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

Never, never, never, never give up. - Winston Churchill


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Do Americans Think They're Thinner Than They Really Are?
Written by September 10, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

According to a recent poll, Americans do think they are thinner than they really are. Almost 2,500 American adults were asked through an online survey to report their height, weight, and perceived category of weight – underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. The Harris Interactive/HealthDay pollsters calculated each person’s body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height and determined their actual weight category. Results showed: 30% of the those in the “overweight” BMI category believed they were “normal weight” 70% of those in the “obese” BMI category believed they were just “overweight” Most survey responders who felt they

Does altering an exercise make it better?
Written by September 6, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

New ways to challenge the body in the weight room are frequently explored by lifters. As individuals explore new ways to lift and challenge the upper body, different hand placements are often tested. In the push-up exercise, research by Cogley et al.1 found that an increased number of muscles were activated in a push-up with a narrow hand placement compared to wide hand placement. In the lat pulldown exercise, a wide grip hand position was shown by Signorile et al.2 to be the best hand placement for latissimus dorsi activation during both phases of the lift. But what about changing

Exercise for Weight Maintenance: How Long??
Written by August 16, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  What is the most important factor in weight maintenance? Level of physical activity, caloric intake, or other factors? About 80% of people who lose weight gain it back. How can we keep the weight off? An article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reviewed the research addressing the amount of exercise necessary to prevent weight gain2.  Low physical activity was found to account for about 77% of weight gain in one year. Exercise and physical activity play a primary role in weight maintenance. The other 23% may be affected by diet and metabolism. A study in International

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Written by August 9, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  Toning shoes, wellness shoes, fitness shoes, rocker shoes—whatever you want to call them, their use, especially among women, is on the rise. As a matter of fact, some experts predict that this segment of the footwear industry will grow into a $1 billion market in the next few years1. And while they are all the rage now, toning shoes, as we will call them for the rest of this discussion, have been around for quite some time. Even podiatrists use this style of shoe to help treat a variety of problems. Toning shoes are characterized by a curved sole,

Weight Training In the Water?
Written by August 2, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Summer is upon us and everyone is looking for ways to stay cool. The pool is a haven for most during the summer months to stay cool. Water splashing here and there, but have you thought about using the water for a place to get a workout. Water resistance has long been used for rehabilitation, but what about using it for a regular resistance training workout. While I was in Korea recently, they had water resistance workout equipment as depicted in the picture above. Can a workout in the pool provide just as good of a workout as using resistance

Treadmill vs. Elliptical: Which is a Better Workout?
Written by July 26, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  Are all cardio machines created equally? Studies have shown that when individuals exercise on different pieces of cardio equipment at the same self-selected effort level, some pieces of equipment result in greater calorie burn. For example, at the same self-selected effort level, most individuals burn more calories exercising on the treadmill compared to the rowing machine, stair stepper, cycle ergometer or cross-country ski machine. However, until recently, newer forms of exercise equipment like the elliptical machine have not been investigated. A study published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research1 examined whether you burn more calories on the elliptical

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

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