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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                          December 15, 2007 
  • Fit More Important Than Fat
  • Go Crazy With Cardio
  • Give the Gift of Health 
  • Fundraiser for The Jeanie Schmidt
     Free Clinic in Herndon


Fit More Important Than Fat

More Reason to Get Moving
A recent study released in The Journal of The American Medical Association, revealed that an individual's health was determined more by fitness levels than their amount of body fat. Dr. Steven Blair, an exercise and fitness expert at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health had this to say about the study, "Even in individuals who were fat - indeed, even in people who were obese - if they were fit, they did not have a higher risk of dying."

A Strong Heart and Lungs

The study was conducted on approximately 2600 people aged 60 and older. Based on this study, cardiovascular fitness (strength of the heart and lungs) appears to be more important than weight when it comes to predicting your mortality. Blair went on to say, "You ask how? How can a person be fat and fit? Well, you have to exercise." Blair defines exercise as 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week. If you can accomplish that, you're considered fit regardless of your weight. The study showed that the people with the lowest fitness levels, whether they were thin or fat, had a death rate twice as high as those who exercised regularly.


What about Weight Training?
Even though this study focused solely on cardiovascular fitness on a treadmill, other studies have concluded that weight training is also important to your fitness as well as overall health and quality of life. Adding strength training to your cardiovascular exercise program gives you the best of both worlds... stronger bones and muscles as well as a strong heart and lungs. Even better, participate in functional strength training and you'll also develop a better sense of balance and flexibility. Weight training provides a host of other health benefits such as lower blood pressure, better diabetes control, reduced cholesterol levels and a higher metabolism. 


What if I am Under 60?
Not to fear. The findings of previous health and fitness studies have translated well to lower age groups. Future studies of younger participants should show that fitness is still a better predictor of how long you will live than your body weight. Older adults tend to be less conditioned than younger people, so it takes them longer to reach higher levels of fitness. Older adults can also have health conditions that may prevent them from participating in as wide a variety of activities at first. If older adults stick with a fitness program long enough, they can come very close to the fitness levels of their 20 something rivals. 


What Does it all Mean to Me?

This study is important because it should help to redirect your thinking away from weight loss and towards health and fitness. Going to the gym just to lose weight is not really the most powerful reason. Based on this study, a better goal is to go to the gym to increase your fitness levels while strengthening your muscles, bones, heart and lungs. Interestingly, other studies have found that more frequent trips to the gym are better than a three time a week schedule especially when it comes to reducing stress. More frequent trips help manage stress better and thus reduce blood pressure and depression. Make 2008 the year you shift your focus toward your health and away from your waistline.

In 2008, commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free
Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to     



Go Crazy With Cardio

What Science Tells Us
Athletic science has shown us that the traditional approach to cardiovascular training is not the best. Most people find a machine they enjoy and then grind away for 30 to 60 minutes. They tend to stay at a constant speed or keep their heart rate at one level for the entire time they are doing their workout. To maximize your benefits and increase effectiveness athletic science has shown that your cardiovascular training should vary in speed, intensity and heart rate demand. This style of training, called interval training, more effectively strengthens heart and lungs while improving your ability to run or play a sport. Interval training places a greater demand on the body's aerobic and anaerobic energy systems improving both your ability to work and play.

The Anaerobic Energy System
The word anaerobic means "without oxygen." In the anaerobic system, energy for work or sport is created from chemicals stored in the muscles rather than from oxygen. The anaerobic energy system is used predominantly when your body needs energy under high demand for short periods of time. Activities that require short bursts of energy like sprinting, high intensity tennis, hiking or biking on hills, carrying a heavy box upstairs and heavy weight lifting are all good examples of anaerobic activities. In real life, most activities contain some balance of anaerobic and aerobic energy demand so it important to train this system as well. Steady state cardiovascular activity does not effectively train this energy system.


The Aerobic Energy System

The word aerobic means "with oxygen." In the aerobic system, oxygen combines with sugar (glycogen) that is stored in the muscles to create energy for movement or sport. The aerobic energy system is used predominantly when your body needs energy under low to moderate demand for over longer periods of time. Activities that require longer energy demand include walking or biking on flat terrain, jogging, low intensity tennis, light to moderate weight lifting are all good examples of aerobic activities. Steady state cardiovascular activity trains this energy system. Unfortunately, real life activities rarely require a steady state energy demand.


More Benefits, Less Time
If you take the same amount of time you are currently dedicating to cardiovascular training and include interval training, you will double your benefits. All that is required is a change in intensity and heart rate during your workout. Intervals place higher and lower demands on your body over a given period of time. They are an effective way to train both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Best of all, they are easy to implement. The key to interval training is to perform periods of higher work loads interspersed with adequate active rest periods. You can use target heart rate as your determining factor or the Perceived Exertion Scale. Try the example below and you will love the results.

Note: This interval should only be attempted if currently participating in a cardiovascular training program.      

Interval Training Example (60 minutes)
*Warm-up 8 to 10 minutes at a low pace

*30 minute interval

1 minute increased pace to 80% of Maximum Target Heart Rate (MTHR)

2 minutes reduced pace until heart rate returns to 50% MTHR

*Repeat the 1 minute/2 minute cycle above for 10 cycles

*Cool Down and Stretches 10 to 15 minutes

In 2008, commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free
Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to     


Holiday Gift Giving

The Christmas season is upon us. What better way to say "I love you" then with a gift of health. We have created some nice gift certificate packages for personal training, cooking classes and massage therapy. We have also put some Special Santa pricing on them for your friends and loved ones. Call us today at 703-464-5171 or email to for more information. We have gift certificates to fit every budget. 
Here is an example of some of our Santa Gift Packages:


Santa Gift Package #1 $199

One Hour Massage, One Hour Health and Fitness Evaluation and One Hour "Get Started" Personal Training Session.  A $250 Value

Fundraiser for Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon

January Whack-it League and Tournament 

Join us in January for some FUN cardio, social time and fundraising for a good cause.
We are partnering with Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon sponsoring our first ever Whack-it league and tournament. Play times will be held on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. First, second and third place team prizes will be awarded. Come play for a good cause. Proceeds are being donated to the Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon.  

The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon
was founded by in 2002 by Jeanie Schmidt who identified a critical need for health screenings for children seeking entrance to Fairfax County Schools.  In 2005, an adult clinic was added to serve the needs of patients with chronic health concerns.  In March of 2007, they moved to a dedicated facility at 500 Grove Street in Herndon.  


For more information on The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon, go to 

For more information on how to sign-up, volunteer or donate to the tournament, please contact Suzanne Riley at 703-464-5171 or email to   


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) 2006-2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitnes
s, Inc.

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