By Wyndi Kappes

I like to describe myself as a fearless woman. So the idea of skydiving—the excitement, the weightlessness, the cool factor—seems thrilling but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a little apprehension about the safety involved. In an effort to experience the thrill of a dive in a controlled environment, my colleagues and I turned to iFLY, one of Atlanta’s indoor skydiving facilities, for a team activity day. At Best Self Atlanta we love to try new things as a team and encourage our readers to do the same.Screen shot 2017-03-29 at 7.05.23 PM

Our flight instructor, Harrel Kimball, greeted our group and whisked us away to learn the three basics of flying in an indoor wind tunnel: relax your body, keep your chin up, and straighten your legs.

After our training session, the reality of flying was setting in. Our instructor’s reassurance that nothing bad would happen coupled with the general excitement of the group had me at the front of the line before I knew it.

Once he was in the tunnel himself, Harrel motioned for me to step forward toward the tunnel doorway. Placing my arms above my head, I slowly fell forward into the tunnel. Suddenly, you are weightless, the force from air circulating up from the bottom of the tunnel leaves you hovering in flight.

For my first flight, I only went as high as Harrel’s shoulder and spent part of my time on the floor of the tunnel due to my inability to execute flight basic No. 1—relax. Designed to mimic the free-fall length of a true skydive, 45-60 seconds, each flight is 60 seconds long. Thankfully, everyone gets to relive that one minute with a second flight, since the first flight is basically you getting used to flying. The second time around, I relaxed and was able to fly a few feet higher. At one point, Harrel grabbed a hold of a handle on my jumpsuit so we were able to fly in tandem quickly descending up and down. It was much closer to the feeling I imagine jumping out of an airplane is like.

Overall, I left feeling alive from the adrenaline rush, belly sore from laughing at myself and my coworkers, and hoping for another chance to fly soon.

If you have something you’d like the Best Self team to try send an email to editor@atlantabestmedia.com. Some of our past adventures have included tai chi, POUND® fitness, ballroom dancing and gardening at Truly Living Well.

Details: 2778 Cobb Pkwy., Atlanta; iflyworld.com/atlanta

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Plump lipsGone are the days of obvious lip augmentation. The Juvéderm Volbella® XC injectable uses hyaluronic acid, which is made in the body naturally, to subtly plump while helping to soften the appearance of lines on the lips and around the mouth. Those who are happy with their current lip shape and fullness can enjoy an enhanced “juicy” and voluminous look.

Details: 5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta; andersonaesthetics.com

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Dr. Taz Bhatia of CentreSpringMD shares a mocktail recipe to help alleviate the annoying sniffles, sneezing and itchy eyes that often accompany the return of spring.

“Apples are rich in quercetin and flavonoids, supporting the immune system and fighting allergies. Pineapples are high in bromelain, aiding your digestion and working as a decongestant. Local honey can be added for an immune boost along with some ginger to fight inflammation,” Dr. Taz explains.

shutterstock_455942671Apple Pineapple Tonic

2 apples, any kind, cut in slices lengthwise

1 cup of pineapple, fresh or frozen

2 teaspoons of local honey

1-2 cups of water

1 teaspoon grated ginger

Blend and pour

Details: Atlanta, 1401 Dresden Dr., Atlanta. Johns Creek, 10220 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek; centrespringmd.com

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NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL

April 20 at 6 p.m. Northside Hospital-
Cherokee, Medical Associates of North
Georgia. 320 Hospital Rd., Canton
May 18 at 6 p.m. Northside Hospital-
Atlanta, Cancer Center.
1000 Johnson Ferry Rd. NE., Atlanta
June 29 at 6 p.m. Northside Hospital-
Forsyth, Cancer Center.
1100 Northside Forsyth Dr., Cumming
July 20 at 6 p.m. Northside Hospital-
Alpharetta, 3400 Old Milton Pkwy.,
Alpharetta
August 24 at 6 p.m. Northside Hospital-
Forsyth, Cancer Center.
1100 Northside Forsyth Dr., Cumming

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Dr. Weston Show the skin you’re in a little extra love this May in honor of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Weston Waxweiler, M.D., of North Atlanta Dermatology dispels skin cancer myths and shares tips for successful self-examinations.

Myth vs. Fact:

I have olive/darker skin. I don’t need to use sunscreen and am not going to get skin cancer.

False, people with darker skin can and do get skin cancer. Bob Marley died of melanoma. It can be more difficult to detect a skin cancer in these skin types so the diagnosis often is delayed, leading to worsened outcomes.

I only get sun once a year and therefore am not worried about my skin cancer risk.

Intermittent acute sun exposure (one or two bad burns a year) can raise your risk
for melanoma exponentially. Brief, intense sun exposure overwhelms your body’s DNA repair mechanisms, allowing mutations to build up in your skin cells that later lead to skin cancer.

It’s cloudy, so I don’t need to worry about sun protection.

While clouds block most of the visible spectrum of light, unfortunately, they fail to block UV light (a wavelength of the sun’s energy that is impossible to see but causes skin cancer). That means even on cloudy or winter days, we must be careful to utilize sun protection.

I don’t have moles, so I’m not at risk for skin cancer.

People with abundant moles are at higher risk for skin cancer, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is exempt. People need to watch for any changes in individual moles, or skin spots. Some skin cancers, including melanoma, can appear as just pink bumps that don’t go away.

