...think healthier

From The Cooper Institute and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall figure out how to climb it. - Michael Jordan


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Written by July 30, 2015

Sue Beckham, PhD

Director of Adult Initiatives
The Cooper Institute

What’s the best strategy for helping others adopt healthier behaviors? These tips will help you to assist that friend, coworker, or family member struggling with change, determine their readiness to change, and nudge them forward in the process. 1. You can facilitate change but you cannot change someone else. An individual must make their own decision to change. You can show your support, but no amount of nagging or coercion will force someone to change if they are not ready. So don’t take on the responsibility for their decisions and actions. Do what you can and realize that the rest is up to

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Written by July 23, 2015

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Summer is upon us. And here in Texas, that means you stay indoors – a lot. This can be a problem because when you hide inside you’re closer to the fridge and the Laz-E-Boy. Calorie balance can get really out of whack during the summer with vacations, patriotic holidays, and longer daylight hours. Here are ways you can get up and/or get out during the hot months. Remember, when it’s hot outside, your body needs more water. Make sure you stay well-hydrated whether you choose to move indoors or outdoors. Indoor at Home Pop in a favorite physical activity video or DVD and start moving. Get a couple so

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Written by July 9, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Mention the term ‘processed food’ to most people and you will get a very negative response. Processed food gets blamed for a number of chronic health conditions such as prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and some cancers. While there is no question that some processed foods are not the best choices, we need to pause before we overgeneralize. In other words, before jumping on the ‘all processed food is bad’ bandwagon, let’s take a closer look. The technical definition of a processed food is quite broad. Any food product that has undergone a transformation from the raw

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Written by July 7, 2015

Karyn Hughes, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

There are numerous lifestyle factors related to back and neck pain such as poor posture, improper biomechanics, poor flexibility, muscle weakness, upper body obesity, and smoking.

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Written by July 2, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

If you watch television, you might have seen and heard a “non-attorney spokesperson” plead with persons who have been prescribed statin drugs to call the number provided due to the “dramatic increase in cases of type 2 diabetes caused by statin drugs.” Statin drugs are commonly used to decrease blood levels of LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, and have been shown to significantly decrease the risk of cardiovascular morbidity (illness) and mortality (death). In an earlier blog, Do Statin Drugs Increase the Risk of Diabetes?, we found that the benefits of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by taking a statin were

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Written by June 25, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

It’s pretty much accepted far and wide that regular aerobic exercise is good for you. From the earliest studies by Drs. Jeremy Morris and Ralph Paffenbarger in the 1950s up to the present time, there have been thousands of publications documenting the beneficial effects of regular aerobic exercise on health and well-being. A partial list of these benefits (from our Personal Training education course) can be found in Table 1. Current public health guidelines for aerobic activity recommend a minimum of 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity, or a minimum of 75 minutes per week at a vigorous

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Written by June 18, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

For well over a century, a cornerstone for middle distance and endurance competitors has been long slow distance (LSD) training. In addition to performing LSD, these individuals also perform interval training (IT) on a regular basis. IT is best described as alternating high intensity work periods (intervals) with low intensity work periods (recovery) within the same workout. The pace that the intervals are done at is usually slightly faster than or at goal race pace. There are an infinite number of variations for interval training workouts. The distance covered as well as the time for each interval, the number of intervals

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Written by June 11, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Data from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study1, as well as from other large databases worldwide have shown conclusively that a low level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) significantly increases the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality. As you may know, CRF is defined as the maximal ability to utilize oxygen at the cell level, and is sometimes referred to as ‘cardiovascular fitness’ or ‘aerobic power’. CRF can be measured in a clinical setting via a maximal treadmill exercise test, or in a field setting via the 1.5 mile run or 1 mile walk tests. You may have taken one

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Written by June 4, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Over the past few years, a number of claims have been made regarding the benefits of dietary coconut oil (DCO). Weight loss and improved heart health are among the most commonly purported health benefits of DCO. Because I’m a big proponent of the old adage ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’, let’s take an objective look at what the science says. First off, while dietary saturated fats tend to increase blood levels of LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), not all saturated fatty acids are exactly alike. Dietary saturated fatty acids fall in two categories based on

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Written by May 28, 2015

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Have you tried to quit smoking but been unsuccessful? Well, you’re not alone. In this country, 70% of adult smokers report that they want to quit, yet research shows that it takes the average smoker up to ten attempts to permanently stop this unhealthy behavior.1 Even with medical assistance such as nicotine replacement therapy or the aid of counseling, success rates are still relatively low. Sounds pretty dim but there is hope and it’s not surprising (or at least not surprising to me!) that it comes in the form of EXERCISE. Researchers have looked into the effect of combining exercise

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