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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

Pedometer Use: Adding to What We Know Already Works
Written by April 19, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Gilbert R. Kaats, Ph.D. is passionate about health enhancing products and has researched them over the past 32 years.  This blog is a summary of his research and findings regarding the usefulness of pedometers.1  The concept is simple as related by Kessinger in the December 2007 issue of The Original Internist “…Find what works, make sure it works, and then add to it; re-tool one good idea with another. Never take away from what works. Always add to it.” 2 Pedometers work; they serve to increase physical activity and “…the device is a great little motivator.” Says Dr. Dena Bravata.

Keep A Sharp Mind By Minding Your Blood Pressure
Written by April 14, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Ninety percent of Americans will have high blood pressure by the time they kick the bucket.  One-half of Americans over the age of 60 currently have high blood pressure.  The fact that high blood pressure increases risk for stroke and heart disease makes it something everyone should pay attention to.  The urgency is compounded by the more recent findings that high blood pressure is associated with increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Changes in diet, increased physical activity, weight loss, and of course, medications have been shown to reduce blood pressure.  But the prevalence of high blood pressure and

Shoes or No Shoes?
Written by April 12, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

With the arrival of spring you may have seen some people out running without any shoes on or wearing something that looks like a glove on their feet. Well the latest buzz around the fitness industry is—yes, you guessed it—barefoot running. While barefoot running is in the spotlight now, it actually has been around for quite some time. The running shoe wasn’t invented until the 1970’s so this is a relatively new piece of equipment when you look at how long humans have been running. And even since the running shoe emerged, the trend of barefoot running has come around

Smith Machine versus Free Weight Bench: A battle of goals
Written by March 29, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Weight rooms continue to add new machines and tools to allow exercisers to work out in a variety of ways. Most weight rooms have many different machines and exercises that can work the upper body. The bench press, works the pectoralis major, triceps barchii and anterior deltoid, with stabilization by the medial deltoid.  A variety of equipment and a large number of options such as a free weight bench press, seated chest press, or Smith Machine bench press can be used to perform a bench press exercise. But how do these machines and exercises fare in regards to last week’s

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

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