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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                                                       December 1st 2012

  • Lifestyle Overdrive Can Make You Sick
  • Comfort Foods... Fact or Fiction?
  • Posture Perfect!TM FREE Demo Class December 19th
  • Posture Perfect!TM Gift Certificates Available
  • Up and Coming...  Be Health Smart! E-Book Series
  • Osteoporosis Support News

Feel Better... Live Better

Lifestyle Overdrive Can Make You Sick
(and Other Unhealthy Things)

By Woody McMahon

Rushing Increases Stress Levels
If you find yourself in "rush mode" all the time, BEWARE, you are robbing
yourself of good health and shortening your life. Rushing around raises
stress hormones in the body while increasing inflammation and reducing
your overall enjoyment of the activity. If your kids are rushing around
going to more events than they need each week, they may be jeopardizing
their health as well. Rushing, especially at a young age, does two things;
it teaches kids this unhealthy behavior early in life and it increases
their stress levels promoting overeating while fueling the obesity
epidemic we now face.

Try to Slow it Down
Rushing has reached epidemic proportions; more in this country than any
other in the entire world. When rushing starts to affect your health, many
unhealthy things can happen. Your waistline can expand as healthy eating
habits are eroded. Your bones can lose calcium and matrix as stress
hormones acidify your body. Very quickly, you can find your good health
eroded and slipping away. The most important question to ask is "where did
I learn that running around like this is good for me" and "why do I keep
doing it if it's not?" By slowing your life down, you have the opportunity
to enjoy more things even when you do less.

Let's take a closer look at two areas of your health that can suffer the
most from overdrive living.

Rushing and Your Bones
Your bones need stimulation in the form of safe and effective exercises.
But unlike the saying that goes, "If a little is good, more must be better"
your bones need to rest as much as they want to be active. Rushing around
promotes a hormone shift to higher cortisol levels. Cortisol along with other
hormones are associated with loss of bone strength and density. The only
way to achieve healthy bones is to slow your life down and get your work
and rest time in better balance.

Rushing and Weight Gain
Weight gain is almost a certainty when rushing starts to affect your
eating habits. In most cultures, food is enjoyed, even savored in long
lunches where conversation and social interaction are the norm. When you
eat on the run, not only do you raise stress hormone levels but you
encourage unhealthy habits like overeating, poor digestion, lack of
satiation and weight gain.

Here are 5 reasons to stop rushing especially when you eat:

1. Portion Control: Eating more slowly reduces the amount of food eaten
in the same amount of time. Eating more slowly allows the brain an
opportunity to correctly register when you are full. Without counting
calories or dieting, you can reduce food consumption that can translate
into losing several pounds per year.

2. Food Enjoyment: Meals are a time for enjoyment and socialization
rather than just being another "thing" we need to get done. Taking the
time to really taste your food makes meals become much more enjoyable.
Taste, smell and texture all contribute to your sense of happiness and
well being. Gulping down your food in an attempt to rush off spoils most
of the enjoyment in the eating experience reducing it to just another

3. Better Digestion: Saliva in the mouth is the first stage of the
digestion and absorption process of the food you eat. Eating slowly allows
you to chew more thoroughly mixing more saliva in with your food. Chewing
more thoroughly allows your food to be more easily digested and absorbed
when it reaches the stomach and intestines. You'll derive more nutrients
from less food with complete digestion. Better digestion also reduces the
chance of gastric distress such as bloating, food allergies and heart

4. Mindful Eating: This is one of the keys to any successful weight loss
program. Taking the time to eat when you are not distracted by the
television, a newspaper, magazine or the computer helps increase food
enjoyment. "Gulping it down" bypasses your food enjoyment centers in the
brain encouraging you to eat more to feel full. To register with your
brain, food must contact the taste buds in your mouth long enough to send
a pleasurable signal. The way food tastes is also changed by the amount of
time spent on the taste buds.

5. Healthier Food Choices: It takes extra time to consider a healthier
food option and move past the "instant food" selections. More often than
not, rushing to eat forces you to pick "the quick option" rather than the
healthier one. Fresh, flavorful, colorful and nutritious foods may not
necessarily be convenient for you but they are always better. Balancing
your foods and planning a healthier meal is time well spent. You are worth
it so go ahead and stop the rush and enjoy life more.

Would you like to reduce stress and get to a healthy weight but
don't know where to start?
I provide an easy to follow program called
Healthy Weight! that helps reduce excess weight, improve your bone
health, posture, balance and strength while improving your health.
Contact me for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

Comfort Foods... Fact or Fiction?
by Woody McMahon

Comfort Food Questions
You have read about comfort foods and how they are supposed to "make
you feel so good." Did you ever wonder why these foods affect your brain
the way they do? Have you ever considered if eating food for comfort is
even a good idea in the first place? When consuming these foods do
you tend to eat more than you should if given the opportunity?
Let's answer these questions as we explore the powerful affect these
foods can have on your brain.

Food and Your Brain
Your brain is very sensitive to the foods you eat. Proteins,
carbohydrates and fats are the basic building blocks of all food types.
Each of these building blocks initiates different chemical reactions in
your brain affecting the way you feel and function. Carbohydrates tend to
have the most dramatic brain reaction followed by fats and then proteins.
Be observant the next time you eat and see if you notice the subtle and
not so subtle reactions food has on your brain. You will notice that
certain combinations of foods will change how you feel with some leaving
you feeling comfortably sated while others irritable and ravenous.

