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Health & Wellness

Health and wellness tips, information and reviews of products and local professionals to help you get in great shape!

Conquering the Flu. Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands.

According to the CDC, the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for the 2014-2015 flu strain.

The influenza A (H3N2) virus has mutated from the vaccine strain, making it possibly less effective. Flu seasons dominated by influenza A (H3N2) strains tend to have higher overall hospitalization rates and more flu-related deaths, especially among older people and very young children compared with flu seasons dominated by the influenza A (H1N1) virus or influenza B viruses.

The current seasonal flu shots will still protect you the against flu strains that have not mutated, such as the influenza A (H1N1) virus and the B viruses contained in the vaccine.

So, what can you do?

Start by following these healthy preventive habits:

Tip 1: Avoid close contact with those who might be ill.

Tip 2: Stay HOME when you are sick.

Tip 3: Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with the nook of your elbow. Please.

Tip 4: Wash your hands. Heck, wash them again.

Tip 5: Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Tip 6: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

Tip 7: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

If you have any questions or concerns, check out further flu information from Piedmont.


Stay healthy and don’t worry, spring will be here soon!


‘Twas the Night Before Finals

‘Twas the night before finals,
When all through the house,
Came the sounds of the flu,
To the dismay of my spouse.

The feverish children were tucked in their beds,
My constant harping lingering in their heads:
“Drink your Gatorade! Finish your soup!”
All playing in an endless loop.

Now Tamiflu! Now, Motrin! Now Tylenol and Aleve!
A temp less than 102 we will achieve!
More Popsicles! More Saltines! More Jello and Toast!
Yet another trip to Publix after all have been dosed.

I heard them exclaim as the garage door came to rest,
“To our friends at school, best of luck on every test,
enjoy the class parties, the snacks, and good cheer.
enjoy your Christmas. We’ll see you next year!”

Original Poem by Elizabeth Clancy Wagner


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Share Your Weight-Loss Story With EAST COBBER!


Have you transformed your body? Tell us how you made it happen. We want to hear all the details of your weight loss story. We want to know what led  to your weight gain (please be specific), what you consider your turning point, how you lost weight, and how long it took you to get to achieve your feel-great weight. How did you change your eating habits and physical activity? Were there any special diet tricks you used to control cravings, squeeze in exercise or meal planning, or limit portions? What are your go-to products (think apps, training tools, even food scales), if any, that helped you stay on track?

Email us your weight loss success story –along with before and after photos–to


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Stuff-A-Bus at Atlanta Medispa


It’s that time again for Atlanta Medispa’s annual holiday toy drive! This year they are embarking on a month long “Stuff A Bus” campaign. Help stuff the bus with toys for deserving families of the Cobb County community. The bus is stationed at the East Cobb MediSpa office at 1232 Johnson Ferry Rd, Marietta and will be accessible during normal business hours through Wednesday, December 24, 2014.

For more information call Atlanta Medispa at 678-213-2220.


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On This Day of Fitness, Your Fitness Together Trainer Says to Thee

“Eat healthy, eat light, eat often to keep off the holiday belly bulge.”

Ready to look better, feel better and perform better this holiday season?

Give the experts in personal training a call. The Fitness Together studio can help you get fit this holiday season and jump start your New Year resolutions by showing you how to make healthy lifestyle choices every day.

Fitness Together is locally owned and operated at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road. Call them at (770) 321-1347.


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Help keep the pounds off during the holidays


UGA Cobb County Extension Services staff has a fun way to help you avoid weight gain over the holidays. The Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge and newsletter will provide tips about how you can eat more wisely and become more active.

Sample topics include dealing with the restaurant frenzy, 10 ways to lose weight, modifying recipes, exercising safely, stress eating, healthy snacks and keeping healthy while traveling. Seventy-eight percent of last year’s participants reported that they normally gained weight over the holidays. However, at the end of last year’s challenge, 56 percent did not gain any weight and 22 percent said they gained only a small amount of weight. The majority of participants planned to use the information to help them control their weight after the holidays.

To receive the newsletter, contact Cindee Sweda at 770-528-4070


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A Special Advertising Opportunity for Health & Wellness Providers


Deadline for the January Issue: Monday: December 15

**Advertise in January 2015 and Receive 2014 Ad Prices**

East Cobb residents, like most Americans, are in search of improving their health! Especially at the beginning of a new year, people are putting better health and wellness on their New Year’s Resolution! If you are a health care provider or wellness professional, you need to let EAST COBBER readers know you are here to help them get in tip-top shape. We give readers a place to begin their quest for good health and wellness. Our monthly Health & Wellness Guide provides the names and contact information of the many East Cobb trusted wellness resources.

Whether our readers are new to the area, in need of a second opinion, or require a specialist, the EAST COBBER Health & Wellness special section helps our readers locate professionals right in their own backyard!

Get your business in top shape!

* PLACE YOUR DISPLAY AD AT A DISCOUNT. If you want increased visibility in the January 2015 issue, you will want to place a display ad. You can place your ad at the 6x rate-even if you choose to advertise in just the January issue! Your listing is FREE when placing a display ad!

* FREE COLOR. Your ad can be in color – at no extra charge! 

By advertising in the EAST COBBER you will be implementing a practical promotional  program that will show results.


