...think healthier

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

The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something. - Carl Sandburg


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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

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

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

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Written by August 14, 2014

Jennifer Broze, B.S. candidate


Does it really matter whether you do strength training before or after your cardiovascular training? It is important to consider the primary goal of your workout when deciding which to do first. One study looked at the effects on fat loss and cholesterol levels. Maryam and his colleagues2 studied 30 overweight females with a BMI over 25 kg/m2.  Subjects were divided into three groups – 1) strength training followed by endurance (SE) training, 2) endurance followed by strength (ES) training, and 3) control (C) group that did not do any training. Each group worked out three days per week for

bike race
Written by July 31, 2014

Sue Beckham, PhD

Director of Adult Initiatives
The Cooper Institute

Lactic acid gets blamed for everything from muscle soreness to muscle fatigue. Research does not suggest lactic acid plays a primary role in muscle fatigue but serves as an energy source for skeletal and cardiac muscle after its conversion to lactate. In fact, lactate can also be converted to glucose by the liver. Lactic acid production just might be your friend rather than your enemy. It is well­-known that the breakdown of glucose to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate) needed for energy during high intensity exercise produces lactic acid. Strong acids generate positively charged hydrogen ions. Lactic acid is a relatively

running20on20treadmill_jpg
Written by July 24, 2014

Steve Farrell, PhD

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

It is well-known that obesity and sedentary lifestyle are each strongly associated with all-cause mortality. Among Cooper Clinic patients, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is measured via a maximal treadmill stress test, while adiposity status is measured via Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, and percent body fat using the 7-site skinfold caliper method. It is not uncommon for an individual to be classified as obese using one measure of adiposity and non-obese using another measure. For example, one might be classified as non-obese when using BMI, but be classified as obese when using waist circumference. We designed a study to examine

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Written by July 17, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

It’s official – summer is here! I was tipped off by the 100° temperatures, an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies in the markets, and the MLB All-Star game… Although here in Texas so far our 100° temperature days have been lower than normal, it’s always important for all of us to be reminded on how to safely remain active (and healthy) outdoors with the increasing heat indices and temperatures. After all, you never know when those temperatures will spike. The best solution to beat the heat, while continuing to get the recommended amounts of physical activity, is being educated

Banana Split
Written by June 19, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Summer is coming… This Saturday, June 21!! With the summer heat comes cool thoughts of beaches, water parks, and ice cream. Yummy ice cream – a delicious, somewhat nutritious (i.e., calcium), hot weather treat. But be mindful that ice cream is high in calories. For example, a Baskin-Robbins banana split would add 1,010 calories to your day’s total calorie intake. For many people, that could be more than 50% of their daily calorie need. OMG! It’s okay – stay calm. An earlier post floats to mind that can help you “keep your cool” when selecting summer chillers and planning activities. The TodayIWill website

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Written by June 12, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

For years, scratch that, decades we have known that as a nation we need to move more and eat less but unfortunately our attempts to do so have been failing. It seems that we keep trying the same methods that don’t work. Insanity, by the way, can be defined as is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. So what is the key to engaging in a healthier lifestyle and losing weight? Many individuals, especially those who are already living a healthy lifestyle, have the mentality of “just do it” but the reality is making behavior

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