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

Make your life a mission - not an intermission. - Arnold H. Glasgow


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Training on Unstable Surfaces: Superior to Traditional Strength Training?
Written by March 22, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Training on unstable surfaces such as stability balls and balance boards continues to gain popularity. Exercises on unstable surfaces are often promoted to improve balance and challenge core stability more than traditional resistance training using free weights and machines. However, scientific proof that training on unstable surfaces is superior to traditional resistance training performed on stable surfaces, such as a bench, is lacking. Given that most activities of daily living are performed on stable rather than unstable surfaces, it is important to determine whether exercising on unstable surfaces transfers to improvements in activities performed on stable surfaces. One group of

Resistance Training in Overweight and Obese Youth is a Pathway to Success
Written by March 15, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Researchers are discovering that resistance training in overweight and obese children and adolescents is having multiple positive effects.  For starters it is increasing their time spent in physical activity.  It is lowering their body fat, improving their bone density, and increasing their sensitivity to insulin.1 But, there is more. In a 16 weeks study in which youth participated in progressive resistance training, there was also a 96% adherence rate.2 This is key because identifying activities that they like and can excel in is important for our youth to adopt a lifestyle of regular physical activity. Also psychosocial wellbeing was improved.  Part

Physical Activity: It Does a Colon Good
Written by March 8, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

You may be aware that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the third most common diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, almost 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed and approximately 50,000 people died from the disease last year. Despite these statistics, unlike some cancers, colorectal cancer is highly preventable and can be detected early through proper screening. And what do you think one of the most important prevention tools is? That’s right—physical activity.

Caloric Expenditure of the Winter Games
Written by March 1, 2010

Michael Harper, MEd

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

The 2010 Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada ended yesterday. There were fifteen sports and 85 medal events. These events were split up into three categories of ice sports, alpine skiing/snowboarding and Nordic events. Here at The Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas I felt a little bit more connected to the games this year…  Most due to the actual winter blasts we’ve had. During the games we had colder than normal temperatures and it even snowed.  We set a new 24 hour snowfall record at over 12.5”. With a winter wonderland in Dallas and the winter Olympics it was

Is Your Exercise Program a “Best Fit” For You? Take this Self Assessment to See!
Written by February 22, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Whether you are making an effort to become a regular exerciser or you’ve noticed a decrease in your motivation to maintain a routine, take the following self assessment and see if your current exercise choices are really the “Best Fit” according to your schedule, likes and dislikes, social goals, and fitness goals. Directions: Read the following statements and circle or select yes (Y) or no (N) regarding your agreement with the statement. 1. Y N I have well defined fitness goals. 2. Y N I know how to reach my fitness goals. 3. Y N My fitness program includes all 3

Happy man walking up the stairs
Written by February 15, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

As most individuals recognize, 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 most of the day sitting?  Does all that sitting have a negative impact on health? A study performed by Dr. Katzmarzyk1 and his associates (2009) examined the effects of prolonged sitting on all-cause and cardiovascular death rates in individuals who exercised and those who did not.  The researchers collected information about daily activities including time spent sitting in over 17,000 individuals.  They followed the subjects

The "Super" Effect of Clothing on Activity
Written by February 8, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  The Super Bowl is over. The Saints are Super Bowl champs! Did you get your fill of football food and commercials? The conclusion of football season for many of us means that spring is just around the corner. If you believe Punxsutawney Phil who saw his shadow, however, we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. In past blogs we have discussed the decline in physical activity levels of our nation’s youth and some of the potential reasons. A recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity has found that inappropriate clothing is

Finally, Actual Cardiorespiratory Fitness Data for the US population
Written by February 1, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Chances are you have heard news that about 2/3 of the adult U.S. population is overweight or obese.  Ever wonder where this comes from?  The answer is The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  This is a government run study directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   The purpose is to monitor the health status of the nation so the data can be used to develop health policies, programs, and services that target the least fit members of the U.S. population.  In 1996, the Surgeon General’s report on physical activity and health stated that higher cardiorespiratory fitness,

New Health Benefits Cited with Good Trunk Flexibility
Written by January 18, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Have you ever taken the “Sit and Reach” test?  It is a basic physical fitness test given to participants of all ages to determine trunk flexibility? A good score on this test generally indicates good overall flexibility.  Good flexibility in turn is associated with improved range of motion in movement, and thought to reduce the risk of exercise related injury.  But there is new evidence that being flexible has a strong health related benefit of reducing arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness in turn is associated with increases in blood pressure which is an increased risk for coronary (heart) artery disease and

Finding the Fountain of Youth in 2010
Written by January 11, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Is one of your wishes this year to look and feel younger? Who doesn’t want those things! What if we told you we had the answer to the long sought out ‘fountain of youth’? No, it isn’t a magic pill or solution. No, you don’t have to travel far to find it. No, it isn’t something that costs a lot of money nor is it very hard to do. Would it surprise you to know that it is EXERCISE?! Studies, including many done here at The Cooper Institute, have long shown that exercise can defend against all causes of mortality

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