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    Monthly Archives: November 2009

Energy Balance Conundrum
Written by November 30, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Uh oh.  There may be trouble in energy balance land.  In the Stand Up and Eat blog we have touted the energy (i.e., calorie) burning benefits of all different types of movement.  Getting people to burn more calories to balance out the calories they eat is a way to prevent weight gain.  With the epidemic of obesity growing unabated, that’s a good thing. But a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that exercising may make it a bit harder to lose weight  – for some people1.  It turns out that getting active may affect appetite

What's Important to you? Re-Evaluate Your Priorities this Thanksgiving Day
Written by November 26, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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With so many demands this time of year, it is important to re-evaluate what you value and how you will keep these things at the top of your "to do" list. Think about your most important values. Some examples might be health, family, energy, work, weight loss, financial stability, or physical fitness. Then, take a few minutes to think about how you actually spend your time. On a piece of paper jot down the activities that keep you busy in the morning, mid-day, and evening. Next, compare how you spend your time to your list of values. Are you spending

Physical Activity Links for Children
Written by November 23, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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In earlier blogs, we highlighted physical activity recommendations, resources, and programs that for seniors and young children from infants to pre-schoolers. We now want to bring you up to date on similar resources for elementary and middle-school age kids.  Happily, there is a bunch of stuff because this is an important age for kids to develop healthy habits that combat obesity all life long. Physical Activity Recommendations But before we go there, let’s take a look at how physical activity should fit into the lives of children ages six through twelve.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics1, elementary children

Cutting Fat (vs. Carbohdrate) Calories Keeps Mood High
Written by November 19, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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The debate over cutting fat or carbohydrate calories for successful weight loss and weight loss maintenance continues. While some people say an eating plan filled with low-fat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is best for people trying to lose weight, others argue that eliminating excess carbs (breads, added sugars, and even fruits and dairy) is key. Well, a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine adds another twist by identifying a certain diet with improved mood in the short and long term.1   Researchers randomly assigned about 50 overweight/obese adults to a calorie-restricted very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and another 50 or so overweight/obese adults

10-minute Workouts for Kids (and Adults)
Written by November 16, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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We posted an earlier blog to remind people that if you don’t have time to get in a 30-minute workout, you can still meet the current health guidelines by doing three, 10-minute mini-sessions.  We want to share with you a program that can help you get your kids (and you!) moving – and learning – in short bouts.  Take 10! Program The Take 10! program was developed with elementary teachers in mind.  The idea was hatched because despite the many health benefits of physical activity, many schools had cut physical education classes.  “There is not enough time” or “We have to

Weight Loss Maintainers Have Healthy Homes
Written by November 12, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Researchers recently compared the behaviors and home environments of 167 weight loss maintainers (people who had lost at least 10% of their maximum body weight and kept it off for 5 or more years) to two groups of treatment-seeking obese individuals (one Caucasian and another African American) in an effort to understand what distinguishes the two groups. What did they find? Weight loss maintainers: expended many more calories through physical activity each week than the obese individuals. had more dietary restraint (efforts to limit food intake) than obese individuals. had more home exercise equipment than obese individuals. had less TVs in their home than

A Wide Open Window Requires Less Rest
Written by November 11, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Note to the reader:  This blog provides detailed fitness information.  Our chance for improvement is sometimes called a “Window of Adaptation.” When you are just starting something you have a very large window of adaptation. When you are new to something you are going to see big improvements. But as you make improvements your window of adaptation becomes smaller, this analogy holds true for fitness.  So when you become more trained and you get closer to your genetic potential changes are harder to see. So when your window becomes smaller, training efforts need to be targeted and intentional to see

Exercise IS Medicine
Written by November 9, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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You know that regular physical activity provides all sorts of health benefits. In fact, if it could be bottled, it would probably be the most effective medication available for preventing and treating many of our most common health conditions, including obesity. So in effect, exercise IS medicine. And the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is spreading that idea to healthcare providers, fitness professionals, and the lay public with its “Exercise is MedicineTM” campaign. Healthcare Providers The primary focus of Exercise is MedicineTM (EIM) is to get all healthcare providers – physicians, nurses, dietitians, health educators, psychologists, etc. to assess and review

How Much Meat (Protein) Can Your Muscles Really Use?
Written by November 5, 2009

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Many people mistakenly think that if they eat lots of protein their muscles will get larger and that excess protein won’t lead to increases in body weight. Well that’s just not true! As nutritionists we’ve known for a long time that there is a limit on how much protein the body/the body’s muscles will use and that protein contains the same number of calories as carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram. Thus, the daily recommendation for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight or 10-35% of calories for the generally healthy person. For example, if someone weighs 150 pounds and

Physical Activity is Good for Mama and Baby
Written by November 2, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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What do all soon-to-be parents want?  A healthy baby.  Being physically active during and after pregnancy may significantly improve the health outcomes for both baby and mother according to two recent studies. Excessive weight at birth is associated with higher rates of health problems – and even death – in newborns.  To test whether a mother’s physical activity level can impact birth weight, researchers in Norway tracked the exercise habits of nearly 37,000 pregnant women1.  The women completed physical activity questionnaires at week 17 and week 30 of their pregnancies.  The weights of their newborns were recorded in a national

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