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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                August 15th 2010
  • Advanced Balance Training
  • Conditioning Not Weight Most Important
  • Performing a Brief Monthly At-Home Exam on Your Pet
  • Osteoporosis Online Support Group Meeting Aug 17th
    "Ask the PT"
  • Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Feel Better... Live Better

Advanced Balance Training

by Woody McMahon 

Greater Strength from Imbalance
Most workout programs, whether they incorporate machine or free weight
exercises, are designed to use both sides of the body equally. Studies of
athletes have actually shown that an uneven workout, either with one weight
or weights of different sizes, makes you work hard and develops better
balance, core strength and coordination. So let's look at the steps for
getting a more efficient and beneficial workout
only using one weight or
just one side of your body.
Single Leg Workout
Performing everyday tasks, like carrying groceries up the stairs or
playing a sport such as tennis or basketball, often has you using one leg
more than the other. You can reduce injuries from falls and develop better
endurance and sport performance if you train the body to perform in a
one leg situation. Single leg movements also expose your weaker side
allowing it to be strengthened without the help of the stronger and
probably more dominant side. Several exercises are good to incorporate
into a single leg program. Here are a few good examples:
Single Leg Balance: Raising one leg off the ground while the other is flat
on the floor is an excellent leg strengthener and balance training
movement. You can try this exercise with your eyes open and shut which
challenges the vestibular (ear) and proprioceptive (bottom of the foot
sensors) balance mechanisms. If your feet start to burn with this exercise,
it is a sure sign of foot muscles weakness. Single leg standing balance is
great for strengthening your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back.
Single Leg Squat: The one leg squat is an excellent addition to any single
leg workout. It is performed like a regular squat with the hands either in
front, at the sides or on the hips. There is a greater balance challenge
with one leg so if you use weights during this movement, you may need to
reduce the amounts. The knee on the squatting leg side should only bend to
90 degrees for maximum benefit and ligament/cartilage safety. Concentrate
on keeping the hips level, back straight and head up. This exercise is a
great total leg, hip, butt and back strengthener.
Single Leg BOSU Side Step-up: Here is another great exercise that
incorporates single leg balance, strength and a stepping movement. Stand
next to the BOSU and side step-up onto the ball with the leg closest to the
ball. Balance on one leg keeping the rest of your body very quiet. Only use
the other leg to maintain your balance and prevent you from stepping off
the ball. Step down to the starting position and repeat the motion 6 to 8
times. Turn and face the other direction and try the same movement with the
other leg.
Strong Side Weak Side
When performing any of these exercises, note which of your muscles get
tired or start to burn first
. Also keep track of the side of your body that
feels more stable. This way you can have a better idea of how balanced the
muscles are on different sides of your body. Working to strengthen the
weaker side pays big dividends
in total body strength, fall and injury
prevention, endurance and sport performance.

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 program 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 


Conditioning Not Weight Most Important
by Woody McMahon

Struggling With Your Weight
There is some good news if you are one of those people struggling with your
weight. The latest research on weight and heath suggests that excess weight
may not affect your health as much as having a low level of conditioning
Recent studies show that if you only have 15 to 20pounds to lose, reducing
body weight may not be really that important for your overall health.
Weight loss has also been shown to be a poor motivator. The research also
found that over 89% of the people using weight loss as their primary goal
stopped a fitness program after 6 months.


How Much is Too Much

Unless you fall into one of the 3 weight loss categories below, you
probably won't see much of a health benefit from losing just a few pounds.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says this about weight loss:

"Health experts agree that you may gain health benefits from even a small
weight loss if:


1. You are considered obese based on your body mass index
(see BMI link below)
2. You are considered overweight based on your BMI and have weight-related
health problems or a family history of such problems
3. You have a waist that measures more than 40 inches if you are a
man or more than 35 inches if you are a woman"


To check your BMI go to


These three scenarios are a good guideline for when excess weight needs to
be a concern.


Conditioning is King

Switching your focus and goals to improving your conditioning is actually
a better strategy
. Better conditioning opens doors to having more fun with
your friends and not feeling left out of an activity because you are too
tired. Any good conditioning program will include the following four major


These are:

  • Stamina: Lets you play and work more before getting tired
  • Balance: Prevents falls and fractures
  • Flexibility: Keeps joints and muscles safe and prevents pain
  • Muscular Strength: Improves sports performance

A well designed fitness program will improve your conditioning and
provide a host of healthful benefits even if you don't lose 1 pound.
Regular exercise reduces blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol, blood
sugar and joint pain. Exercise keeps your heart and blood vessels in
top condition. Exercise allows you to live a richer and fuller life. All of
this and not one pound lost. Something to think about, isn't it?

