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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                October 15, 2009 
  • BOSU® for Better Balance and Strength 
  • Lose Weight? ... Don't Count Calories
  • November Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting
  • New Be Bone Strong! Online

Feel Better... Live Better

BOSU® for Better Balance and Strength
by Woody McMahon

If you have never heard of or used the BOSU®, you are missing out on a
great piece of training equipment. The BOSU® is a half round ball that can
be used for strength, balance and cardio conditioning. Invented by David
Weck, the BOSU® Balance Trainer debuted in 2000 and quickly became one of
the most successful fitness training products in the world. Originally the
name "BOSU" was an acronym for "Both Sides Up". It meant that the BOSU®
Balance Trainer could be used on either side, the dome or the platform.


Improving on the Step

In the 80's, the step was the king of the fitness domain. In every health
club in America, step classes were all the rage. The BOSU® is really just a
modified step that requires greater use of the stability muscles to
maintain balance. The soft, deformable surface forces your whole leg
complex (foot, ankle, knee, hip and core) to work together as it tries to
stabilize the rest of your body.


Benefits Abound

The fact that the BOSU® is soft gives it greater versatility than a
standard step. You can step on or into it depending on the type of exercise
and affect you are seeking. It can be used by people who need a softer
exercise surface due to foot or ankle pain. You can jump on top of it like
a trampoline for a cardiovascular benefit or use it to lunge into it for a
dynamic leg and core strengthening effect. Another benefit of the BOSU® is
that it can act as fitness ball as well. You can sit on the BOSU® and
perform a series of traditional core exercises.


Some Great BOSU® Exercise Ideas

The many ways you can use the BOSU® is only limited by your imagination
and creativity. Here are 3 good exercises to challenge your balance,
strength and cardiovascular conditioning.


1. BOSU® Balance

Try this the first time with the BOSU® near a wall in case you need to
hold on for stability. Place the BOSU® on the floor flat side down. Start
by stepping onto the BOSU® and placing your feet slightly less than
shoulder width apart. Stand on two feet until you feel comfortable with the
feeling of the soft, moveable surface. Place one foot on the top center of
the BOSU® and try balancing on one leg. Switch legs after about a minute.
When you get comfortable balancing on one leg with your eyes open, try
closing your eyes.


2. BOSU® Jumps/Jump Turns

Place the BOSU on the floor flat side down. Start by stepping onto the
BOSU® placing your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Bounce up
and down until you feel comfortable on the soft surface. Once you feel
stable try jumping high enough so that your feet actually leave the ball.
Make sure to keep your knees bent. When you have mastered that progression,
try 90 degree jump turns. Make sure to jump in both directions for equal
balance and muscle development.


3. BOSU® Lunges

Place the BOSU on the floor, flat side down, against a wall or other
immovable surface. Standing back about 3 feet and facing the BOSU, lunge
into the side of the soft top surface. Try to keep your balance making sure
that both knees are slightly bent and your back heel is slightly off the
ground. Also keep your head and chest upright and maintain your balance.
Return to your original starting position and step with the other foot. You
can make it a little more challenging by placing hands on your hips.


Give these exercises a try and see how the BOSU can really "pump up" your

Not all personal trainers are created equally. If you have special needs then
your trainer should have special training. Contact me to discuss how Fresh Start
can help make the most of your exercise time by building a stronger body the right way. With our program you'll improve balance, strength, flexibility, energy and stamina while feeling and looking your best. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 to
schedule your free Fresh Start consultation. You can also email to


