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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                                                               September 1st 2014

  • Sit Less... Stand More... Live Longer!
  • Plants Help Make Your Home Healthier
  • There's No Place Like Home Workshop October 23rd
  • NEW Walking Poles Program Coming Soon
  • Posture Perfect!TM  Try Your First Class for FREE!

Feel Better... Live Better

Sit Less... Stand More... Live Longer!
By Woody McMahon

Stand More and Sit Less
The health benefits of standing more and sitting less are becoming more
and more apparent. Several studies on the effects of prolonged sitting have
confirmed what we already intuitively know.
Sitting too much, a.k.a,
a sedentary lifestyle, is just not good for your health or longevity. One
study, conducted in 2009, says the following and I quote:

"prolonged bouts of sitting time and a lack of whole-body muscular
movement are strongly associated with obesity, abnormal glucose metabolism,
diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and
cancer as well as total mortality and "are" independent of moderate to
vigorous-intensity physical activity."

As I tell clients all the time, "Sitting more only makes you better at sitting."
We need to stand more and sit less.

Move It or Lose It
In a nutshell, the researchers found two things. First, the more you sit
the greater your relative risk for chronic illness and disease. This is probably
the result of decreased circulation and reduced oxygen levels in the blood.
Second, they found that long periods of sitting can actually neutralize the
health gains
that you receive from regular exercise. This finding is worth
being aware of even though the reasons behind it are unclear.

Sit Less, Stand More
Spending less time sitting can significantly improve your health and
reinforce your exercise efforts. Researchers also found that for "each 1-hour
increase in sitting time watching television increased the prevalence of
the metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure and blood sugar and increased
belly fat) in women by 26%, independent of the amount of moderate to
vigorous-intensity physical exercise performed. This was approximately
the same quantity of decreased risk (28%) of the metabolic syndrome
that was induced by 30 minutes of extra physical exercise."

What This Means to You
The authors have discovered an important premise when it comes to your
health and activity levels. They agree that exercise based physical
activity improves your health in many ways. No one argues this point
anymore. They were also able to show that non-exercise activity was
as important to your health as structured exercise. Examples of non-
exercise based activity include using the stairs, housework, walking
to the copier or bathroom and walking instead of using a car. The authors
found that the more non-exercise activity incorporated into your daily
life, the less chance you have of developing the diseases mentioned above.

When You Exercise, Do Not Sit
Unless you are forced to exercise sitting because of severe balance or
leg problems, don't. When you sit, the compressive forces on your spine
are multiplied 100 fold. Combine the sitting position with say an overhead
press and you are creating a potentially dangerous situation inviting
vertebral fractures (breaks). This is especially true if you are over age 50 or
have been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Standing is the best
position for a majority of your exercise program. When you stand you also
get additional benefits such as better balance, back, hip and leg stability
and increased stamina and coordination.

Activity Substitutions Can Boost Your Health
The authors of this study are NOT saying that you should stay in constant
motion during the day. Sleep, resting and daily naps are all still a very
good health practices as is participating in a regular health-based exercise
sessions. They are suggesting that your health can be significantly improved
by just moving a little bit more during the day. When creating a healthy
activity plan, it is important to look at activity levels both outside and inside
a structured exercise plan. So to maximize your health, try these simple
activity substitutions:

1. Climb stairs rather than using the elevators and escalators.

2. Take a 5 minute active break such as going to the copier or the
    bathroom every hour during sedentary work.

3. Walk to the store or to lunch rather than taking your car.

4. Rake leaves rather than use a leaf blower.

5. Shovel snow instead of using a snow blower.

Finally, remember to include 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical
exercise a week. That comes down to about 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

Would you like help in getting the most from your current exercise program?
Maybe you would like to begin an exercise program and don't know where
to start?
I provide easy to follow health-based exercise programs that help
improve your bone health, posture, balance and strength while reducing
fracture risk. Contact me anytime for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880
or send an email to

Plants Help Make Your Home Healthier
by Woody McMahon

Chemicals in Your Home
Your home can be a potentially unfriendly mix of volatile organic
chemicals (VOC's) like formaldehyde, molds and other contaminants. The EPA
has identified as many as 900 VOC's inside homes coming from clothing,
furniture, paints and carpets. These VOC's can also be released into your
home from fertilizers, glues, plywood, fiberboard, particleboard and
certain types of insulation Another source can come from some
disinfectants, antibacterial soaps and even beauty products. You spend
many hours in your home so you want the environment to be as healthy as

Healthy House Plants
Bill Wolverton, an environmental scientist and retired senior researcher
at NASA, has been studying the air cleaning effects of indoor plants for
about 25 years. He has found that certain indoor plants can remove harmful
chemicals as well as molds, viruses and bacteria while increasing oxygen
levels. In an interview with PBS, he said, "We're wise to use plants. Much
of our furniture is made of synthetic materials; there are pollutants in
carpets, bedding – even mattresses."

