Day 15 of Fitness – Boxing at Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Club

Best Self account executive: Aubrey

For the halfway point of 30 Days of Fitness, I went to Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Club for their Knockout Cardio Boxing class. I was excited but nervous for my first class! I’ve done kickboxing before, but boxing is a completely different workout. I walked in, was greeted by Laura and filled out a waiver for the class. Hall & Oates blared over the speakers, which I appreciated, since I grew up with a dad who loves classic rock. As the instructor, Marty Hill, finished up his earlier class, I met some of the other “vets” who have been taking classes at Sweet Science for 4+ years. Everyone was super nice and accommodating, especially since I was the newbie.

From there, I met with Marty briefly and he wrapped my hands in order to stabilize them. There are 100+ small bones in your hands, so you definitely want to make sure you do this before any boxing class. Since it was my first time, they provided me with the wraps and gloves. (If you are thinking about signing up long-term, Sweet Science offers a plan that includes equipment and gloves.) After my hands were wrapped, we stretched and did some exercises to get our bodies warmed up. After the warm-up, we learned some basic boxing instruction and moves like jabs, crosses and upper-cuts. We then played a game called “Marty-Says,” a play off of the game Simon-Says where we had to practice the moves we just learned. The first time we played, I was the first one out, but by the time we played the second round I got the hang of things.


Instructor Marty Hill, Best Self staffer Aubrey, and Laura from Sweet Science Fitness Boxing

Instructor Marty Hill, Best Self staffer Aubrey, and Laura from Sweet Science Fitness Boxing

After “Marty-Says” we put on our gloves. We were partnered up in teams of 2 and went to a punching bag. We did a variety of combinations on the punching bag, then with our partner. My arms, calves and back muscles were all burning! We did not stop moving the entire hour I was there, so in addition to working my muscles, this was a great cardio workout as well. Even though it was my first time, he pushed me. He would go up to everyone, call us by name, and not let us slack off, which I needed! Once we were done at the punching bags, we finished up with planks, push-ups, ab exercises and then a cool-down. Afterward, I was exhausted but felt really accomplished that I made it through.

Overall, Sweet Science was great, and it definitely changed the expectations I had about boxing. When I thought of boxing before this class, I pictured physical contact in a boxing ring. Plus, I expected to be sharing the class with a bunch of Muhammed Ali types, but that was absolutey not the case! Especially in the Cardio Box class, there is no physical contact, and the workout was for everyone–not just men or people of certain fitness levels. Sweet Science even offers ladies only boxing classes several times a week. I highly recommend this class, especially because no matter who you are, there’s no better way to deal with a bad mood than to take it out on a punching bag.

To try Sweet Science for yourself, drop in and mention this blog. If you tell them Best Self sent you, you’ll get your first group class completely free!

Details: 1100 Hammond Drive Suite 400B, Atlanta, GA, 404-736-6302,

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The DDP Yoga Challenge and Diamond Dallas Page are working to transform people’s bodies and minds through yoga, strength training and online blogging.DDP Yoga Challenge One goal is to lose weight and get fit, but another goal is to blog about the motivation and dedication that carry you through the weight loss process. The most inspirational bloggers will receive a reward of $5,000. One winner will be announced in June.


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Day 14 of Fitness – Cardio Reformer at Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy

Best Self associate publisher: Patti

For today’s 30 Days of Fitness, I went to Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy (where I have taken classes for a few years now) to try a new class: Cardio Reformer. This studio is at the corner of Roswell and Hammond, so plan for traffic accordingly, but parking is a breeze. Stability has a great feel when you walk in–friendly greetings and clean, crisp decor, with lots of great Pilates clothing and some equipment like foam rollers and mats available for sale.

Pilates reformer with jump board attached

Pilates Reformer with jump board attached

I first want to point out that the Cardio Reformer class is not for novices! Before you take any reformer class, you need to take a few private sessions so you can learn how the equipment works, what your leg and spring settings should be and most importantly, how to correctly position your body in the various moves to get the most out of it. The class moves very quickly and while the instructor, Katie McNeight, is awesome at giving direction, each person really needs to know how to do the individual moves so as not to slow down the group. With that said, there were five of us last night and all seemed to be at about the same level. The level of intensity can be varied by the weight of the springs and how quickly you move.

