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    Monthly Archives: October 2011

best kept secrets of the shoulder
Written by October 31, 2011

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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One of the “best kept secrets” of the shoulder is the rotator cuff. It helps to allow the shoulder to move in almost any movement pattern. Think of all the ways the shoulder moves when throwing a ball, swimming, reaching in the back seat of the car to lift up a bag, washing your hair, turning over a glass or even taking a bite of food. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and their tendons around the shoulder. Wrapping around the front, back, and top of the shoulder they support movement by stabilizing the shoulder joint. These muscles

“The Dirty Dozen”: Fact, Fiction, or a bit of both?
Written by October 28, 2011

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a United States-based environmental advocacy group. For the past 15 years or so, the EWG has published an annual list of fruits and vegetables which supposedly have the greatest risk for contamination with the 10 most frequently detected pesticide residues. This list, commonly known as “the dirty dozen” is met with great fanfare by the news media each year. The EWG recommends that consumers avoid conventional forms of the dirty dozen and recommends that consumers purchase these fruits and vegetables in organic form instead. In fact, the EWG has stated that “consumers can lower

Controversy over Crunches
Written by October 24, 2011

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Crunches are unquestionably one of the most popular exercises. We do them on the floor, exercise balls, BOSU’s, exercise machines and with cables. Sometimes we vary the exercise by adding rotation. But lately, crunches have become a controversial topic among personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts. The concern is that repeated spine flexion (bending) can damage spinal discs, the shock absorbers between each of the spinal vertebrae. Physicians and physical therapists generally recommend that patients with disc problems avoid excessive amounts of spine flexion and flexion with rotation, especially under loaded conditions. Given that activities of daily living like lacing your shoes require certain amounts of spine flexion,

foodday
Written by October 21, 2011

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Have you heard about Food Day? On October 24th Americans are urged to, "push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way." Chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day works with people around the country to create thousands of events to promote "eating real" in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals. The 6 Food Day Principles are to: Reduce diet-related disease by promoting healthy food Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness Expand access to food

One Fabulous Exercise: Chair Squat to Shoulder Press
Written by October 17, 2011

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Want to get more out of your strength training exercises? Integrate what is called multi-joint exercises into your routine. Exercises like squats, lunges, presses, and rows. These exercises target multiple muscles all in one smooth motion of lifting and lowering of the body or the weights. In contrast, in a single joint exercise like the dumbbell bicep curl, only the elbow joint is moving, thus only one major group of muscles is involved or activated (i.e., the biceps of the upper arm).  Multi-joint exercises have the following benefits: • Time efficient. • Involve numerous muscle groups often targeting several regions of the

halloweentoys
Written by October 14, 2011

Ruth Ann Carpenter, MS, RD

Lead Integrator
Health Integration, LLC

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An Andertoons Cartoon Halloween is about two weeks away. Have you bought your trick-or-treat candy yet? If not, do the kids in your neighborhood a favor and forgo candy for some of these zero-calorie “treats”: Dare to be Different this Halloween Believe it or not, most kids actually prefer a trinket or small toy over candy for a “treat.” Share your ideas for calorie-free “treats” on our Facebook page.

toning_shoes
Written by October 10, 2011

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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You may recall that last summer one of our blogs highlighted research that contradicted the benefits purported by several manufacturers of toning shoes. As a reminder, researchers at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse conducted two studies, one evaluating exercise responses to walking in traditional athletic shoes compared to some of the more popular brands of toning shoes and a second looking at the differences in muscle activation1.  Both studies found no significant differences in either exercise response or muscles activation between any of the shoes.  One of the shoes studied was the Reebok Easy Tone whose manufacturers claimed had

behavior_based_weightloss
Written by October 7, 2011

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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Millions of Americans are looking for "what works" in weight loss. And millions (that may be a slight exaggeration) of researchers and practitioners are saying, "why aren't you listening?"! Maybe American's haven't gotten the memo or are looking for more of a quick and easy fix, but yet another recent publication concludes, "Behaviorally based treatments are safe and effective for weight loss and maintenance."1 In an effort to help update the 2003 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations regarding clinician screening and intervention for obesity, researchers analyzed 38 behavior-based studies, 18 studies that included a behavioral component plus orlistat (a weight-loss drug), and

Does a General Warm-up Really Help Lifting Performance?
Written by October 3, 2011

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

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When working out, you want to get the most out of your strength training as possible. But what is the best method to do that? Many argue that a warm-up for strength should include static stretching, but that may not always be best, as was discussed in, Static Stretching Before a Workout: The Debate Continues. Other suggestions include a general warm-up or a lift-specific warm-up.1 A general warm-up normally has the purpose of warming up the entire body. Individuals can accomplish this through light intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as on a spin bike or elliptical, or through a routine of general dynamic exercise movements.

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