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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                                                               October 1st 2013

  • Balance Practice is a Life Saving Tool
  • Reduce Stress... Improve Your Health
  • Upcoming Events... Workshop Series... There's No Place Like Home 
  • Osteoporosis Support News... Yoga Nidra and Safe Senior Yoga
  • Posture Perfect!TM  October 7th Beginner Class Starts in Herndon/Arlington

Feel Better... Live Better

Balance Practice is a Life Saving Tool
By Woody McMahon

Good Balance Critical to a Long Life
As you age, good balance is one of the key components to maintaining a
healthy and independent lifestyle. Did you know that the #1 cause of
accidental death in people over age 65 is head trauma from falls? I have
known about this statistic for some time and because of it emphasize
balance training in all of my fitness programs. But just out of curiosity,
I asked several 50+ friends of mine about the head trauma statistic.
I was surprised to find out how few of them really understood the
importance of improving their balance as it related to maintaining
good health.

Your Balance is Important to Self-Confidence
Your balance is involved in every single daily activity you undertake.
Being unable to balance generates fear and anxiety and reduces your
ability to have fun. If you can't balance, simple activities such as
walking up and down stairs become daunting rather than routine.

For many people with balance problems, just walking on a flat surface
can create a challenge. If they were to add walking with groceries in
their hands, the task can become impossible. But just ask any of your
friends who might be having balance troubles and they will tell you of
its extreme importance.

Your Balance is Important to Independence
Good balance helps you remain independent. When surveyed, people
over age 65 always ranked maintaining their independence as they age
number one. Working on improving your balance helps prevent falls and
the medical cost assistance that is required for recovery. Starting a
balance training program is one of the most important fitness goals to
consider as you get older. You learned to balance at a young age and
can lose that ability unless you practice regularly. Sitting in exercise
machines is not a good way to stimulate your balance.

Practice Your Balance Daily
If you find yourself walking around feeling unstable or avoiding stairs
because of the fear of falling, it is time to start practicing your
balance. Balance training is easy to incorporate in any regular exercise
program; it just takes knowing how. When I perform a health and fitness
assessment and evaluate someone's balance, I use a simple test called
Single Leg Balance (SLB). You can try SLB at home and test your
balance as well.

Single Leg Balance... A Simple Test
To perform Single Leg Balance, stand on a flat, hard surface. Fold
your arms across the chest and then raise one foot off the floor
approximately two inches. Stand in this position with your head up
and shoulders level for 30 seconds. Make sure to breathe. During the
test, if your foot touches the ground or either shoulder dips to one
side, the test is over. Record your time. Now repeat for the other side.

A Test and an Exercise as Well
Not only is Single Leg Balance an important and reliable test but it is
also a simple and effective way to practice your balance as well. Try
standing on one leg for 30 seconds several times a day. Try it when you
are watching television, listening to the radio or any time you have a
spare moment or two. In balancing, as with most activities, the more you
practice the better you get. Until next time, I will be thinking of you
balancing on one leg.

Would you like to reduce stress and improve your bone health
but don't know where to start?
I provide an easy to follow program
called Be Bone Strong! that helps improve your bone health, posture,
balance and strength while reducing fracture risk. Contact me anytime
for a no cost 20 minute consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

Reduce Stress... Improve Your Health
By Woody McMahon

Keeping Your Mind Strong
Your mind is a wonderful tool when used correctly. But if left to its own
devices, your mind can create many unnecessary health and emotional
problems. The mind sets the tone for your entire body and life. Recent
studies have shown that your state of mind, optimism as an example,
is more closely tied to good health and longevity than pessimism. This is
not the first time that state of mind has been studied and found to have
a direct affect on physical health.

The Importance of a Stronger Mind
The recent events in the world at large punctuate how stressful the
world has become. Increasing your mental strength is the only way
you can ever hope to feel secure and hopeful in a world full of despair,
disease and uncertainty. A few years ago I coined the phrase
"Mental Fitness" in an attempt to help my clients realize that, just like
their bodies, their minds could be trained and strengthened as well. The
process of attaining a higher level of Mental Fitness is very similar to how
you develop increased physical fitness. What is the benefit of a stronger
mind? Why is a stronger mind so important?

