Get Back to Nature with Outdoor Activities 

Fly fishing Atlanta

1. The skill of fly fishing takes some effort to master. To educate and encourage you in this sport, Orvis stores offer free Fly Fishing 101 classes. All ages are welcome to tattend and learn the basics of fly casting, fly tying and more. Participants can even progress to Fly Fishing 201 and 301 courses, which will help prepare you for long summer days on the river.

Details: 3275 Peachtree Road, Ste. 210, Atlanta, GA, (404) 841 0093,


2. Enjoy views of beautiful Lake Lanier from the deck of a sailboat this summer. Lanier Sailing Academy offers Basic Keelboat Certification and Coastal Navigation classes, as well as provate sailing instruction. In Basic Keelboat Certification, you’ll spend 80 percent of the class on the water, learning safety, sailors’ knots, docking and mooring, tacking and jybing, and everything else needed to be a sailor. The three-day class costs $485.

Details: 6920 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford, GA, (770) 945-8810,

Cochran Mill Park

3. Hiking at Cochran Mill Park requires just a comfortable pair of shoes, but the experience is so much more than a walk in the park. Their trails south of Atlanta will lead you to several different waterfalls. Hike the mile-long trail on the east side to get to Cochran Mill Falls, or hike the west side to Henry Mill Falls. Either option offers spectacular views and an enjoyable workout.

Details: 6505 Rico Road, Chattahoochee Hills, GA, (770) 463-8881, 

Athens to Atlanta Road Skate

4. Strap on your skates and learn some moves at the Bohemian Skate School. Classes are held outdoors, either at Piedmont Park or a location of your choice, starting at $35 per student. If you’re really skate-savvy, sign up for the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate in October. The Road Skate covers the scenic 87 miles from Athens, Georgia to the finish line in Old Fourth Ward Skate Park.


Chattahoochee River Rafting

5. Rent a canoe, kayak or raft and spend a day floating or paddling on the 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Make this a relaxing retreat with a leisurely paddling and wildlife observation, or head to the lower stretch of the river for a swift trip on the class I and II rapids. Brace yourself against any splashes, though – the river’s temperature rarely rises above 50 degree.

Details: 1978 Island Ford Parkway, Atlanta, GA, (678) 538-1200, 

Gardening Classes

6. Attracting wildlife to your yard adds an interesting element to your garden each season, and everything from butterflies and bees to frogs and spiders can improve your garden’s health, Free gardening classes at Pike Nurseries can teach you how to invite the prettiest of those to your yard: butterflies. Pike’s ongoing community classes can keep you outdoors and connected with nature on weekly basis, so check their website regularly as new classes are posted.



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Dr. Kristin Magee from Dermatology Center of Atlanta answers a reader’s question about molluscum.

Dr. Kristin Magee

Q: What are molluscum, and how do you treat them? 

A: Molluscum are small bumps (generally flesh-colored, dome-shaped, pearly lesions) caused by molluscum contagiosum virus. Most common in children, the virus spreads by touching a surface with the virus on it. In warmer months, molluscum can sometimes be associated with swimming pools. Molluscum can take months to years to resolve if left untreated, and they often spread and become irritated and itchy. Common office treatments include freezing or applying a liquid called cantharidin to create a small blister at the affected areas. Moisturizing the skin helps it be a better barrier so the virus does not spread as easily. Avoid sharing bath cloths or towels to help prevent spread of molluscum.

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Jessica Shops Pick of the Month 

Reboot Your Body

If you’re looking for a way to improve your body both inside and out, look no further. Cool off with Icebox Cryotherapy, an excellent way to reinvigorate your body and make sure you’re at peak performance. Innovative research has concluded that extreme cold therapy results in decreased muscle soreness and pain, improved skin tone and even improved sleep. Icebox Cryotherapy

The concept is relatively new to Atlanta but has been endorsed by many doctors, professional athletes, teams and trainers. Dr. Oz, “The Doctors” TV show and ESPN. Clients swear that their skin is tighter and smoother due to the boost in collagen that is produced. The regular price is $70 per session, but by mentioning JessicaShops when you book your appointment, you can get three sessions for $130. Give it a try!


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By Michael Bakheet, MD

Walk or run? That is a frequently asked question for sports medicine doctors. Most people know how often they should exercise – at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week – but they are eager to learn how to get the most from their workout with the least rick of injury.

