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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                          April 2, 2007 
  • Healthy Feet are Happy Feet
  • Staying Forever Young
  • Last Call...Team Sequoia MS Walk for 2007 
  • Another New Healthy Product Added
  • ChildHelp USA Happy Hour April 20th
    at Reston Town Center 


Healthy Feet are Happy Feet

Nearly 85% of Americans will see a doctor for a foot-related problem, according to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. In staggering contrast, barefoot populations develop relatively few serious foot-related problems over their lifetime. What is the reason for this glaring discrepancy? The answer is relatively simple. You must keep your feet strong for them to work properly and stay healthy.  Sound familiar? The rest of your body (knees, hips, back and neck) depend on the health of your feet.

Foot Design
The human foot has a marvelous dual design. Your foot must first manage shock when it strikes the ground and then be able to push off moving your body onto the next step of the walking cycle. In a healthy foot, the muscles constantly tighten and loosen to optimally align the bones so you can walk, run, or dance without jarring and damaging your feet or the rest of your body. When weak muscles of the foot and leg are no longer able to properly align the foot structures, the resulting damaging stresses can lead to painful strain or injury to the muscles and joints in your feet, legs, hips or back. 

Keeping Your Feet Pain Free 
There are two good ways to keep your feet pain free. First, wear shoes that won't weaken your feet and second, use a good foot strengthening system. Your feet rely on strong foot and leg muscles to do their job properly. The muscles in the feet are no different than any other muscles in the body...they need exercise too. One of the best ways to strengthen your feet is to go barefoot around the house. Consider practicing your balance at the same time by alternately standing on one leg when you do the dishes or brush your teeth. If you find going barefoot uncomfortable, then your foot muscles may already be damaged and need a rehabilitation program.  

Shoe Misconceptions 
Over time, improper shoes can weaken your feet. Shoes that weaken your foot and leg muscles can create conditions such as bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and shin splints. Foot doctors have told us to wear cushioning and/or supportive shoes and, if necessary, orthotic inserts to help the feet perform better. Recent studies from the barefoot running industry and Olympic barefoot training programs show that supportive shoes and orthotic inserts actually do more harm than good. That's because shoes that artificially "support and/or cushion" the feet prevent natural healthy foot function and actually restrict and weaken the foot, reducing its ability to stay strong and pain free. 

Choosing a Good Shoe
One of the most difficult challenges is finding a shoe that will protect your feet without weakening them. When choosing a good shoe, less is more. In other words, the more cushioning, motion control, or supportive features, the less you want it. The more expensive shoes are not necessarily the best. When buying shoes, look for a fully flexible sole that you can bend like a flip flop; a toe box that is straight and tall to allow as much room as possible for your toes to move and spread as you walk; a lacing system that allows the shoe to follow the movements of your foot and soft, expandable material that hugs your foot but does not restrict its movement. Two of the best shoes meeting all the criteria are the Speedo or Ecco water shoes. 
The Arch Activation Foot Strengthening Insole System 
Roy Gardiner, CEO of Barefoot Science has developed a great product called The Arch Activation Foot Strengthening Insole System (AAFSIS). This revolutionary new technology is designed to stimulate, strengthen and restore natural, healthy foot function. I started using it about a year ago and have recommended it to many clients who have hip and back pain, plantar fasciitis and bunions. To read more go to
To learn how Fresh Start can help you successfully eliminate foot, leg and back pain of all types, please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or

Mental and Physical Activity Keeps You Feeling Young

More exciting news surfaced this week about the benefits of regular physical activity and a healthy brain. Newsweek and Parade Magazine had articles touting the host of health benefits in people who are more physically active. One of the more recent findings focuses on brain cell growth.
For many years, scientists believed that all the cells in your body, except for the brain, could regenerate. A recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed for the first time that humans have the capability to grow new brain cells. How did they do it? Physical activity...  After exercising for three months, all the study participants appeared to sprout new brain cells. 

Interrupting the Long Slow Decline
Until now, the general view of aging has been a slow decline of our brains and bodies until we died. It was also thought that as we grew older, our failing abilities were a result of a natural slowdown of the cellular processes and an inability to make new cells. In other words, as you got older, the best you could hope for was a failing body and brain to match. Now, a much more optimistic possibility is being explored... maybe loss of function formerly attributed to the aging process has more to do with how much we use our abilities and less to do with our age. 

Training the Brain and the Body
Growing older doesn't have to involve "dry rot" as the article in Parade Magazine put it. Following a balanced physical and mental health activities program gives you the most bang for the buck. We have previously talked about Mental Fitness; the
process of training, developing, strengthening and balancing your mind in conjunction with your muscles. Certain activities like ping pong and tennis, that require physical and mental process combined, appear to be some of the best. The cells in your body sense the difference in activity and thought patterns and respond accordingly. Activities that allow you to have fun, be physically active while having to keep score seem to have what is called a "high stimulation function."

Putting it All Together
Improving your health is both an active as well as passive process.
Dedicating time to the reinforcing benefits of physical and mental health will help you live a long and healthy life. The passive part includes spending time in meditation and social relaxation activities promoting a healthy outlook... one of hope and optimism. Your body responds by adjusting its physiology to match your thought patterns. Hormones balance themselves and your body runs the way it was designed... smoothly. 

ow, include regular physical activities that you enjoy. Again, the health improvement process is a process and you want to have fun. Activity also needs to be social. Finding people to enjoy this "healthy time" with is also good for you. So maybe it will be dancing classes, tennis, group exercise or a hiking group. The key to better health is to choose physical activities you enjoy and people to enjoy them with you. Better health in isolation is difficult to achieve even for the most dedicated. 

Don't Forget to Mind the Mind
Daily thoughts create an image that the mind holds as a template for all of your bodily processes. Worrying, being angry and feeling out of control all of the time leaves your body depressed, your stomach upset and your head hurting. Take charge of your mind and work on making 80% or more of your thoughts positive. That way you will constantly be sending healthy signals to your body and improving your health.

To read more of the Newsweek article go to

Learn how Fresh Start can help you successfully improve your lifestyle and maintain good health at any age, please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or

Last Call...MS Reston Walk Sunday, April 15th

The MS Reston walk is scheduled for Sunday, April 15th starting and finishing at Reston
Town Center. Team Sequoia has 15 people registered for the walk. I need a head count for
breakfast which will be at The Silver Diner at 8:00am. We will start the walk togeter as a
team at 9am.
The MS walk is a great goal to set for yourself for 2007. This is the time of
year everyone is making commitments to get more active. Here is your chance to do
something good for yourself and MS.

Go to to register and learn more about the event. If you have
any questions or would like to help volunteer please email me at
or call 703-628-2880.
I look forward to seeing you walk again this year. Woody  
ChildHelp USA Happy Hour April 20th
at Reston Town Center 

Child abuse is a major problem in this country. On April 20th starting at 6:30pm,
ChildHelp USA with the help of Reston Town Center and Pizza Uno are holding a
awareness night to help stop child abuse. Please come out and support the
effort to stop child abuse. There will be free popcorn, games and prizes.
To learn more about how you can help stop child abuse, contact  Becky Baker
at 703-464-5171 or email your questions to
Foot Pain Relief... Now on the Healthy Product Page

Check out our new Healthy Products page. I have tested and used each of these products
personally finding them to meet or exceed my expectations.
To learn more go 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.

About this Newsletter 

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