...cut out the soda

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

The time is always right to do what is right. - Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Written by February 26, 2015

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Happy National Pistachio Day! Pistachios are on my list of favorite nuts, along with almonds, cashews, pecans, and most others. Let’s check out a previous post that highlights the nutritional benefits of nuts. I often get asked the question “what is the best nut for you to eat?” And the answer is…there is no “one” best nut. There are many varieties that carry different benefits. For instance, if you are looking for a good source of vitamin E, then almonds are a good choice. If you are looking for a high level of antioxidants or a source of ALA (alpha-linolenic

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Written by February 19, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

If you pay attention to what the media or public says or writes, you would think that dietary high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the worst villain since Attila the Hun. Although HFCS has been branded by many as a major culprit in the U.S. obesity epidemic, does science really support this view? Let’s take an objective look. HFCS is a liquid sweetener that is used in many foods and beverages, and is often used as an alternative to sucrose (table sugar). The use of HFCS in foods and beverages began in the late 1960s and its use has increased substantially

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Written by February 12, 2015

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! As you consider the heart-shaped candies, red roses, and sweet treats for your loved ones, think about doing something for your heart health, too! Each year since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed February as American Heart Month. As the proclamation states, “It is the number one killer of American women and men, and it is a leading cause of serious illness and disability. Across our Nation, we have lost devoted mothers and fathers, loved siblings, and cherished friends to this devastating epidemic.”1 More than 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.

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Written by February 5, 2015

Merissa Hums, B.S. candidate


Although foam rollers are very popular among athletes, they have been shown to provide health benefits that everyone can gain. Foam rolling is used as a form of self-myofascial release (SMR), which is a basic technique used to release tightness in the muscles, tendons, fascia, and/or soft tissues, as well as improve the range of motion of a joint. But recent findings suggest that the benefits of SMR may reach beyond the muscles and joints and to the cardiovascular system. Normal healthy arteries are capable of dilating (relaxing) or contracting, depending on whether the goal is to increase or decrease

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Written by January 29, 2015

Lauren Ruzicka B.S., MPH Candidate


Would I fit stereotypes well enough if I write a health blog about health resolutions in January? Probably, and this is precisely the reason that I am not writing a health blog about resolutions in January! I’m writing about what often comes after the resolution: the relapse. Whether you are famous for phasing out your goals or known for never giving up, it’s time to talk about how to deal with defeat in a productive way. When it comes to health goals in particular, failure can be pretty hard to swallow. The reality is that life often comes with setbacks.

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Written by January 22, 2015

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

As we eagerly prepare our gym bags and raw veggies in support of our 2015 resolutions to exercise and watch what we eat (you are still at them right?!), I flash back to a previous discussion on training expectations that will come in handy as we move forward with our goals. When setting expectations for your results with exercise training it is important to consider the “window of adaptation.” Whenever you begin something new, you have a very large window of adaptation meaning there is a great potential to see significant (and often large) increases in performance. As you become

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Written by January 8, 2015

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

It’s only January 8th but doesn’t it seem like those New Year’s resolutions are already a thing of the past? Unfortunately for many, their good intentions have already been abandoned. If you are still on the path to trying to make healthy changes here are some suggestions on how to make those changes lasting. Ask yourself: Do you really want to make this change? We often decide to make a change because someone else is going to, or suggests that we should (or because that is what you do at the start of a new year) but the decision to

Young man smoking E-cigarette
Written by January 1, 2015

Sue Beckham, PhD

Director of Adult Initiatives
The Cooper Institute

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigs, have increased in popularity since they were introduced in the U.S. in 2007 (Breland, A. et al., 2014). They deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol (vapor) as well as flavoring agents and other chemicals. Some are rechargeable and/or refillable. They deliver anywhere from 0-36 mg/mL of nicotine in a variety of flavors including fruits, coffee, cola, menthol, and candy. Flavored tobacco products are used primarily by youth and new smokers. Despite the growing use of e-cigs, there is little research with regard to safety and their role in smoking cessation. So what do we know about e-cigs? Labeling

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Written by December 25, 2014

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Happy holidays from The Cooper Institute! On this day when people are celebrating with family and friends, I have a vision of an earlier post that reminds us to balance our calories with physical activity. The holidays have descended upon you and you can’t pass on Uncle Bert’s special eggnog. Perhaps you have visions of Grandma’s sugar cookies dancing in your head (and on your tongue!). Maybe you also have not-so-nice visions of having to let your belt out a notch or two the first week of January. Fear not. You can have your holiday fruitcake and eat it, too. The antidote for

Overweight
Written by December 18, 2014

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

If you are under the age of 40 or so, you might not understand the Dr. Seuss reference in the title of this article. I just couldn’t help myself. Many years ago, it was assumed not only that all fat cells were alike, but also that fat cells were simply storage facilities for fat; and not active metabolically. More recently, we have learned that nothing could be further from the truth. Everybody’s probably familiar with white fat because that’s the type of fat cell we find ~98% of the time in the human body.  It’s also the type of fat

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