Skip to main content
Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

our twitterour facebook page linkdin

All Are Welcome!
Senior Discounts

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                                                                August 15, 2009 
  • So You Think You Can Balance
  • Protein Important for Healthy Bones
  • How to Cope With Losing a Pet 
  • Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting
  • Preventing Falls and Injury Program 

Feel Better... Live Better

So You Think You Can Balance
by Woody McMahon

Your Balance is Important

Watch a little kid learn to walk and you will immediately realize that balance
is a learned activity
. More and more Americans 65 and older are falling with
resulting mild to life threatening medical injuries. As the general population
gets older, this phenomenon will continue to grow. Health and fitness experts
are asking why balance training is such a low priority in activity programs and
not incorporated as often as aerobics, strength training and stretching.


Use it or Lose It

Our sitting society has created much of the balance problems you face. Sitting
in the car instead of walking, sitting at the desk instead of working outside
and sitting on the couch instead of playing tennis or other sports all
contribute to the decline in balance ability. You can retrain and restore balance
by incorporating just a few simple exercises into your workout at the
health club or daily home based activities.


Balance and Hip Fracture

Researchers have found that your ability to balance is directly related to the
risk of hip fracture
. Hip fracture is a serious problem for anyone but more so
if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Increasing strength, flexibility
and coordination significantly reduce the chance of falling and the possibility
of hip and vertebral fractures.


Testing for Balance

Two physical therapists in New York have devised a simple test to determine if
you have good balance. Before the test starts, be sure to have something like a
chair, bar on the wall or a kitchen counter top to hold on to if needed.


Three Easy Steps:

1. Wearing flat, closed toed shoes, stand-up straight with your arms folded
across your chest. Raise one leg, bending the knee about 45 degrees. Start a
stopwatch and then close your eyes.

Remain on one leg, stopping the watch immediately if you uncross your arms,
tilt sideways more than 45 degrees, move the leg you are standing on or touch
the raised leg to the floor.

Repeat this test with the other leg. Now, compare your performance to the
norms for various ages:

20 to 49 years old: 24 to 28 seconds
50 to 59 years: 21 seconds
60 to 69 years: 10 seconds
70 to 79 years: 4 seconds
80 and older: most cannot do it at all


Exercises for Better Balance


One Leg Stands: To increase the stability and strengthen of your legs, stand
with your feet shoulder width apart and arms straight out in front. Lift one
foot from the floor with the knee bent 45 degrees. Hold that position for five
seconds or longer, if possible. Repeat this exercise five times. Then switch
legs. Try with eyes closed as you get better. You can also incorporate one-leg
stands into daily routines on the telephone, brushing your teeth, waiting in
line or for a bus or cooking and washing dishes.


Heel-to-Toe Tandem Walking: Also called walking a plank this exercise is best
done on a bare floor. Start by placing one foot in front of the other so that
the heel of the front foot nearly touches the toe of the back foot. Walk 10 or
more feet and repeat the exercise once or twice a day. A variation of this has
you walking on your toes and then on your heels to strengthen your ankles,
feet and lower leg.

Not all personal trainers are created equally. If you have special needs then
your trainer should have special training as well. Contact us to discuss how
Fresh Start can help make the most of your exercise time by building a stronger
body the right way. With our program you'll improve balance, strength, flexibility,
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


