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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 2014

  • Better Balance Can Prevent Falls (And Other Nasty Things)
  • Reduce Stress... Improve Your Health
  • 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

Better Balance Can Prevent Falls (And Other Nasty Things)
By Woody McMahon

Good Balance is 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 I 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 to prevent serious injury.

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.

It's Easy to 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.

Participating in the right kind of exercise program is important
especially as you get older.
I provide an easy to follow health-based
exercise programs that not only help improve balance but also your posture,
bone health, strength, confidence and flexibility. Contact me 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 exercises long enough and then 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 and helping to 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

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