...think healthier

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

It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny. - Jean Nidetch


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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 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 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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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

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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

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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

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