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

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. - Robert F. Kennedy


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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

A New Look at Creating Resolutions
Written by January 4, 2010

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

It is that time of year again – time for New Year’s Resolutions. Last year we talked about resolving to get active by setting realistic, specific, and measureable goals in our blog “Resolve to Get Active.” But did you keep those resolutions and achieve as much as you set your sights? If not, you are not alone as it is estimated that more than 88% of those who make New Year’s Resolutions will not reach their goal.1 Ultimately it is an issue of adherence, which is the process or condition of steady or faithful attachment to something. But the problem

Exercise: A "Brain Booster" for Kids
Written by December 28, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  Many school districts have removed recess and gym class as required courses.  Studies suggest exercise improves brain function in kids. A recent study1 reported in Psychology of Sport and Exercise studied the immediate effects of exercise on the brain in 7- and 10-year old boys.  Boys in each age group were assigned to either a no exercise (control) or exercise group.  Two tests which measured reaction time and decision making ability were given to both groups.  All boys performed a practice session to become familiar with the tests before the first official testing session.  Then both groups were tested

Fitness Strategies for Holiday Success
Written by December 21, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Are you afraid that you’ll gain weight this holiday season?  Or maybe you are worried about maintaining your fitness routine during the busy holidays? Worry no more. There are simple, but realistic ways to stay fit and trim during the holiday season.  In a typical day 60-70% of all calories burned are for basic body needs including sleeping and awakening. Then 10% of the calories you use are for the digestion of food and 15-30% are used during physical activity.1 To maintain your current weight “calories eaten must equal calories used”.  The good news is you have control over 15-30%

Holiday Cheer Minus the Stress
Written by December 14, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  Can you believe it? Only 10 shopping days left until Christmas!  The holidays can be a wonderful and joyous time but for many, with this season comes some unwanted guests—no, not the in-laws—anxiety and stress. All of the shopping, decorating, card writing, baking, entertaining, partying, and our desire to make this the BEST Christmas ever can often be quite overwhelming. And this challenging economic time is definitely not helping. As a matter of fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) just released their 2009 National Stress in America Survey1 that found that at the time of the survey, 75 percent

Active Gifts for the Holidays
Written by December 7, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

  Recently the Wii was confirmed again as a positive step in becoming more active compared to regular video games. “The range of energy expenditure in these active games is sufficient to prevent or improve obesity and lifestyle-related disease, from heart disease and diabetes to metabolic diseases,” according to Motohiko Miyachi, Ph.D.1 In August we took at look at calories burned playing the Wii versus doing the real activities in the blog “A Wii Bit of Physical Activity.” But is the Wii the only active gift this holiday season? Of course not, there are a plethora of other gift ideas

Energy Balance Conundrum
Written by November 30, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

Uh oh.  There may be trouble in energy balance land.  In the Stand Up and Eat blog we have touted the energy (i.e., calorie) burning benefits of all different types of movement.  Getting people to burn more calories to balance out the calories they eat is a way to prevent weight gain.  With the epidemic of obesity growing unabated, that’s a good thing. But a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that exercising may make it a bit harder to lose weight  – for some people1.  It turns out that getting active may affect appetite

Physical Activity Links for Children
Written by November 23, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

In earlier blogs, we highlighted physical activity recommendations, resources, and programs that for seniors and young children from infants to pre-schoolers. We now want to bring you up to date on similar resources for elementary and middle-school age kids.  Happily, there is a bunch of stuff because this is an important age for kids to develop healthy habits that combat obesity all life long. Physical Activity Recommendations But before we go there, let’s take a look at how physical activity should fit into the lives of children ages six through twelve.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics1, elementary children

10-minute Workouts for Kids (and Adults)
Written by November 16, 2009

Gina Cortese-Shipley, MS

Associate Director of Education
The Cooper Institute

We posted an earlier blog to remind people that if you don’t have time to get in a 30-minute workout, you can still meet the current health guidelines by doing three, 10-minute mini-sessions.  We want to share with you a program that can help you get your kids (and you!) moving – and learning – in short bouts.  Take 10! Program The Take 10! program was developed with elementary teachers in mind.  The idea was hatched because despite the many health benefits of physical activity, many schools had cut physical education classes.  “There is not enough time” or “We have to

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