Protein Important for Healthy Bones

by Woody McMahon

Got to Have Protein

Protein is one of the three basic food groups necessary for good health; fats
and carbohydrates are the other two. Almost all the foods you eat contain
and can either come from animal or vegetable sources. All protein taken
into the body is broken down into smaller parts called amino acids. The amino
acids circulate in your body and when needed are recombined to form proteins
that build and maintain muscle, bone, skin, hair, and many other tissues.
Amino acids are also reformed into digestive enzymes and hormones that
serve vital functions in your body. Actually, about 75% of your body weight
consists of protein.
Sound Dietary Advice
When it comes to dietary advice, eating a balanced diet is the first good
step. What does that mean? Try to make each meal consist of 50% fruits
and vegetables accompanied by 30% lean protein. In order of preference fish,
eggs, chicken, lean beef, pork, lamb and cheese are good protein sources.
For this discussion, beans and nuts are included in the lean protein category.
If your meal contains beans and/or nuts then the amount of lean protein can be
reduced for that meal. Generally, cheese, yogurt and tofu have slightly less
protein per ounce.
Protein Amounts and Absorption
Each ounce of fish, chicken or beef has approximately 6 grams of protein while
fruits and vegetables average about 2 grams per ounce. If you are sticking to
your 50% rule, protein from vegetables and fruit sources can really ad up.
Your body only utilizes 30 grams of dietary protein per meal so any more than
that is used as energy or stored as fat. The best way to get your protein is
through multiple protein meals and snacks throughout the day.
Vegetarian, Yes or No?
What about going all fruits and vegetables? You can get all the necessary
amino acids your body needs from just eating vegetables, fruits, nuts and
legumes (beans) and never eating animal sources. If you want to maintain a
healthy, well balanced nutritional plan without meat protein in your diet, make
sure to be more 
vigilant when planning meals and eating out. 
Soy in Your Diet
Most experts agree that if you are going to eat significant amounts of soy,
make sure that it is fermented. Non-fermented soy products contain phytic
acid which binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption.
That means if you decide to eat soy, not all soy products are created
equally. Examples of fermented soy are natto, miso, tempeh, soy sauces
and fermented tofu and soymilk.
Too Much Protein is Not Better
A high protein diet is not healthful for most people because it tends to
dehydrate your body and overload the kidneys with nitrogen. The nitrogen
component of protein is toxic to the body and must be flushed out during
digestion. This among other things was one of the problems with the Atkins
Protein and Inflammation
Excess protein from any source adds to the inflammatory load in your body.
Inflammation has a destructive effect on bone reducing both quality and
density. Animal protein is especially inflammatory because it does not have the
antioxidants, fiber and water that are naturally available in vegetable protein
sources. The antioxidants provide the "alkalizing effect" and reduce
inflammation. Animal sources also have a higher density with more grams of
protein per ounce.
Protein Amounts for Stronger Bones?
Adequate protein is important for osteoporosis because part of bone consists
of a matrix made primarily of protein. Inadequate protein intake can prevent
the matrix from building and repairing itself. Your strength training and
weight lifting
will require adequate supplies of dietary protein to build and
repair muscles. Most experts recommend protein intake based on body weight
and activity levels. Here is one recommendation.
The Iowa State University Eat to Compete Program says this:
The recommended protein intake for the American population is 0.4 g/lb/day.
However, athletes (this could be you if you play tennis or spend several hours
at the gym regularly) may have different needs depending on the duration and
intensity of exercise, and frequency of training. Strength training athletes
need about 0.6-0.8 g/lb/day and endurance runners need about 0.5-0.6 g/lb/day
due to the stress on muscle fibers during exercise. In general, the recommended
protein intake for athletes ranges from 0.4-0.8 g/lb/day depending on the
energy expenditure and demand of the exercise.
   Here is another good discussion on protein basics:
A good test for protein intake is to make sure you hair, skin and nails
are healthy
. Split ends and cracked or splitting finger nails are potential
good signs of protein deficiency.

Follow our Fresh Start Healthy Weight! system and you can 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 free consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or
email to  

Pets and People  


How to Cope With Losing a Pet
by Ingrid King 

For those of us who share our lives with animals, it's inevitable that at some
point, we will be dealing with losing these beloved friends. Over the last ten
years, I've lost three cats, and I've helped many clients through pet loss
during the years I worked in veterinary clinics. As a result, I'm often asked
how to cope with losing a pet.

Different things work for different people. Each situation is unique. Was the
death sudden? Did it come after a prolonged illness? Was it the first time the
person experienced losing a pet? I share my own experience of dealing with pet
loss and grief in Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, and
maybe my readers will find some commonalities with what I went through. Even
though no two people will deal with pet loss in exactly the same way, I've
found some common things that can help ease the pain at least a little. I'll
also share some resources at the end of this article that have helped me when
I've had to deal with grief and loss.

