...learn about calories

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 March 19, 2015

Lauren Ruzicka B.S., MPH Candidate


Are you sitting down? If so, I hope that in a few minutes, you’ll be motivated to hop to your feet! You are probably aware of the harms of a sedentary lifestyle – the increased risk for obesity, chronic illness, and a shortened life span – but knowing the tragic facts and figures unfortunately doesn’t solve the problem that so many of us face.1,2 Over 80% of working Americans are in sedentary jobs, and on average these workers are at work 47 hours per week.3 If we’re supposed to be moving more, we’re probably not going to find time…we’re going

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Written by March 12, 2015

Rachel Huber, MPH, RD

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

March is National Nutrition Month. This campaign raises awareness of the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits, which brings to mind an earlier post that encourages healthy behaviors. Year after year national guidelines urge Americans to do physical activity and eat a healthy plant-based diet. And year after year Americans become more sedentary and choose more highly-processed foods high in fat and calories. So what’s the disconnect? Are our healthy messages too complex? Do Americans not see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle? Or, perhaps, are Americans trying to change, but just not using

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Written by March 5, 2015

Steve Farrell, PhD, FACSM

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is defined as the body’s maximal ability to transport and utilize oxygen at the tissue level. Results from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS)1 and other large studies, have consistently shown that individuals with low CRF have higher all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality (death) rates than those with moderate CRF, and that the risk continues to decrease when we look at those with high CRF (Figure 1). In the CCLS, low CRF is defined as a treadmill stress test performance in the bottom 20% compared to others of the same age group and gender. This is

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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 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 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

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Written by December 11, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

What are your plans to maintain your fitness routine this holiday season and keep those calories in balance? This hasn’t crossed your mind yet? Not to worry – an earlier post reminds us of some simple, but realistic ways to stay fit during the upcoming food- and drink-filled festivities. In a typical day 60-70% of all calories burned are for basic body needs including sleeping and awakening. Then 10% of the calories you use are for the digestion of food and 15-30% are used during physical activity.1 To maintain your current weight calories taken in must equal calories used. The good news

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Written by December 4, 2014

Tamorra Jackson, B.S Candidate


As cold weather approaches, so does cold weather. If you’re anything like me, as the temperatures drop, my immune system seems to drop as well. Although flu prevention is promoted widely, the common cold seems to sneak in under everyone’s radar every year. So what exactly is this common cold and how can it be prevented? Common colds are an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract caused by a viral infection. The most common cold viruses are rhinovirus infections that often occur during the fall and spring seasons, and coronavirus which is more common during the winter. They are spread

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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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