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

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. - Vincent van Gogh


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Do Compression Garments Enhance Exercise Recovery?
Written by July 19, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Each exercise workout and sport competition can result in various magnitudes of physiological and psychological changes such as increased soft tissue damage (causing muscle soreness), increased fatigue, increased core temperatures, and altered mood.  How rapidly one recovers is influenced by factors such as genetics, diet, fitness level, sleep, environment, and winning or losing.  The exercise demands and the recovery processes are specifically related to the stressors the athlete is exposed to.  Recovery is so important that historically legal and illegal restoration techniques have been used by athletes; anything to get an edge. Examples are the use of anabolic drugs, over-the-counter

Put Activity Back into Life
Written by July 12, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

I was running up and down the street in front of my house one day because I had to stay close to home. A neighbor down the street was out washing his cars so every time I passed him we would exchange some quick words about this and that. During one of my passes he made the comment that he should be out running. I didn’t have time to respond but I thought about this comment for the next few minutes. He had been out washing his cars (as well as the neighbor’s) as long as I had been running

Effects of Low and High Volume Stretching on Bench Press Performance
Written by June 21, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Warm-up and Static Stretching Is a Common Routine Prior to Performance: Stretching as part of warm up is commonly integrated as part of the pre-competition routine for competitive athletes and recreational fitness participants in order to reduce injury and improve muscular performance. Previous recent research 1 suggests that acute stretching before maximal muscular performance may hinder the ability of the muscle to produce force.  Two theories to explain this include mechanical factors such as reduced stiffness on the musculotendinous unit and/or neural factors such as altered motor control or a greater autogenic inhibition.1 However, this study investigated stretching volume, rest

Hydrating for Physical Activity in the Heat: Don't Wait for a Sprinkler to Save You!
Written by June 14, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

I was out running a few Saturday’s ago and was plagued by extreme thirst. It was in the morning but as it turns out, unknown to me, it was the hottest day we had had this summer, hitting triple digits in the afternoon. So it was already pretty hot when I started out. How hot I didn’t realize until I later checked the temperature and humidity; 88°F, 70% humidity. This put the heat index at close to 100! Humidity, especially when combined with that high of a temperature, reduces the effectiveness of sweating to cool the body by reducing the evaporation

The Tire Flip
Written by June 7, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

One of the popular trends in fitness, functional training was recently discussed. Another popular trend in fitness is the usage of boot camps and other type of fitness classes. Many of these classes use untraditional exercises and functional exercises. One exercise that is sometimes used is the tire flip. This is an exercise that is sometimes seen in strongman events. The exercise normally uses large tires. Many times the tires are from a tractor or other big truck. Individuals crouch down into a low squatted position in front of the tire. Then grab the bottom of one side of the

Energy Usage of Functional Training
Written by May 28, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

A new type of training referred to as functional training has increased in popularity. Functional training is “multiplaner, multijoint resistance exercises that simulate movement patterns from everyday life and sport.”1 To find exercises for functional training, look at activities in your daily life. Think of squatting down and getting something out of a low cabinet. This can be turned into a functional training exercise in the weight room. To convert the exercise you may add weight by doing a standing low row. You might stand holding onto handles of an adjustable cable pulley with arms extended in front of you.

Are You Short on Time? Make Weight Training Count!
Written by May 24, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

What if you could burn calories faster while strength training? A recent study1 compared the calories burned during two types of strength training workouts – traditional and superset. Traditional involves completion of one set of repetitions for a specific exercise followed by an inactive rest period. Superset training works two opposing muscle groups before taking a recovery period. Working opposing muscle groups allows the first muscle to rest while the opposing muscle group is working.   The study measured calories burned during the two types of resistance training. Ten active men (average age 22 years and 165 pounds) completed a superset

The Way to Get Teens to Be More Physically Active May Be Through Their Phones
Written by May 10, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Sounds crazy right? A device that many of us associate with sedentary behaviors can help increase physical activity? The reality is mobile devices are extremely popular amongst the teenage population. According to a national survey from CTIA (The Wireless Association®) and Harris Interactive, four out of five teens (17 million) carry a wireless device1. The study titled “Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged” also found that a majority of teens (57%) view their cell phone as the key to their social life and that most admitted to spending nearly an equal amount of time talking as they do texting each month.  So

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Written by May 3, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Tom Brokaw was the keynote speaker last week as The Cooper Institute celebrated its 40th anniversary. The celebration paid tribute to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, whose name is synonymous worldwide with wellness and physical fitness programs. “Long before wellness became part of the health care debate, Ken Cooper was promoting fitness and personal responsibility, a message that has an enduring urgency for all ages,” said Brokaw, now a special correspondent for NBC News. The former NBC Nightly News anchor spoke about his personal passion for healthy living at the luncheon. Today Mr. Brokaw remains very active and has found an interest in

Does Exercise Make You Hungry?
Written by April 26, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Does Exercise Make Us Hungry? There has been much debate about the effect of exercise on appetite and energy intake.  Although some scientists have proposed that exercise stimulates appetite; most studies do not support this finding.  A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise4 examined the effect of walking on appetite and food intake.  In the study, subjects participated in two different trials – an exercise and a nonexercise (control) trial.  One day subjects walked for 60 minutes on a treadmill with some mild shortness of breath but were still able to hold a conversation.  On

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