In terms of health benefits, walking and running have a lot in common. Both improve cardiovascular function by strengthening the heart muscle and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, ultimately reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Both forms of exercise help control blood glucose levels, which can prevent, regulate and, in some cases, cure diabetes. Plus, improved self-image and confidence can result from either a walking or running routine.running

However, if weight loss is the goal, a recent study found that the intensity of running leads to greater results that walking, Mile for mile, running burns two and a half times the number of calories as walking. Even if you were to use the same amount of energy while walking, research shows the increased intensity of running promotes more weight loss. The heavier you are, the greater benefit.

Another recent study of about 90,000 runners and walkers found that the runners had a significantly reduced risk of developing hip osteoarthritis and we less likely to need a hip replacement.  A contributing factor may be that runners tend to have lower body weight, if you already suffer from painful arthritis, though, walking may be more comfortable for you since it is less likely to lead to joint problems and stress fractures than running.

As with any form of exercise, ask your doctor if a walking or running regimen is right for you. Before hitting the pavement, invest in a quality pair of shoes to ensure your feet are properly supported. Always include a warm-up and cool-down in your workout to prevent injury. Whether you choose to stroll or sprint your way to better health, just be consistent. Strap on a pedometer, slip in your earphones and strive for 10,000 steps per day at any pace.



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Farmer D Organics’ Daron “Farmer D” Joffe is here to give you his best advice about gardening.

Daron Farmer D Joffe

Q: What are the benefits of gardening?

A: The benefits of gardening include physical fitness, nutrition from fresh produce, natural medicine from herbs and connecting with others through the sharing of tips, seeds, plants and stories from the garden.

Q: How should a first-time gardener begin?

A: Pick good quality materials and ask advice from garden experts at your local garden center or university extension to find out what to grow and when.

Q: How can seasoned gardeners revamp their garden this year?

A: Plant something you haven’t grown before, and try extending your season by planting earlier and later than usual.

Q: What are some ideas to get kids involved in gardening?

A: Make it fun. Let them get wet and dirty and grow crops that they are likely to taste like peas, beans, carrots and cherry tomatoes. If you’re ready for more, help start a garden at your child’s school.

Q: What plants are easy to grow? 

A: Radishes will break down the belief that you have a brown thumb. These fast-growing, nutritious little gems are easy to sow directly into the garden in the spring and fall. My favorite varieties are French Breakfast radish and Watermelon Radish.

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Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture’s President and CEO Rashid Numi is here to give you his best advice about how to garden in any amount of space.

Rashid Numi

Q: How should a first-time gardener begin?

A: Pick a sunny location (preferably with southern exposure) with water readily available and soil prepared with compost. Plant crops you will eat and enjoy and that will do well in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 or 8, where Metro Atlanta is located.

Q: How can seasoned gardeners revamp their garden this year? 

A: Restore the soil to its natural health by adding compost and other organic materials. They will provide ongoing nourishment for your plants.

Q: How can someone garden in a small space? 

A: You can grow in a square-foot plot in the ground or in containers on your patio, porch or kitchen window – just grow something. If you only grow some herbs for your kitchen, that’s enough.

Q: What plants are the easiest to use in home cooking? 

A: Let taste be your guide. Most vegetables are delicious in raw salads, lightly steamed or oven-roasted. Try fresh mint leaves and gingers in a glass of green tea, or basil leaved in a salad or tomato sandwich.

Q: What can Atlanta gardeners plant right now?

A: This time of year, you can plant things with seeds – cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, okra, peppers and more. Enjoy Atlanta’s extended growing seasons!



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Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia’s Dr. Mark Merlin is here to answer a reader’s question about screening for prostate cancer.

Dr. Mark Merlin

Q: When should a man begin screening for prostate cancer?

A: Currently there are multiple opinions regarding who should be screened for prostate cancer. The most common answer is for men to begin having annual digital rectal exams at age 40 and having annual PSA levels drawn at age 50. Men with a strong family history of prostate cancer or African-American men should consider having their PSA levels checked as early as age 40 due to their increased risk of developing this disease.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to 

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Pike Nurseries’ Matt Arnett is here to give you his best advice about how to get your garden to grow.

Matt Arnett

Q: What the the benefits of gardening?

A: Gardening is great exercise, reduces stress, helps people connect with nature and can even bring families together as parents or grandparents teach children.

Q: How should a first-time gardener begin?