Acknowledge that losing a pet is a very difficult experience. Many people,
especially people who don't have pets, don't realize that losing a pet can
often be far more difficult than losing a person. Many of us view our pets as
children, especially if we don't have children of our own. For most pet owners,
losing a pet is very much like losing a child. Don't let anyone tell you that
you should "get over it," "it was only an animal," or, even worse, "you can
always get another one." Expect to feel the same emotions you would feel after
a person close to you dies. In Elizabeth Kuebler Ross' model, the five stages
of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and eventually acceptance.
Expect that some of these stages may be magnified after losing a pet.

Mark the pet's passing with some sort of ritual. It's important to acknowledge
that your pet is gone. A ritual can be something as elaborate as a memorial
service and burial ceremony, or something as simple as lighting a candle in
your pet's memory each night for a little while.

Find supportive family and friends. Not everyone in your life will be able to
handle your grief. It's important that you find people who are comfortable with
being supportive, can handle letting you cry, listen while you talk about your
pet, or who can just quietly sit with you. Many people don't know what to do or
say when faced with someone who is grieving, so, afraid of saying the wrong
thing, they don't say anything at all. This can make you feel even more
isolated during a difficult time. Try not to judge people for their inability
to handle your grief, and spend more time with those who can.

Allow yourself time to grieve. There is no way around grief - the only way to
deal with grief is to move through it. If you try to ignore it, it will catch
up with you when you least expect it. You may need to spend an afternoon or an
evening crying. You may not want to distract yourself all the time. While it's
not healthy to get stuck in your grief, pretending that nothing is wrong is
equally unhealthy. Try and find a balance.

Find things that comfort you. Whether it's a walk, music, a favorite book,
looking at photos of your pet, or a perfect cup of tea, find small things that
provide comfort for you.

Getting over the loss of a pet takes time and being gentle with yourself. If
you simply can't cope and find that supportive family members or friends aren't
enough to help you get through this difficult time, consider getting
professional help. Know that even though it seems hard to believe when you're
in the middle of grieving the loss of an animal friend, there is truth to the
old adage that time heals all wounds. It does get a little bit easier as time
goes on, and one day, upon waking up in the morning, instead of your first
thought being about your pet being gone, you'll find yourself remembering
something wonderful about your departed friend.

Ingrid King is the author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master
Teacher. She publishes the E-zine News for You and Your Pet. Ingrid is a Reiki
Master Practitioner, owner of Healing Hands and provides Reiki treatments
for pets and people. For more information, please visit

Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: Functional Weight Training to Help Reduce Fracture Risk

Date: Tuesday September 1st

Time: 6 to 7 pm

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

Come dressed in comfortable clothes and bring water. For questions and
reservations please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to



Help for Brittle Bones... Be Bone Strong!

Be Bone Strong! is the only complete osteoporosis prevention and repair program.
Be Bone Strong! focuses on reducing fracture risk by helping you change your lifestyle. 
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 help you
increase bone quality

Our unique three step process makes it easier to improve bone strength faster:


Step 1: Personalized Osteoporosis Lifestyle Assessement

Step 2: Comprehensive "Make My Bones Strong" Plan and Program

Step 3: Implementation Support, Motivation and Consultation

Follow The "Big 5 for Healthy Bones" and you can't go wrong:

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!.



Preventing Falls and Injury Program

Improving Your Balance Prevents Falling

Do you have difficulty with your balance? Have you noticed your balance
getting worse as you get older? Would you like to learn how to improve your
balance and keep from falling and hurting yourself? Eric A. Ingold, DPT is
excited to announce the Falls Prevention Seminar being held at Physical Therapy
Connection in Herndon, VA on Wednesday August 26, 2009 beginning at 5:00 PM.

Anyone who has been struggling (or knows someone who has) with balance and
falling is invited to attend. There is no cost to attend but space is limited to
the first 20 people so please R.S.V.P. to reserve your spot today. To make a
reservation please call (703)481-3551. Food and drink will be provided.

Eric A. Ingold, DPT is a physical therapist and director of Physical Therapy
Connection in Herndon, VA. Eric's seminar will introduce his innovative Falls
Prevention program. He will talk about various ways to improve balance and
treat conditions that create balance problems and falling. The seminar
will have a strong physical therapy and wellness emphasis.

Eric's clinic address is: 209 Elden Street, Suite 106, Herndon, VA 20170.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call Eric at the clinic at
(703)481-3551. We would love to have you attend!


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.

About this Newsletter 

To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

To learn more about Fresh Start,
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