...try a new exercise

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

When you've got something to prove, there's nothing greater than a challenge. - Terry Bradshaw


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10-23 Trick-or-treaters
Written by October 23, 2014

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Halloween is upon us. Whether you’re walking door-to-door for neighborhood hospitality or doing the Transylvanian twist at a party this year, I am haunted by an earlier post that offers recommendations for healthier treats and reminds us to snack in moderation. With a little over a week until the trick-or-treaters show up at your door step, you’ve probably started to think about making the trip to the grocery store to buy bags of candy. Or, if you’re like me you’ll be making a second trip to the store because your family already ate the candy that you bought to hand out!

Woman stretching
Written by October 16, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Just how flexible are you? Have you ever taken the “Sit and Reach” test?  It is a basic physical fitness assessment that evaluates the flexibility of the hamstrings and glutes.  It is believed by many that a good score on this assessment generally indicates good overall flexibility although it is important to keep in mind that flexibility is joint specific. Improving flexibility is associated with improved range of motion, improved circulation, and reduced tension just to name a few. My sit and reach test results inspired me to set some flexibility goals and to share an earlier post that presented evidence

Contemporary20Health20179_jpg
Written by October 9, 2014

Steve Farrell, PhD

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

As you might have heard, vitamin D is nicknamed ‘the sunshine vitamin’. Skin exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays triggers a metabolic pathway which ultimately results in production of the active form of vitamin D. In the past, it was thought that the only important function of vitamin D was to increase absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gut into the blood. By increasing blood levels of these two minerals, they become more available to the bones. More recently, it has become more clear that improving bone health is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the

pumpkins-1431616-m
Written by October 2, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Did you know that pumpkins are at their peak in October? You may have noticed the pumpkin patches that have popped up in your neighborhood or in your local market. A previous post pops to mind with the various (and yummy!) ways to incorporate pumpkin into your healthy eating habits. My first experience eating pumpkin other than in breads, desserts, and pumpkin soup, was having it grilled with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. Oh my goodness, it was heavenly. It made me realize that there was much more to pumpkin than I had realized.

slip hazard
Written by September 25, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

High-risk situations such as increased work hours, periods of stress, or even bad weather have the potential to cause even the most committed exerciser or healthy eater to slip back into unhealthy habits. It’s important to think about the situations, events, people, thoughts, and feelings that may keep you from achieving or maintaining your goals. Once you identify high risk situations, you can build a plan to deal with them in positive and helpful ways. As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Below are some challenging situations that people often face when making changes

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Written by September 18, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Fall is nearly upon us. The shorter days, changing foliage, and decrease in temperatures means a rapidly growing to-do list around the house. You know like cleaning the garage, storing items in the attic, and raking the leaves. These to-do’s are considered lifestyle physical activities, which are important to our health. In a previous post we discussed how a regular exercise program alone may not be enough of a protection if you spend a good portion of your day sitting. As a reminder, research has demonstrated a dose-response association between sitting time and mortality from all causes, independent of leisure

Salmon20Dinner_jpg
Written by September 11, 2014

Steve Farrell, PhD

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

In a previous post we discussed the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) level and future risk of dying from heart failure (HF)1. Specifically, higher levels of CRF significantly decreased the risk of HF death in a group of nearly 45,000 men who were followed for an average of 20 years. In two other posts, one in 2013 and one earlier this year, we wrote about some of the cardiovascular and mental health benefits of increased dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are commonly known as fish oils, but are also found in plant-based foods such as walnuts. The most

football
Written by September 4, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Today is the NFL season opener between the reigning Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Football season brings fun and excitement but it also brings hours of sitting and lots of food and drinks, which can pose a challenge to our weight loss or weight maintenance efforts. Let’s revisit some tips we have posted in the past that hopefully will help you to engage in healthy behaviors while allowing you to enjoy the greatness that football season is! Schedule a time to be active. No, jumping up in excitement and then sitting back down doesn’t count—well maybe

crunch with trainer
Written by August 28, 2014

Sue Beckham, PhD

Director of Adult Initiatives
The Cooper Institute

Lots of core exercises we do challenge the global core muscles like the abdominals and back muscles. These muscles tend to be larger, more superficial muscles like the rectus abdominis, obliques, erector spinae, and hip muscles. Other muscles, called local core muscles are typically smaller and deeper than the global muscles. These muscles don’t produce much movement but primarily contract statically to stabilize the spine during lower and upper body movements. The local core muscles include the transversus abdominis, piriformis, pelvic floor, and multifidi, as well as other muscles in the hip and core. The local core muscles which stabilize

sugar cubes 801547_20307911_jpg
Written by August 21, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Can eating too much sugar cause diabetes? It is widely accepted that eating too much of any food (sugar included) causes you to gain weight which in turn can lead to obesity which, yes, is a predisposition to diabetes. I’m reminded of a recent study that provides evidence that there may be a direct and independent link between sugar and diabetes. Researchers looked at food availability in 175 countries and after controlling for a large number of factors—other food types including fiber, meats, fruits, oils, cereals; total calories; overweight and obesity; aging; urbanization; income; physical activity; tobacco use; alcohol use—an

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