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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                                                               August 15th 2015

  • Health-Based Fitness... Exercises Designed to Save Your Life
  • Meal Timing Important to Healthy Weight Loss
  • NEW Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Classes
  • Volunteers Needed for the LivMD Investigational Study
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Health-Based Fitness... Exercises Designed to Save Your Life
By Woody McMahon

Exercise is Not a Four Letter Word
Even though regular exercise (the CDC says 150 minutes a week) carries many different health and quality of life benefits, most people are unable to sustain a regular program. After 30 years in the health and fitness profession, I finally figured out the problem. Going to the health club or gym is not convenient or satisfying. The rigid fitness model that is taught is just too hard to follow. What is the secret to success? Adopt an easy to learn, simple to integrate into your daily life, safe so as not to cause injury or harm and convenient exercise program.
Please read on to learn how.

Health-Based Exercise and ADLs
Your life is composed of a series of functional movements performed each and every day. Professionally, we call these movements Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. Examples of these actions include emptying the dishwasher, getting into and out of a car, playing tennis, walking up and down stairs, lifting a box off the floor, gardening, carrying groceries to name a few.

Each activity requires certain motions and actions that place various forces and demands upon your body. These motions and actions require muscles, bones and joints to work in balance and harmony. If these various parts of your body do not work together properly, then you can easily get injured and develop back and neck pain, headaches, vertebral fractures and sore knees and hips.

A Health-Based Exercise Program to the Rescue

Health-based exercise programs are designed to target critical muscles that help improve strength, balance and spinal stability.
These exercises can be practiced anywhere, require no special tools and
are safe, effective and easy to learn. You can practice these exercises when it convenient for you, keeping your body strong and helping prevent injury and pain. Health-based exercises will improve your balance and coordination and strengthen muscles and bones. They allow you to remain independent while making your life safer, easier and more enjoyable.

Here are what I consider to be the 5 Best Health-based exercises to help strengthen your critical muscles and make your ADL's easier. If you do not know how to perform these exercises properly or are not sure if they are appropriate for you, please send me an email or give me a call.

1. 7 in 10 Decompression Sequence
Before you begin any exercise program, take the time to go through The Sara Meeks 7 in 10 Decompression Sequence. This series of 7 easy to learn and perform exercises will help strengthen and stretch your deep foundational and postural muscles. The exercises reduce vertebral compression and stabilize your spine making the rest of your exercise session safer and more effective. The sequence includes decompression with belly breathing, leg lengthener, leg press, thoracic lift, head press, upper back and body melting and pelvic press.

2. 8 to 10 minutes of Dynamic Warm-Up
Next comes 8 to 10 minutes of dynamic warm-up prior to the main body of your workout. These warm-up motions help to physically warm your body while synchronizing the body and brain. This warm-up will include heel and toe walks, high knees, side shuffle, skipping and other activities designed to warm-up your muscles. A good warm-up synchronizes the body and brain before your workout providing the opportunity for maximum muscular strength and preventing injuries associated with multi-movement patterns.

3. Sit to Stand 
Sit to Stand is both a test and an
excellent health-based exercise as well. It tests for your lower body strength, balance and endurance and is an excellent predictor of your ability to thrive as you get older. When performed properly, Sit to Stand acts as a lower body strengthener and aerobic conditioner superior to the treadmill or other cardiovascular machines.

The concept is very simple. Sitting in a chair with your ankles directly under your knees, stand from the chair as slowly as you can without using your arms to push off. The slower you can stand the better your score. Now try sitting just as slowly without using your hands or dropping into the chair. Practicing Sit to Stand each and every time you use a chair is a great health-based exercise practice.

4. Single Leg Balance
Stand erect, back straight and head up. Lift one leg and try to stand quietly as you balance. The knee on the standing leg should be slightly bent. Do not use your arms to stabilize but tap your toe into the floor instead. If you find this easy, cross your arms over your chest to increase the degree of difficulty. For a greater challenge, try balancing on one leg with your eyes closed. This helps to stimulate your balance in a completely different way.

5. Partial Plank or Full
Start on your elbows, knees and toes face down on the floor. Tighten abdominal and gluteal muscles and lift your knees off the floor as you breathe out. Keep your back flat and head facing down in line with the rest of your body. Breathe regularly and do not hold your breath. Hold this position for up to 3 minutes. If you feel your back start to sag, lift your hips and try to maintain a flat back. If you cannot maintain a flat back, stop the 1/2 plank at once.