Parents Who Host Lose the Most webinar to inform parents about consequences of social hosting

Teen drinking

The Drug Free Action Alliance is hosting a webinar on December 11 at 1pm entitled “Parents Who Host Lose the Most”. At this time of year when many college-aged students return home and many teens want to celebrate finishing the first semester of school, parents need to know the laws that are in effect in various parts of Cobb County for hosting parties with alcohol. The cities of Acworth, Kennesaw and Austell as well as unincorporated Cobb County have Social Host Ordinances on the books which carry various levels of enforcement and penalties. Register for the webinar here.


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Cobb County Public Health Department Responds to Ebola Virus Concerns

As concerns grow regarding Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola), Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) continues to heighten its preparedness and response efforts. These efforts are being made to increase the level of readiness at local hospitals, schools, healthcare providers, government agencies, and other community partners, in the event an Ebola case is diagnosed in Cobb or Douglas County.

“We understand that the residents of Cobb and Douglas Counties are concerned about the spread of Ebola virus, “said Dr. Jack Kennedy, District Health Director, CDPH. “We want the community to know that their local health department is working with an expanded list of local, state and federal partners to be as prepared as possible should any cases be identified.”

CDPH is actively working with local partners to provide information and guidance regarding Ebola. This includes holding tabletop exercises and daily updates to ensure health care workers are not only aware of how to diagnose a possible Ebola infection, but also how to minimize the risk of exposure if a case is detected. CDPH has also created an Ebola Response Team tasked with addressing the potential impact Ebola could have on Cobb and Douglas Counties.

Facts about Ebola
• Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids (including but not limited to feces, saliva, urine, vomit, breast milk and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. The virus in blood and body fluids can enter another person’s body through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth.

• The virus also can be spread through contact with objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus, or with infected animals.

• Ebola is NOT spread through the air or by water or, in general, by food; however, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bush meat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

• Health workers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk.

• Symptoms of Ebola include: fever (including low-grade), headache, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain or hemorrhage.

• Symptoms appear 2 to 21 days after exposure but the average is 8 to 10 days.

• Ebola should be considered in patients who have traveled to affected countries or have been exposed to someone with Ebola and have compatible symptoms.

• There is not a specific test for a person without symptoms. Health care providers should be alert for, and evaluate any patient who has had travel during the 21 days before symptom onset from an Ebola-affected area (currently Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone) OR had contact with an individual who has Ebola.


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Inspired by her own weight loss, Get in Shape for Women owner helps others shape their body, mind

Janey Walker (center) owner of Get In Shape For Women with her team


Janey Walker is an example of someone who practices what she preaches. When she was 18, Walker lost 65 pounds with the help of a personal trainer. This transformation inspired her to change her life for the better and impart the wisdom and knowledge she gained as she did to others. Now, through her Get In Shape For Women business located at 3822 Roswell Road, Suite 114, she’s given the opportunity to do so on a daily basis and see her insights take shape.

“Health and Wellness is the only industry I’ve been in and all I’ve ever done,” says Walker, describing her role as owner of her Get In Shape For Women franchise. “People would ask me what my ‘secret’ was to losing my weight. I enjoyed answering questions about my life change and helping others make their own. It excited me and drove me to learn more. I knew that this was what I was meant to do, so I never stopped.” Walker, inspired by her newfound role as an agent of inspiration for others, double majored in Exercise Science and Psychology, choosing to do so with the fervent belief that weight loss is every bit a mental thing as it is a physical one. Not content with what she learned as an undergraduate, Walker also went on to receive her Master of Science degree in Health Promotion.

Walker came away from academia with an impressive résumé: from the American Council on Exercise, she received certifications in Personal Training and as a Group Fitness Instructor and an Orthopedic Exercise Specialist; from the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America, she became a certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a Certification Specialist of her own, allowing her to teach others. In sum, Walker had already amassed 11 years of fitness experience by the age of 28, when she opened her Get In Shape For Women location. Now at 32 she is going on 15 years in the industry.

In 2009, Walker quit her post-graduate school job as a Fitness Specialist and moved to Atlanta to try something new, a decision she admits now was an incredibly risky one. It took her about a year and a half to get on her feet and discover Get In Shape For Women. “I moved to Atlanta with no job and $200 in my pocket,” says Walker. “I exchanged personal training for a garage apartment until I could find a job. I made ends meet by personal training in a few different facilities, never finding one that clicked. I was made aware of Get In Shape For Women and my interest was piqued.”

After doing her research, Walker was drawn to Get In Shape For Women by its strikingly similar set of principals by which it helps women get in shape, principles which so closely match her own. “All of those years, people asked me, ‘What’s your secret?’ My answer was regular exercise (strength & cardio), a balanced diet, and a coach or trainer (accountability), notes Walker. “Those were the exact components to the Get In Shape For Women system: weight training, interval cardio, nutrition, and accountability. This program worked!”

After three years serving the East Cobb community, Walker says the reception has been excellent—so much so, that she plans to open her second location by the end of 2016. The success of her location can be explained by many factors, says Walker, but what strikes her most about her business is the change reflected by her clients. “The longer a woman is in our program, the more she embraces a healthy lifestyle,” says Walker. “Some of our ladies have been with us from the beginning and they are not only working out here, they are participating in races, hiking on the weekends, taking active vacations with their families and teaching healthy habits to their husbands and kids. Indirectly, we are helping the next generation. Nothing could make me happier.”