...cut out the soda

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

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. - Albert Einstein


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Written by November 16, 2014

Anna Winter, (B.S. candidate)


It is almost impossible not to eat out, but if you are watching what you eat, don’t worry, there are still some healthy options out there for you in a world where the fast food industry is growing rapidly. Rarely is it healthy to consume a meal that is of low nutritional value and high in Trans fats, saturated fats, sodium, and calories, but there are ways to make healthier choices when eating out! Some quick tips when it comes to eating out are to make careful menu selections, drink water with your meal, “undress” your food by special ordering

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Written by November 13, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Are you one of those people who routinely exercises at least three hours a week – but also spends most of your days sitting behind a desk? It’s awesome to achieve the recommended minutes for physical activity each week, but an earlier blog encourages those who are sedentary throughout the day to move more as exercise alone might not be enough for their health. Most individuals recognize that  physical inactivity has been shown to increase the number of deaths from all-causes, as well as from heart disease and cancer. But what about individuals who meet the physical activity recommendations but spend

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Written by November 6, 2014

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Keeping the hips level and body stable while walking, climbing stairs, or standing on one leg is important in order to stay steady on the feet, maintain proper body alignment, and ultimately, avoid injury. While the big muscles of the lower body are involved in these types of movements, there are also a number of other often-forgotten muscles that play an important role. The gluteus medius, tensor fascia latae, and hip adductors as well as the quadratus lumborum of the opposite side are all involved. As a group, these muscles make up the lateral subsystem (LS). To enhance function for

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Written by October 30, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Does it ever seem like you just don’t have enough time to do all you need to do — or want to do — including making healthy lifestyle changes? Unfortunately, there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. In our busy and fast-paced lives, it’s often difficult to accomplish all we have to do in the time we have available and this can be a big source of stress. While most would agree that stress can be unpleasant (to say the least), many do not realize the affect stress has

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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