program; improved program design and conditioning classes specifically designed to improve your scores.    

The Time to Start is Now

It is easier than you think to improve your physical conditioning and your health.
Dedicating as little as three hours a week can make a significant difference in how you look and feel. Health problems don't need to slow you down or keep you from enjoying life unless you let them. Besides, getting active, eating healthier and reducing stress significantly improves most medical problems. Remember, it takes being proactive now if you want to be an Active Adult in the future.


Become An Active Adult Today
Testing is free for current clients and $39 for non-clients. Give us a call at 703-464-5171 or email to schedule your FITT test today.

You can also click on the link to take our
Health Investment Questionnaire, a great way to learn what it takes to stay independent and healthful for the rest of your life. 

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) 2006-2008 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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