A: Tomatoes, peppers, melons and cucumbers are easy to grow and reward beginners with a bountiful harvest.

Q: How can seasoned gardeners revamp their garden this year? 

A: Seasoned gardeners know that part of the enjoyment of gardening is trying new plants. Several new varieties of Echinacea this year are easy to grow, attract butterflies, and make a beautiful cut flower in stunning colors.

Q: How can someone garden in a small space? 

A: Garden vertically. Grow vining vegetables, fruit and flowering plants that climb on arbors or trellises.

Q: What are some ideas to get kids involved in gardening? 

A: Have kids pick out their favorite plants at the nursery – they love choosing from the vast array of colors. Then have them help with the planting process by digging holes or watering flowers.

Q: What plants are easy to grow? 

A: Perennial flowers provide yearly bursts of color without the effort of planting each season. Some easy-to-grow favorites include Gallardia, Scabiosa and Rudbeckia.

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Get ready to be inspired, Atlanta! The first stop on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend tour is right here in Atlanta at Phillips Arena on September 5 and 6. Oprah reinvents the live experience once again with this groundbreaking and empowering event. Fulfilling one of her most deeply felt callings, Oprah will bring thousands together for a weekend experience full of powerful transformation. Oprah The Life You Want Weekend

The event will consist of two days of motivation and empowerment. promises that Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend will “inspire and uplift each person who attends—no matter their age, where they come from, or what they do—to become the best version of themselves.”

On Friday, Oprah takes the stage from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., bringing her personal story and insights to life in an intimate and moving evening, inviting every person there to join her on a bold journey of change.

“All of my life, I have wanted to lead people to an empathy space. To a gratitude space,” said Oprah as to what inspired her to do The Life You Want Weekend. “I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling and summon the courage to live it.”

After hearing Oprah’s story on Friday, we will hear from her “life trailblazers” all day on Saturday. Starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasting until 5:30 p.m., her handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons will regale the crowd with their inspiring tales, with Oprah leading the day, of course.

Oprah's The Life You Want WeekendThese specially selected life trailblazers include the best-selling author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert; one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential people, Rob Bell; Iyanla Vanzant from OWN’s highly acclaimed television series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” and the world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra.

The eight-city arena tour, which includes stops in Miami and Houston, is a collaboration between Harpo Studios, O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and is sponsored by Olay and Toyota.

Tickets went on sale in April and start at $99. There is also a VIP package available for $599 that includes floor seats, a meet and greet with Oprah, VIP concierge and early access to shop the items curated for the event. Get your tickets today at

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By Desireé McCarthy-Keith, MD, MPG, FACOG

Before birth, a baby girl’s ovaries contain six to seven million developing eggs. By the time she enters the world, her egg count has dropped to around one million. From birth on, she will have a steady decline in her egg supply until menopause, at which point her egg supply is exhausted and her fertility ends. This is a natural process for all women. cute baby

At the same time that their egg counts are dropping, many women are choosing to put off having children in favor of education, career or personal goals.  For others, unfortunate circumstances like a sudden cancer diagnosis may force them to delay their plans for a family. And then there are women who are still waiting for Mr. Right or wish to maintain their child-free lifestyle a little longer. Women who find themselves in any of these life circumstances may consider freezing their eggs.

No medical therapy can halt natural ovarian aging, but thanks to advances in modern reproductive medicine, women can now freeze their eggs and “preserve” their fertility for later. Oocyte cryopreservation (“egg freezing”) is a medical procedure through which a woman’s eggs can be harvested, frozen, and at a later date, thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos. An egg freezing treatment cycle lasts approximately four to six weeks, and the technique is the same as for in-vitro fertilization. A woman self-administers hormone injections for about 10 to 12 days to stimulate egg growth. Once the eggs are developed, a needle is inserted into the ovary and the eggs are removed. Once eggs are frozen, they can be safely stored for years until the woman is ready for pregnancy.

Due to aging effects on egg number and egg quality, the best time for a woman to freeze her eggs is when she is in her mid-thirties or younger. Laboratory methods for egg freezing have improved considerably in the last 10 years, and pregnancy rates with frozen eggs may be comparable to those with fresh eggs.  Pregnancy rates are not affected by the woman’s age when she returns to use her frozen eggs.

Any woman considering egg freezing should consult with a fertility specialist without delay. A simple ultrasound and blood work can determine if her egg supply is normal and if she would be a good candidate for egg freezing.


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