Katie McNeight, Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy instructor

Katie McNeight, Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy instructor

The workout began with an abdominal warm-up. You hear “engage your core” and “legs into tabletop” a lot! This means you are clenching your abs and glutes like crazy while lying down with your legs up and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. It was an awesome workout! I absolutely love Pilates because you are stretching, toning and strengthening with every move. This had the added fun of a “jump board” being added–think trampoline at the end of the table. The reformer table glides with the resistance of springs, and you are “jumping” while lying on your back. This is so much easier on your knees and back, and during the numerous series of jumps, you definitely get your heart rate up–this was the most challenging part of the class for me. The hour flew by, and when I got up to stretch, I certainly had “the shakies” in my legs. I love that feeling of knowing I had a good, hard workout. Plus, my instructor Katie was fun and encouraging as always, and she really pushed me to do things I didn’t think I could do!

To try this class for yourself, or any of their other options like Pilates mat and yoga, visit their website to check out the pricing and class options.

Details: 5975 Roswell Road, Suite C-333, Sandy Springs, GA, 30328, (404) 303-9153,

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David Martin, RN, CRNFA, of VeinInnovations, gives us some valuable information about deep vein thrombosis and what to be on the look out for when traveling long distances. 

Recently I read an article by a fit, 50-something Delta Airlines pilot named Steve Powell, who was stricken with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a common condition among pilots because they have to sit in a cramped position for long periods of time.

As many of you will be traveling to escape winter’s cold, it is important to learn about this disease and ways you may be able to prevent it. DVTDVT is a clot in a deep vein and is a life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical care. If the clot breaks free, it can travel to your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. DVT is blamed for the deaths of more than 200,000 people each year, but it likely kills many more.

Sitting in a confined space or traveling for long periods does increase the risk of DVT, but there are other factors that contribute as well, including inherited disorders, certain medication or vein injuries.

There are ways to help prevent it, such as getting up and moving around regularly, especially if you will be in a situation where you’ll be seated for a long period of time. Also, with your doctor’s permission, wearing compression hose may help.

Happily, the pilot lived to tell the story and is now raising awareness of the dangers of ignoring the following symptoms:

  • Swelling in one or both legs, including swelling in the ankle and foot.
  • Pain in the leg which can also include pain in the ankle and foot.
  • Warmth over the affected area.
  • Changes in skin color of the legs or feet, such as turning pale, red or blue.

If you develop any of these symptoms, do not ignore them. Make sure to head to the emergency room immediately and seek medical attention.


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Registered dietitian Ricia Taylor from Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is here to give her best advice on how to keep up with your New Year’s resolution and stick to that diet.

Ricia Taylor

Q: What resolution did you make this year?

A: I plan to limit my family’s consumption of fast foods. I keep The Calorie King- Calorie, Fat, Carbohydrate Counter in the car and my kids and I make it a game to find and choose the healthiest options.

Q: What is a common resolution that you hear from people?

A: People often vow to stop eating carbohydrates to lose weight. Carbohydrates are actually your body’s preferred source of energy and should be included with most meals for optimal health. Try choosing healthier ones, such as whole grains and fresh fruit.

Q: Why do you think people fail to keep their resolutions?

A: They go to the extreme and try to implement changes that are too difficult to maintain.

Q: What is one action a person can take to stick to their resolution?

A: Be realistic. Small changes can yield lasting results. Instead of going vegetarian cold turkey, try implementing meatless Mondays for the first month.

Q: What advice would you give someone who is struggling?

A: Allow yourself flexibility. You can maintain a healthy diet and still enjoy an occasional treat. It’s what and how much you consume the majority of the time that is going to affect your overall health.