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

Performing a Brief Monthly At-Home Exam on Your Pet
by Julio Lopez, DVM

Just as physicians recommend monthly self-examinations for men and women
(whether we do perform them or not is another story), I recommend a brief
at-home monthly check-up of your pets. This of course does not replace the
more thorough 6-12 month check-ups recommended by your veterinarian (more
frequently if your pet has a health problem). The purpose of these brief at
home exams is to identify changes in your pet that may require you to see
your veterinarian sooner than the previously scheduled check-up.

A great time to do this is before you apply the monthly
flea/tick/heartworm preventative medication and it should only take a few
minutes. The more routinely you perform this, the easier it will be for you
to note when changes do occur.


Just as I start my exams in the office, step back for a moment and just
watch your pet. Do they seem to breathing comfortably? Do they appear too
thin or overweight? Do they have trouble laying down and getting up? This
is a good time to go over and answer the important questions your
veterinarian will ask (see previous blog post "10 important questions your
veterinarian will ask that you should be prepared to answer").

I then recommend starting at the face and working your way to the tail.
Observe for any discharge or redness of the nose, eyes or ears. If
discharge is seen, note which side is affected and the amount and color of
the discharge.


Next, if your pet allows, gently lift the lip on each side and note any
tartar on the teeth, broken or discolored teeth or changes to the gum
color. Healthy gums should be a nice pink color. Bright red gums along the
border of tartar covered teeth may signify gingivitis. Some pets have
pigmented gums and these changes may be difficult to assess. If you notice
pale, blue/purple or yellow gums it is best to call your veterinarian and
have your pet assessed further as they may have a serious medical


Next, move your hands along the neck to the shoulders, down each front leg
and back up and down the rest of the chest and abdomen finally reaching the
back legs. As you do this you should be feeling for any lumps, bumps or
painful areas.
Three areas to check as you move from head to tail are at
the end of the jaw just below the ears, in front of the shoulders, and
behind the knees. Major lymph nodes are located in these areas and any
changes to their size may indicate inflammation, infection or cancer. You
can ask your veterinarian to demonstrate where you should be feeling during
your next visit.


If lumps are encountered they are most likely lipomas or "fatty growths"
that don't cause a problem unless they get too large and infiltrate
adjacent areas BUT lumps that look and feel like "fatty growths" can also
be dangerous cancerous lumps. The only way to tell the difference is to
have your veterinarian sample them. This is easily done as we poke the
lumps with a needle and apply the cells on a slide (fine needle aspirate).

Your veterinarian may look at it under the microscope in their office or
send it to the lab so a pathologist can analyze the cells. Obtaining this
aspirate is not 100% as only very few cells are sampled, but is a good
start in helping decide if this lump should be removed immediately or if it
is ok to monitor it for changes in size and appearance. Your veterinarian
will note the size and location of the lump in the record to keep track of
it during future visits. Sometimes depending on the location, feel and look
of the lump it may be recommended to remove a piece of the lump and send it
to the pathologist instead of performing an aspirate or after an aspirate.


Once you reach the tail, again if your pet allows it, lift the tail and
examine for any discharge, nodules or uneven, bumpy areas around the anus.
Tumors involving the anal glands can occur and go unnoticed until it is so
large that your pet has trouble defecating and by that time it has most
likely spread. In female dogs you can monitor for any discharge from the


Finally, if your pet is good about laying on its side or back, examine the
hairless areas of the belly for any rashes, redness, fleas or mammary
growths. Run your hands along their bellies and note any lumps and bumps.
In male dogs this is a good time to notice any discharge from the penis.

This simple and quick exam will help you identify any possible changes to
your pet's health earlier, instead of waiting months for the next scheduled


Recognizing these changes early may save your pets life, allow for a
possible cure or at least be able to start important medications before the
disease becomes too advanced. It also helps your pets get used to a part of
the more thorough examination that your veterinarian will perform. As
always, if you have any concerns about your pet, please call your
veterinarian first for further advice before ignoring a problem,
misdiagnosing a problem or self-medicating your pet as you may be causing
more harm than good!

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

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: "Ask the PT" 

Date :
Tuesday August 17th C
onference Call Support Group

Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm

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

Our last conference call support group was a great success. Join us for our next
conference call style format support group so that you may participate from the comfort
of your own home. 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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