Nature's Air Filters
Plants are ‘nature's living air filters' that can literally suck out
these pollutants absorb them and break them down." There is a
misconception that plants are bad for people who have allergy and asthma
symptoms. Interestingly, Mr. Wolverton's research has shown just the
opposite. Plants actually remove allergic irritants helping symptoms
rather than increasing them.

How Do Plants Keep Air Clean
In the soil, plants have natural colonies of "friendly" bacteria growing
on their extensive root systems. To make food as a plant grows; it absorbs
chemicals, airborne microbes and carbon dioxide through the leaves and
releases oxygen in return. The bacteria, viruses and VOC's are transferred
to the root system where they are destroyed by the bacterial colonies. The
benefit of houseplants is their ability to increase oxygen levels while
reducing harmful levels of contaminants.

How Many Plants Do I Need?
NASA research showed that generally two 6 inch potted plants per room was
enough to provide a dramatic improvement in air quality. The larger the
plants the more air they were able to clean. NASA also found certain
plants are better air cleaners than other. Here is a list of beneficial
plants you should have in your home.

Healthy Plant List

- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

- Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)

- Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

- Ficus alii (Ficus macleilandii)

- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)

- Golden pothos (Epipremnun aureum)

- Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)

- Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)

- Dwarf Date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)

- Rubber plant (Ficus robusta)

- English ivy (Hedera helix)

For more information on Bill Wolverton's research on healthy house plants
go to

Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel what it is like to be
a part of the health solution rather than a health burden. If you need
additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle, email or

call me for a no cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or send an 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 $20. This is the perfect gift, the gift of health, to give
to someone you love.

"There's No Place Like Home"
Workshop at the Shepherd Center

What: A sixty minute workshop on the why's and how's of
staying in your own home as you get older.

When: Thursday October 23th, 2014 from 10:00-11:00 am

Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (UUCF)
            Program Building
            2709 Hunter Mill Rd
            Oakton, VA 22124

Who: Pat Williams, Certified Senior Advisor and
         Woody McMahon, Certified Adult Exercise Specialist

Why: Staying in your own home as you get older, or helping a
         loved one do the same, takes planning.  

We will cover:

  • The Importance of Assessing and Planning
  • Creating a Successful Support Team
  • Making Your Home Safe, Comfortable and Secure
  • Lifestyle Changes That Enhance Independence

Cost: Free

For more information please contact Woody McMahon
at 703.628.2880 or email to

Additional Information
Pat Williams of GraceFul Care and I will provide valuable
answer your questions on how to safely and comfortably stay
in your own home as you get older.

Pat and I believe that your home is your castle and, for many
beneficial reasons, you want to stay there as long as possible.
Deciding to stay at home may be one of the biggest life changing
decisions you will ever make

In our workshop we will discuss the many health and quality of life
benefits of staying in the comfort of your own home rather than
moving to a retirement facility. We will outline the logical and
important steps necessary to keep you in your home.

Just like we tell all of our clients, "You Can Stay, We Can Help!

Recent research has shed some interesting light on the darker side of
retirement home living. Everything from higher costs to the loss of
personal freedom and independence has been examined in these
recent reports. These reports have determined that living in a
retirement setting is not as easy or as glamorous as you might think.

Click Here to read more about our wonderful, new program.

Upcoming Events and News

New Walking Poles Program Coming Soon
Walking poles are an old technology that are making a comeback.
The latest research suggests that walking with poles offers many
more benefits such as increased balance stability, greater upper body
strength and increased stamina and energy expenditure than just
regular walking. Several research studies how found them effective
for breast cancer recovery, Parkinson's disease and weight loss.
We will offer three walking pole classes each targeting different
and unique benefits. Stay tuned for more info.

Posture Perfect!TM Class Begins in Arlington, Herndon
and Reston

Next week a new 8 weeks series of Posture Perfect!TM classes begin. We
have classes at Beth Emeth Congregation and Sequoia Health in Herndon
and Reston and Rock Spring Congregational church in Arlington. These
classes are ideal for anyone who is concerned about their posture, balance,
strength and stamina. The exercises that we teach are both safe and
effective especially if you have a diagnosis of back pain or osteoporosis.

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring 2 towels, one face
and one bath, a bottle of water and an exercise mat if you
have one.

To register please contact Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880
or email to

Posture Perfect!TM for Spinomed Program
I have created a new companion back strengthening exercise program to
help anyone wearing the Spinomed orthosis. The classes include helpful tips
on getting the most from your Spinomed as well as exercises that help
strengthen your back, improve your posture and increase your balance.

Click Here to learn more about this exciting program.

Posture Perfect!TM for LivMD Program
I have created a new companion back strengthening exercise program to
help anyone using the Marodyne LivMD low intensity vibration machine.
The classes include helpful tips on getting the most from your Marodyne
LivMD as well as exercises that strengthen your back, improve your
posture and increase your balance.

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 so come take your first Posture Perfect!TM
class for FREE. It's on us... so 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 backaches 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. (All of these increase 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.

Click Here to read more about S.A.F.E. and effective Posture Perfect!TM

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) 2006-2014 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