...learn about calories

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

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. - Winston Churchill


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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… As we prepare (here in Texas) to break records of 100°+ days, it’s important to be reminded on how to safely remain active (and healthy) outdoors with the increasing heat indices and temperatures. The best solution to beat the heat, while continuing to get the recommended amounts of physical activity, is being educated and employing safety measures. According to the CDC, almost 6,000 individuals were treated in emergency rooms each year for

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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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Written by June 3, 2014

Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH


In light of recent discussions around schools wanting to opt out of healthy school lunch programs, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, Founder and Chairman of Cooper Aerobics, would like to take a moment to offer his point of view… Who Says Kids Won’t Eat Fruits and Veggies? Many families face serious health and weight challenges due to lack of proper nutrition and exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that since 1980, the percentage of overweight children ages 6 – 11 has doubled, and the percentage of overweight adolescents ages 12 – 19 has tripled. In addition, less than

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Written by May 29, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Every team needs a coach, right? Someone to motivate and encourage when the challenges seem overwhelming. Someone to help develop the skills needed to be a success. Someone to recognize those successes. Individuals need coaches, too. Especially those trying to lose weight. I’m inspired by an earlier post that provides some insight into coaching healthy behavior changes. Many doctors today are actually taking time out of their brief patient interactions to talk about weight loss. Given that most Americans are overweight or obese, this is a good thing. But, unfortunately, physician recommendations on behavior change aren’t very effective unless delivered using certain

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Written by May 22, 2014

Steve Farrell, PhD

Science Officer
The Cooper Institute

If you saw the headline ‘dog bites man’, you’d probably just shrug your shoulders because that sort of thing happens every day. Imagine your reaction if you saw the headline ‘man bites dog’. Now that would make for some interesting reading! We have known for decades that higher levels of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are each strongly associated with a decreased risk of illness and death. Current public health guidelines call for adults to be physically active for at least 150 minutes per week if working at a moderate intensity, or for at least 75 minutes per week if

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Written by May 8, 2014

Carey Shore, MSc


After a spirited training session, your body may be lacking energy and nutrients it needs to recover. Have you ever wondered what is best to eat for recovery after that hard workout? Well here are some guidelines. For the purposes of this article, we will define an endurance athlete as someone who spends 5-7 hours per week or more performing moderate to vigorous aerobic training, with a goal of improved endurance performance. We will define a strength athlete as someone who is performing multiple sets of multiple high intensity strength training exercises at least 4 days per week with a

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Written by April 17, 2014

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Low impact cardiovascular activities can help to minimize the risk of injury. However, low impact activities such as walking are sometimes perceived as not having as many options for increasing caloric burn. Fortunately, incorporating interval training with walking can help increase caloric expenditure. Plus, walking is an activity that requires no equipment, is easy to do, and is one of the most natural forms of physical activity. Interval training involves bouts of higher intensity exercise mixed with periods of lower intensity exercise that allows for partial recovery. More calories are burned at higher intensities when compared to lower intensities of

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Written by April 4, 2014

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

April Showers Bring May Flowers! I enjoy a good rainstorm – there’s something about the pitter-patter of water falling from the sky that soothes my soul. It also soothes my lawn and surrounding foliage that are in desperate need of some water. For those of you who don’t want your April work-outs to become wash-outs, let’s déjà vu to an earlier post that can prepare you to be an all-season exerciser. Prepare Your Body Unlike the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz (she was the one who melted when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her, remember?),

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Written by March 27, 2014

Sue Beckham, PhD

Director of Adult Initiatives
The Cooper Institute

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation or PNF is a form of static stretching that involves both a static stretch followed by an isometric contraction of the muscle that is being stretched.  The process is then repeated several times. Partner PNF has been shown to yield greater improvements in flexibility than static stretching (O’Hora, J., et al., 2011)1. However, partner PNF stretching has 2 major drawbacks – 1) it requires a partner and 2) has more risk in that your partner must communicate and respond appropriately to ensure that the stretch is performed safely. Self-PNF stretching could eliminate both of those drawbacks. However,

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