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GARDEN takes indoor gardening to a new level and shows you how to not let the colder weather stop you from enjoying a little gardening. With a GARGARDEN ATL Terrarium DEN terrarium kit, you can easily move flora and fauna inside. Matthew Klyn, GARDEN’s founder and owner, explains that the idea behind these kits is to make growing something beautiful accessible to everyone, no matter what the temperature is outside. The kit includes a 100 percent recycled glass terrarium, charcoal, orchid mix, terrarium soil, moss, gravel, stones, decorative accents and instructions. $12

Details: 1080 Brady Ave. NW, Atlanta, GA, (404) 941-9154,

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Day 13 of Fitness – Les Mills BodyCombat at AGX

Best Self staffer: Flannery

If you’ve never tried a Les Mills class, today’s the day to fit one into your schedule. This company offers choreographed classes in a variety of styles, and they can be found at gyms all over the country. Yesterday our associate publisher Patti tried Sh’Bam, which is Les Mills’ dance fitness class, and I’m no stranger to these classes either: One of my favorites is group weightlifting in BodyPump, which I have taken in gyms from Charleston to Nashville. Yesterday, I decided to expand my repertoire and experience BodyCombat with Jacob at Adrenaline Group Xercise.

BodyCombat with Jacob at AGX

BodyCombat with Jacob at AGX

If I had to create a class tailor-made for a teenage boy, this would be it–and yet, all the adult women and men were enjoying it too! This mixed martial arts class put us through our paces with jabs, upper cuts, hooks, and an impressive repertoire of kicks. By about halfway through the class when we were jumping into the air and kicking sideways, I was pretty sure we had all achieved ninja status. This was a great way to get my heart rate up without focusing too much on the fact that I was working out. Instead, I felt like I could just as easily have been running around the house with my younger brother playing “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” And yet, despite the fact that everyone was having fun, there was a lot of power behind the punches in that room. Everyone was working hard, and we got a great workout that challenged our muscles and our hearts. The music was upbeat, and our awesome instructor Jacob was enthusiastic and clear with his instruction. By the end, we felt like we had won our bouts, plus gotten a great workout along the way.

To try BodyCombat or any of the other Les Mills classes AGX offers, head to their website to check out their group fitness schedule. The gym is also offering a seven-day free trial of all classes, so this is the month to find the class that’s perfect for you.

Details: 5251 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Chamblee, GA, 770-458-3859,


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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Camp to Belong GeorgiaCurrently, more than 7,000 children live in foster care in Georgia, and about half of those children are separated from at least one sibling. To help this problem, Camp To Belong Georgia brings siblings back together for events that encourage connection, social maturation and positivity. At the camp, siblings have the opportunity to experience traditional camp activities like horseback riding, swimming and rock climbing, as well as hear motivational speakers and receive support for their unique situations. Registration for the 2014 summer camp begins this month.


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There are many different symptoms that could be linked to your thyroid not functioning at the optimal level and a number of ways to test your thyroid health. Some of these include fatigue, weight changes, depression and anxiety, bowel problems or changes in your hair or skin. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to have your thyroid checked.  Some of the most common thyroid function tests include: Testing the Health of Your Thyroid

Blood tests measure the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood, which helps determine thyroid function. High levels of the hormone indicate an under active thyroid.

Ultrasound exams detect signs of growth and other irregularities. An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of internal organs.

Thyroid scans use radioactive iodine or technetium (a radioactive metallic element) to reveal any physical abnormalities of the thyroid.

Functional stimulation tests help differentiate whether the problem lies with the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus or the thyroid gland. One such test includes injecting thyrotropin-releasing hormone and measuring the pituitary’s response.

- Courtesy of Piedmont Hospital,

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Dr. Scott Karempelis from Dermatology Associates of AtlantaDr. Scott Karempelis answers a reader’s question about psoriasis and skin cancer.

Q: Is it true that lasers can be used to treat chronic skin conditions like psoriasis and skin cancer?

A: Today’s laser technology is highly specialized, with many types of FDA-approved lasers being used to treat common and rare skin conditions alike. At DDA’s Laser Institute of Georgia, the PHAROS EX-308 Excimer is the newest FDA-approved laser for psoriasis, using UV light to treat even the most difficult areas like the hands, feet, knees, elbows and scalp. In addition to cosmetic issues such as wrinkles, the CO2 Ultrapulse laser can be used to destroy abnormal cells in some forms of skin cancer or precancerous growths.

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


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