Lose Weight? ... Don't Count Calories

by Woody McMahon

Counting Calories
On the surface, counting calories seems like a good thing to do if you
want to lose some weight. Over time however, counting calories becomes very
labor intensive and actually increases your preoccupation with food. The
whole point to successful weight loss is to reduce food's importance, not
increase it. The mere process of calculating and totaling calories for all
the foods you eat make you more, rather than less, food focused. So if
counting calories is not the answer, then what is the best way to keep form
Control Portions
For most people, excess weight is the result of over consumption of food
and inactivity. Reaching a healthy weight and keeping it there requires an
understanding of proper portion size. If you eat out or on the run, you
probably have noticed that food portions have gotten larger. Some portions
are even called "super size," just to let you know in advance that a lot of
food is headed your way. Once you can get portions under control, 70% of
your weight loss challenge is over. Here are some pointers to help you eat
Food is Visual
Before taste and smell come into play, your food is visual. Visualizing how
much food you really need keeps your portions in the healthy size range. 
First look at your meal; does it look like a lot of food. If it does look like
a lot, than it probably is a lot. Take your meal and look at it again.
Is it bright and colorful? If it is then you have a good food variety
with lots of fruits and vegetables included. What is the ratio between
your meat, vegetable, fruit and starch groups? If your vegetable group
is the largest, followed by meat, fruit and starch then you are doing
The Half Meal Rule
At a restaurant, generally if you want to eat a healthy portion you'll
take their portion and cut it in half. Your mother was wrong; you don't
have to finish everything
on your plate. That advice was based on a young,
active growing body and does not apply now. Consider this; in this time of
spiraling food costs, take half your meal home and save yourself some
money. Sometimes certain foods are even better the next day. If you are not
a leftover person, just leave it behind.
Learn Your Correct Meal Size
Counting calories can be a thing of the past once you can recognize the
correct amount of food on your plate. As you make the switch from counting
to visualizing, it may be helpful to get a food scale and measuring cup.
You can weigh a correct portion of chicken, beef or fish and remember what
that looks like on your plate. Use the measuring cup for serving sizes of
vegetables, rice, pasta and fruits. Once you can see what a correctly
portioned meal looks like, at home or on the road, you'll never overeat
Save Yourself a Lot of Work
Remember, every extra 250 calories consumed means another hour at the
gym. Practically, you'll eat 500 to 1000 extra calories a day if you're not
careful. Do the math and you see that it takes 2 to 4 hours of gym time
just to maintain your current body weight. If you are trying to lose
weight, the 2 to 4 hours does not shed one extra pound from your body. So
be smart and eat a normal healthy portion to control your weight then get
to the health club 3 hours a week to improve your health.

Follow our Fresh Start Healthy Weight! system and you can 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 free consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or
email to 

Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: Vitamin D Important to Your Bones and Health  

Date: Tuesday November 3rd  

Time: 6 to 7 pm

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

Come dressed in comfortable clothes and bring water. For questions and
reservations please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to



New Be Bone Strong! Online Program

Be Bone Strong!
 is now available online. With the use of Skype, emails, phone calls and the internet, you can benefit from the only complete osteoporosis prevention and repair program. Video consultations, stress reduction activities, healthy eating plans and functional weight bearing programs all available in the comfort of your own home over your computer.  

Be Bone Strong! focuses on reducing fracture risk by helping you change your lifestyle. 
Unlike other programs that just focus on medications, calcium and vitamin D to increase
bone density, Be Bone Strong! works to modify ALL the lifestyle factors that help you
increase bone quality

Our unique three step process makes it easier to improve bone strength faster:


Step 1: Personalized Osteoporosis Lifestyle Assessment

Step 2: Comprehensive "Make My Bones Strong" Plan and Program

Step 3: Implementation Support, Motivation and Consultation

Follow The "Big 5 for Healthy Bones" and you can't go wrong:

1. Dietary changes that balance protein with fruit and vegetable intake.
Fruits and veggies contain greater amounts of water, minerals and antioxidants with generally lesser amounts of animal protein to reduce total body inflammation.
2. Calculate optimum water intake for maximum hydration. Water is very important
in helping the kidneys regulate pH and detoxify the body.
3. Increase daily stress reduction activities. This helps lower cortisol and homocystein
levels while reducing calcium loss.
4. Establish year round vitamin D3 levels in the 50-80 ng/mL (or 125-200 nM/L).
This should be confirmed by regular 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing.
5. Safe and sufficient weight bearing exercise to stimulate muscle growth and balance. This is essential for increasing bone quality and preventing falls.


Test your bone knowledge and take our Strong Bones Healthy Body Quiz at


To learn more about Be Bone Strong! Online or to schedule a free consultation, please go to and click on Be Bone Strong!



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) 2006-2009 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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