Don't forget to stretch at the end and stay well hydrated by taking in water at 15 minute intervals throughout your workout.

Would you like to improve the safety and quality of your health and fitness program, reduce stress and improve your ADL's but don't know where to start? I provide several easy to follow programs that help improve your bone health, posture, balance, stamina, strength and brain health while reducing fracture risk. Contact me anytime for a complimentary consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

Meal Timing Important to Healthy Weight Loss
by Woody McMahon

When You Eat is Important
Successful weight loss programs all have several important components in common. If you find yourself having a hard time losing weight, make sure your program isn't missing one or more of those important pieces. Two of the most important and overlooked parts in any healthy weight loss program are meal timing and frequency. If you are not paying close attention to these two modules, they can destroy all the hard work you are putting in at the gym and leave you feeling frustrated and fat.

Meal Timing
Your body responds favorably to consistency especially when it comes to food. So eating on a regular schedule significantly improves your chances of losing and keeping off the weight. Regular meal times help to maintain healthy blood glucose levels that stimulate the burning rather than the storing of calories. When glucose levels are consistent, then insulin and cholesterol levels are in check. Regular meal times also help to control hunger which contributes to overeating; the most common reason for
excess weight gain.

Food Frequency
Not only do you need to eat on a consistent schedule but also the timing between meals is important. Most weight loss experts agree that major meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner are best if they are spaced equally throughout the day. In between those meals, a series of healthy snacks supplement the meals so that 4 hours is the maximum amount of time you go between eating.

As an example, let's say you eat breakfast at 6 am, lunch at 12 pm and dinner at 6 pm. That is 6 hours between each major meal. In a well designed eating schedule, a healthy snack should be inserted at 9 am and 3 pm. This schedule will prevent you from overeating at any one meal and help your
blood sugar levels remain consistent.

Breakfast is Crucial
The first meal of the day can either start you off right or lead to caloric disaster. Sadly many people skip breakfast in the false hope that they can shave a few extra calories off their daily intake. Breakfast is definitely the wrong time to be skipping a meal. If you finished your last meal of the day at 7 pm then your body has gone for approximately 11 hours without food. You have just completed a mini-fast while you were sleeping. Further restricting your body of important "beginning the day" calories
has shown to reduce creative and critical thinking, contribute to lowered
concentration and promote later day overeating.

Healthy Snacks Control Overeating
Overeating is the number one cause of weight gain and healthy snacks reduce the urge to overeat by maintaining stable levels of blood glucose. Overeating is an emotional and physical reaction to your body falsely thinking it is starving. Once your brain isn't getting enough blood sugar, it creates a barrage of chemicals to stimulate hunger. If the brain always has a consistent amount of blood glucose, then those hunger signals are greatly reduced. People who overeat actually panic when they feel hungry, creating a rush to overeat. Healthy snacks are the best way to keep your brain adequately fueled and control overeating.

Try adding these healthy weight loss components to your plan and see how much easier it is to lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.

Weight loss does not need to be a struggle. Feel what it is like to achieve a healthy weight without calorie counting or restrictive dieting. If you are having trouble with your weight and need additional suggestions and advice on a healthy weight loss program please email or call me for a
complimentary consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

NEW An Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program! 

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance
Better balance is THE KEY to preventing falls, fractures and improving your quality of life. Recently I had the privilege of taking a 2 day, 16 hour training in an innovative, evidence-based falls prevention program called Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (Tai Ji Quan is also known as Tai Chi in this country) with Dr. Li of the Oregon Research Institute. I am currently the only instructor authorized to teach this course in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.

What makes this program so unique is that it has been shown through scientific and clinical research papers to reduce the frequency of falls by over 50%. Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance modifies traditional Tai Chi movements and creates a unique, therapeutic balance system. The movements and activities integrate motor, sensory and cognitive components to improve postural control, balance, gait and enhance performance of daily functional tasks and mobility for older adults. The classes are especially helpful for those who have movement and cognitive impairments and balance challenges such as
with Parkinson's and Alzheimers's disease.

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance is a 2 hour a week, 24 week program that has the potential to prevent and manage various diseases by improving balance, circulation, coordination, confidence, well-being and quality of life in middle-aged and older adults. It is a great addition to the CDC recommended goal of participating in 150 minutes of regular exercise per week.

To introduce as many people as possible to thos wonderful program, I am offering FREE introductory classes for the Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance functional therapy program. 

For more information please contact Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or by 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

More 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