Stress and Food
Stress induced eating is one of the most common causes of overeating and
excess weight gain. Generally the foods that are eaten during stressful
times are the "comfort" foods that are higher in carbohydrates and lower
in protein. During a stressful day notice if you eat different foods than
on a non-stressful day. Also track the volume and frequency of the foods
and see if it is more or less. With stress related eating you may have
just eaten but it can feel like you have not eaten in days. Some foods may
have you feeling energized while others make you want to take a nice long

Comfort Food... Myth or Reality?
Let's get back to our original questions about how beneficial comfort
foods really are for you. Eating foods for comfort is usually a bad idea
and most often leads to overeating and weight gain. Comfort foods are
generally higher in carbohydrates and fat and have a powerful stimulatory
affect on your brain. They also tend to be addictive which means higher
and higher amounts are necessary to produce the same effect. The reason
your brain likes carbohydrates so much is because it uses them to make
serotonin; one of your "feel good" chemicals. As you eat comfort foods
to help the brain feel better, you do so at the expense of your ever
increasing waistline which, when you look in the mirror, makes your brain
feel worse.

Better Ways to Bust Stress
There are many better ways to boost serotonin other than turning to food.
Different types of exercise including posture and balance work, sports,
weight training, walking and yoga all help boost serotonin without increasing
your calorie intake. On the quieter side, meditation, listening to music
or reading a book while enjoying a warm cup of tea can also reduce stress
and increase your "feel good" chemicals. These stress reducing activities
provide relaxation without promoting unhealthy eating habits and unwanted
weight gain.

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,
call me
for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

Posture Perfect!TM Free Demo Class
December 19th  12 to 1 PM
December 20th  6:30 to 7:30 PM

We are holding a FREE Posture Perfect!TM demo class from 12 to 1 pm
on December 19th and 6:30 to 7:30 PM on
December 20th at
Beth Emeth on Lawyers road in Herndon, VA.

Posture Perfect!TM Demo Class helps introduce you to the many
benefits of our safe and effective posture, balance and strength classes
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
and teach you how to sit and stand-up straighter.

so please call Woody McMahon at 703.628.2880 or email to for more information or to make your reservation.

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!"

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

Give the Gift of Health!
Posture Perfect!

Looking for the perfect gift for someone this Holiday Season?
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.

Upcoming Events

Be Health Smart! Facebook Page and E-Book Series
For over 30 years, I have been helping people improve their health and
fitness. With all the information (and misinformation) out there, it can
be very challenging to know what and who to believe. One of my goals
for 2013 is to begin an information service capable of
cutting through
the confusion and
simplifying your path to better health and fitness. 

That is the reason why I decided to start the Be Health Smart!
Facebook page and E-Book Series. I have elicited the help of
Megan Smith, RD and together we will give you the straight scoop,
bust a myth or two, simplify the confusion, lessen the madness and help
empower you to make good health decisions. We will also act as a
sounding board so you can ask your questions and get good answers.

Megan Smith, RD is a registered dietician with a specialty in bone health
and healthy weight loss. Over the years, I have been impressed with her
straight talk, level headed approach and captivating writing style pertaining
to food and healthier eating habits. If I might take the liberty of saying so,
she is "One Sharp Cookie!" and I am glad to have her help on this project.
Please Click Here to learn more about Megan and her expertise. 

Please watch for updates over the next few weeks as our Facebook page goes
live and we start providing a simpler approach to health and fitness; a clear
and effective alternative to many of the existing health and fitness myths.

Osteoporosis Support News

2012 Osteoporosis Resource Center at Qi Elements Classes

Current Class Schedule

Tai Chi for Osteoporosis
When: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-2:30 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $105 for one class a week, $190 for both classes
Email or call Roger 703 435-4400 for more

Yoga for Boomers & Beyond
When: Monday
6:45 to 8 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $154 for one class a week for 7 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Gentle Yoga for Seniors
When: Monday 11:45 to 12:30 PM or
Tuesday 11:45 to 12:30 PM
Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway
Suite 215, Herndon, VA 20170
Tuition: $48 for one class a week for 6 weeks
Email or call Bonnie at
703-407-2065 for more information.

Posture Perfect!TM Level 1 Beginner Classes
Wednesday 12:00 to 1:00 PM and Thursday 6:30 to 7:30 PM            
Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc
483A Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA 20170
$160 for 8 classes in 8 weeks
or call Woody at
703-628-2880 for more information.

What is the ORC?
The ORC is unique in the Northern Virginia area offering safe and effective
exercise classes including Personal Training, Yoga, Tai Chi and
Posture Perfect!TM We also offer classes and consultations for people with
osteoporosis, osteopenia, back, hip and neck pain as well as other
bone and joint health problems.

"What makes the ORC exceptional is that it offers safe and effective exercise
programs that can help improve posture, balance and strength for bone
and joint health problems" says Woody McMahon one of the center's
co-directors. "For the first time people that come to the center can feel
comfortable that the exercises they are performing will only do good and
not cause any harm."

Who Benefits From Our Classes

Beginners: Our unique classes are great for someone who wants to begin
a safe and effective exercise program but does not know where to start.

Post Rehabilitation: Our classes offer a safe and effective transition from
physical therapy to more general exercise that help to safely strengthen
important stability muscles.

The classes are perfect for tennis players, golfers or runners
who want to enhance their bodies to improve their sport and continue to
play safely and injury free.

Newsletter Sign-Up
Sign-up for our FREE newsletter The Sequoia Advisor to stay informed
about all of our future class offerings, workshops and seminars. It is
easy... just go to and enter your
name and email address.

We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our classes.
Please call Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to for more information.

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) 2006-2012 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