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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 2014

  • Lifestyle Overdrive Can Make You Sick!
  • Comfort Foods... Fact or Fiction?
  • Pickleball Continues at Sequoia Health  
  • LivMD Ready for Demo
  • Total Training for Pickleball Coming in 2015!

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 and
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 by 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
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, is 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
cause 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. Notice if you eat different foods during a stressful day than
on a non-stressful day. Also track the volume and frequency of these 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.

Do you want to feel better but are not sure how to start? Kick off the
New Year by coming in for a no cost consultation. We can talk about
simple ways to help you sleep better, lose excess weight, feel stronger,
improve bone health and much more. Call 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.

Sign-Up for Pickleball Today!

Helen, Lee and I want to thank you for coming to our Pickleball clinics
at Cassel's Sports and Awards. We had a great turn out with over
50 people participating in the three different clinics.

Now that we have the ball rolling, we want to get a show of hands of
those who would be interested in playing Pickleball on a regular basis.
Lee is offering drop-in Pickleball, court and equipment rentals as well
as a fully stocked pro shop.

Helen and I are offering additional Pickleball clinics as well as Total
, an 8 week fitness, weight loss and Pickleball skills small
group training program.

Total Pickleball classes include functional exercises, movement
activities and skill drills to improve your game, increase your strength,
balance, stamina and flexibility while also helping you rev-up your
metabolism and shed some extra pounds.

These classes are safe, well rounded, effective and more fun allowing you
to skip the gym without a guilty conscience. Total Pickleball will get you
in great shape and have you playing better Pickleball (and Tennis) in no
time. Please email your interest to

If you want to know more about Pickleball in the DC area, please contact
Helen to have your name added to her distribution list for DC Area
Pickleball News. Helen's email address is
You can also contact her if you want to schedule private or group Pickleball
instructional sessions. She offers several classes including Pickleball Basics
and a Doubles Strategy session.

Please call or email me if you have any questions or have interest in any
of our offerings.
For more information please contact Woody McMahon
at 703.628.2880 or email to

Click Here for the Clinic #1 Pickleball Graduating
Class Photo...

Click Here for a Great Pickleball Video...

The Game
Pickleball is a sport where four players use solid paddles to hit a ball,
similar to a wiffle ball, over a tennis height net. The game is easy to
learn, slower than and on a smaller court than tennis and safer on the
back and knees. Pickleball was invented in the mid 1960s and has
quickly became popular among adults as a fun game for players of
all skill levels.

Click Here to Read About Helen White and Local Pickleball...

Upcoming Events and Programs

New Total Pickleball Available Now!
Let's face it, nobody likes to go to the gym and workout. Why?
Because its boring! And the results are usually pretty dismal.

Lots of effort, little benefit. Now you can get a fun, more effective
and safer workout by combining the popular sport of Pickleball
with a clinically proven functional exercise program.

Helen White, a Pickleball silver medalist, and I have teamed up to
give you the very best small group, sports conditioning program
available. The small setting makes your workouts personal, social
and enjoyable. This is your chance to ditch the treadmill and
have fun while you "get in the best shape of your life."

Each one hour small group (8 maximum) class includes 30 minutes
of conditioning training combined with 30 minutes of
Pickleball skill
drills and play.

Each class includes:

  • Proper Dynamic Warm-Up and Cool Down Stretching
  • On-Court Agility Drills to Improve Your Footwork and
    Strengthen the  Heart and Lungs
  • Balance and Coordination Activities
  • Exercises to Improve Muscular Strength and Endurance
  • Each one hour session keeps your heart rate in
    an individual training zone for maximum calorie burn
    and cardiovascular strengthening.

Individual and small group training classes available. For more information
or to sign-up contact Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email

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 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.

Authorized LivMD Demonstration Center
I am please to announce that after many years
of behind the scene work and effort,
Sequoia Heath and Fitness has been chosen to be an official
demonstration site for the LivMD.

We will have a demonstration unit in the office so that you
can experience for yourself the stimulatory effect of the
Low Intensity Vibration. Marodyne will offer the LivMD

for short-term rental and sale through our facility.

We are excited about this opportunity and the ability to
help more people improve their health and fitness. I am
looking for 12 volunteers to be a part of an investigational
study at my office. Please call or email for details.

For more information please contact Woody McMahon
at 703-628-2880 or email to

Benefits of LivMD

LivMD is a safe* scientific-based solution for improving health and

A Solution Based on Science
Several decades of research shows that low-intensity vibration offers
a low-impact exercise that stimulates muscles and relieves minor
muscle aches and pains throughout the body.

Promotes Muscular Health
Scientific evidence suggests that low-intensity vibration promotes
redevelopment of muscle mass.

Restoration of Joint Mobility
LivMD has been shown to help restore motion to joints which is an
important factor for anyone recovering from a joint injury or from surgery.

Adjunct Treatment for Obesity
LivMD is a non-pharmacological adjunct treatment for obesity which
uses low-intensity vibration to stimulate muscles throughout the body.

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