The Mind Controls the Body
As I have stated before, your mind is a powerful tool IF you strengthen
it and then use that new found strength wisely. I am sure you know that
stress causes great harm to your body. Stress disrupts your body's natural
mechanism by altering its hormone balance. When hormones are out of
balance, your body has a difficult time maintaining a healthy state.

Internalized stress can be recognized by the variety of symptoms it
produces. Everything from back and neck pain, digestive difficulties,
sleep problems to muscle and joint aches and anxiety can be expected
from an over-stressed body. Left unmanaged, stress shortens your life;
literally destroying the body from the inside out.

Pump-Up Your Mind
The key to blocking the negative effects of stress in your life is not by
removing the stressful events but by changing your reaction to them.
A stronger mind is more capable of handling stressful situations
without reacting to them in a negative way. In truth, there really is
no stress in the world.
Stress is purely your mental reaction to an event. 
Strengthening your mind helps alter your reaction to that event and
changes the physical effects that follow. A different state of mind
modifies the way your body experiences the event. So how do you
do this?

Creating Your Mental Gym
You are probably familiar with the concept of physical fitness. To
become more physically fit, you must first create a well balanced exercise
program containing a variety of exercises that improve your posture,
strength, balance, stamina and flexibility. Once you have your exercise
program in place, you allocate time to practice your exercises. Practice
your program for a long enough and you begin to see results. This is
exactly the same process you will use to strengthen your mind.
The stronger your mind is
the less you will worry and harbor
negative thinking allowing you to enjoy
better health.

Positive Distractions for Your Mind
Fortunately there are several methods that can reduce or eliminate the
negative effects of stress. My favorites are a combination of physical and
mental fitness. Physical fitness strengthens your muscles and heart
providing more oxygen to the tissues helping promote healing and
biological stability. It distracts your mind in a positive way by shifting
your concentration to bodily movements, breathing and other healthy

Mental Fitness Magic
Mental Fitness is a series of exercises for your mind. These mental
gymnastics help strengthen the mind. They allow you to feel more empowered
while helping minimize physical damage to your body from stressful
situations. These mental exercises help make you more hopeful about your
life and your world, bringing you a sense of peace. Anytime you feel powerful
rather than powerless, your body will react much more favorably. Feeling
powerful in a stressful situation takes practice especially if the event
or events are uncomfortable in the first place.

I suggest devoting some time each and every day to improving both your
physical and mental fitness. Over the years, I have found the results
rewarding both personally and professionally.

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 20 minute no cost consultation, at 703-628-2880 or
email to

Upcoming Events and News

Workshop Series... There's No Place Like Home
Your home is your castle and you want to stay there as long
as you can. One of the big life decisions is whether to stay
in your home or live in a retirement or assisted living community.

Recent research has shed some 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 say that living in a
retirement center is not as easy or glamorous as one might

On January 21st, 2014 Pat Williams of Graceful Care and I will
begin a quarterly workshop series entitled
There's No Place Like Home. 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. 

Watch this newsletter for times, dates and registration information
to be coming soon.

New Beginner Posture Perfect!TM Class in Arlington
We have a new beginner Posture Perfect!TM class starting in Arlington on
October 7th at 12 pm. You may take your first class for FREE giving you
an opportunity to try the class without risk. To register please contact
Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to

The class address is:
The Rock Spring Congregational Church
5010 Little Falls Road
Arlington, Virginia 22207

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a towel, a bottle of water
and an exercise mat if you have one.

Rock Spring Congregational Church currently offers a Yoga and Tai Chi
class at their church. Posture Perfect!TM will be a nice addition to those
two offerings.

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, improves your posture and increases your balance.

Click Here to learn more about this exciting program.

Posture Perfect!TM First Class FREE

Instead of holding a monthly Posture Perfect!TM demo class, several
people have asked if thy can just come to one of the classes. For a 
limited time, you can try your first Posture Perfect!TM class for FREE.

so 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 leg strengthener); and performed movements that
involved crunching, bending and twisting. (increases the risk of spinal

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
strengthens your bones,
enhances your balance, alleviates back
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) 2006-2013 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.

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