Check Yourself:

Self-checks, as well as regular screenings with a dermatologist, can be vital in protecting yourself against skin cancer and catching it early. Be on the lookout for the following signs:

Skin Cancer• Surface appears to be changing–scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a raised bump or papule
• Wound/sore that does not heal after one month
• Redness or swelling beyond the border of a mole or other lesion
• Change in sensation (more itchy/painful)
• Changing mole or lesion that is growing
Details: naderm.com

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Relay Bike Share

 

Skip sitting in traffic and try traveling around on two wheels. Hop on one of the 100 (soon to be 500) bikes available to rent Downtown and in Midtown through Atlanta’s Relay Bike Share program. Simply reserve a bike on their Google Play or App Store app and ride around the city.

Details: Monthly basic plans start at $15. relaybikeshare.com

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Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.38.15 PMWhy is ear, nose and throat health important to quality of life and anti-aging?

Dr. Aaron Fletcher of Georgia Center for Ear, Nose & Throat uncovers the potential signs of common ENT issues.

When people arrive at Georgia Center for Ear, Nose & Throat, it is usually because they are ready to put their health first. “A lot of people come in and say, ‘I just haven’t had the time to focus on my own issues,’” says Aaron Fletcher, M.D.

Once patients get long-standing issues taken care of, the difference can be dramatic. “A lot of what I do is quality of life surgery. I deal with people’s breathing, their ability to sleep and also their appearance—if someone is having difficulty breathing through their nose, once I fix that issue, it can be life changing.”

For those wondering when to see an ENT specialist,  Dr. Fletcher advises paying attention to signs that can be indicative of deeper problems. Weight gain, headaches and voice changes could be tied to the thyroid or lack of sleep could be caused by more than the inability to wind down as in sleep apnea.

With more treatments moving in-office, these common issues can be taken care of conveniently. “I’m excited to be on the cutting edge because a lot of surgery is moving toward being accessible in the office and we are one of the first ones to be on the forefront of that,” Fletcher says.

See more advice from the 2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board on how to look and feel your best after 40. 

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Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.34.58 PMYou have done more than 4,000 facelifts. If patients are not quite ready, what options do you recommend?

Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker of Atlanta Face & Body Center reveals the latest options for facial rejuvenation without surgery or downtime. 

When Elizabeth Whitaker, M.D. of Atlanta Face & Body Center, says she has experience, she’s serious. One can’t help but notice the exhaustive credentials lining the walls of her office. It is that knowledge that enables her to work with patients to achieve the natural rejuvenation they are looking for when the time is right with her Signature Lifts.

While face and eye lifts are some of her most popular surgeries with those over 40, “there are so many nonsurgical and minimally invasive offerings now,” says Dr. Elizabeth.

“New fillers continue to come on the market such as Juvéderm Volbella® XC for vertical lip lines and subtle plumping. Other fillers can volumize and lift the cheeks and even rejuvenate aging hands.We are the first in our area to incorporate skin boosters, which are huge in Europe. We exclusively offer Babytox to help with pores,”
Dr. Elizabeth says, “and Aqua Glow to infuse moisture and create the perfect dewy glow.”

Most of all, she enjoys seeing the impact her work has. “What’s so gratifying is seeing the difference in how patients feel about themselves, which ultimately translates into making their lives better. Helping people feel their best is what it’s all about for me.”

See more advice from the 2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board on how to look and feel your best after 40. 

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Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.23.58 PMIs it really true there has never been a better time to experience hair loss?

Yes, it’s true! Dr. Ken Anderson of Anderson Center for Hair reveals what you may not know about modern hair restoration.

You’ve probably seen work from Anderson Center for Hair and didn’t even realize it. And that’s the point. “The best hair transplant results in the country can fly right under the radar,” says Ken Anderson, M.D. of Anderson Center for Hair.

“It is so much different now than it was five to 10 years ago,” Anderson says. Today, the options for hair restoration are extensive. “We have stem cells, we have lasers and robots. It continues to evolve at a rapid pace.”

As the only practice in Georgia to provide artistic robotic technology for hair restoration, Dr. Anderson gets to combine his creative talent with his technical skills using the ARTAS™ robot. “When you are creating hair lines, I am literally drawing on people’s foreheads—that’s my canvas if you will. The surgical part of hair transplants is not very invasive but the results are heavily dependent on the artistic talent and passion of the surgeon.”

Dr. Anderson is passionate about modern hair restoration techniques because he has witnessed the emotional impact they can have. “One of the most treasured things that I love about the practice is how happy and satisfied the patients are when the hair grows in.

He encourages anyone thinking about hair restoration to have a consultation and find out what treatment is right for them.

See more advice from the 2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board on how to look and feel your best after 40. 

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Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.29.18 PMWhat should people over the age of 40 consider when it comes to dental health and aesthetics?

Dr. Dina Giesler, of Atlanta Smiles and Wellness explains the connection between oral hygiene and a beautiful smile.

Over time teeth naturally lose their luster, but that doesn’t mean it is a process that can’t be combated. “After 40, our teeth begin to show the signs of aging by wear, staining, color changes and bone loss,” says Dina Giesler, D.D.S of Atlanta Smiles and Wellness.

She advises her patients to assess the current state of their teeth and how things may have changed over the years. “Teeth begin to move because our jawbones change and previous dental work is typically in need of repair or replacement,” Giesler says.

An evaluation of the way the teeth come together (occlusion) can help determine if straightening the teeth would be beneficial. Discussions about veneers, gum grafting, examinations for periodontal disease and increased recare cleaning visits also often take place. “This is a time to really think about prevention,”
Giesler says.

Bite guards are another recommendation she suggests to protect the teeth from further wear. This coupled with good day-to-day practices can help maintain the sparkle of a smile year after year. Giesler’s bottom line? “Every day, keep your mouth clean, floss, and don’t neglect your teeth, or I promise, they will go away.”

See more advice from the 2017 Over 40 & Fabulous! Advisory Board on how to look and feel your best after 40. 

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