...try a new exercise

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

Never leave that 'till tomorrow which you can do today. - Benjamin Franklin


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Written by April 17, 2014

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Low impact cardiovascular activities can help to minimize the risk of injury. However, low impact activities such as walking are sometimes perceived as not having as many options for increasing caloric burn. Fortunately, incorporating interval training with walking can help increase caloric expenditure. Plus, walking is an activity that requires no equipment, is easy to do, and is one of the most natural forms of physical activity. Interval training involves bouts of higher intensity exercise mixed with periods of lower intensity exercise that allows for partial recovery. More calories are burned at higher intensities when compared to lower intensities of

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Written by April 10, 2014

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Pop Quiz: How many more pounds of sugar do Americans eat each year as compared to 1970? 5 pounds? Maybe 10?… Would you believe 15 more pounds? According to NPHW.org, the average American eats 15 more pounds of sugar each year than in 1970. This finding suggests that Americans, on average, need to scale way back on added sugars and sweeteners! Let’s reflect to an earlier post to remind us of the ever-present sugars surrounding us every day. What exactly are added sugars? Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation. They differ

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Written by April 4, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

April Showers Bring May Flowers! I enjoy a good rainstorm – there’s something about the pitter-patter of water falling from the sky that soothes my soul. It also soothes my lawn and surrounding foliage that are in desperate need of some water. For those of you who don’t want your April work-outs to become wash-outs, let’s déjà vu to an earlier post that can prepare you to be an all-season exerciser. Prepare Your Body Unlike the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz (she was the one who melted when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her, remember?),

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Written by March 27, 2014

Sue Beckham, PhD

Director of Adult Initiatives
The Cooper Institute

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation or PNF is a form of static stretching that involves both a static stretch followed by an isometric contraction of the muscle that is being stretched.  The process is then repeated several times. Partner PNF has been shown to yield greater improvements in flexibility than static stretching (O’Hora, J., et al., 2011)1. However, partner PNF stretching has 2 major drawbacks – 1) it requires a partner and 2) has more risk in that your partner must communicate and respond appropriately to ensure that the stretch is performed safely. Self-PNF stretching could eliminate both of those drawbacks. However,

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Written by March 20, 2014

Today I Will


It’s official… Spring has sprung! Everyone in the neighborhood knows where to find my family this time of year – outdoors! I’m so excited to welcome the green grass, beautiful blooms, and warmer weather. It’s a great time to stretch your legs (and arms and back and abs) to burn calories and increase health benefits. An earlier post springs to mind as I begin my household chore list – it reveals various springtime activities and the amount of calories each burns if done for 30 minutes*. Check out the list below: Watering lawn or garden – 63 calories Bird watching

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Written by March 13, 2014

Steve Farrell, PhD

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

As you are no doubt aware, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death within  countries with a moderate to high standard of living.  Among the major risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) are high blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL). For over two decades, statins have been the most popular type of drug for lowering LDL cholesterol levels. It is indisputable that lowering LDL decreases the incidence of CHD. Among the mechanisms for plaque development within arteries are oxidative stress caused by free radicals, as well as inflammation. Coenzyme Q10 is a potent antioxidant that helps to

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Written by March 6, 2014

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

You may have heard… March is National Nutrition Month®. As I strive to balance my family, career, errands, and everything else in between, I am reminiscent of an earlier post that can help us all address the age-old question that we encounter on a daily basis – “What’s for dinner?” Something simple. Something healthy. And something fast (but not fast food). Whether you have one mouth to feed or a whole family of mouths, the answer to this question doesn’t have to be difficult to come up with. There are many (almost too many) places to look for simple, healthy,

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Written by February 27, 2014

Karyn Hughes, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

In a recent posted blog in September, 2013 on Whole-Body Cryotherapy we examined whether cold therapy speeds up recovery from muscle soreness.  This topic is of great importance to athletes and coaches alike who want to plan an athlete’s workout to maximize performance as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) often reduces force production and range of motion (ROM) at joints.  Even if you don’t classify yourself as an athlete, if you exercise you have likely experienced DOMS.  Now the use of foam rollers is commonly advocated to alleviate muscles soreness and stiff joints along with improving neuromuscular efficiency and improving

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Written by February 20, 2014

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

The use of ropes as fitness equipment has been on the rise in gyms. Ropes, often called battle ropes, similar looking to the ones used at one time for climbing in PE classes, are now being used for a variety of other exercises. The ropes are normally between 30 – 50 feet in length, 1 -2 inches in thickness, and anchored around a pole so an individual can hold both ends of the rope. Thicker and longer ropes will make exercises more advanced. Examples of common repeated movements using battle ropes include the following exercises: Alternating Waves: In a stable

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Written by February 13, 2014

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Long-stemmed red roses, heart-shaped boxes filled with assorted chocolates, and romantic candle-light dinners – just a few ideas that come to mind for the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend. We are finally having a reprieve from the arctic blasts and I am ready for a night out on the town with my “true love”. I’m craving Chinese food (I hope he is, too!). Even though Chinese foods can be high in calories, I know of an earlier post that reveals healthy alternatives that will make your heart sing! We’re revealing the highs, the lows, and the OMGs of calories found in

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