Summer is fun-filled and action-packed at Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas. Offering fitness and sports camps, swimming lessons and athletic development, there’s something for ages 3-18. Experienced staff and an ideal camp setting—the beautiful Cooper Aerobics Center—provide the ultimate camp experience.
Built on the P.L.A.Y.S.—Play Like A Youth Should—philosophy, Cooper summer camps offer kids a non-competitive environment to explore their interests in physical fitness and sports and learn the importance of making healthy choices.
Swim Academy teaches children swimming skills they can enjoy for a lifetime. Seven levels of instruction—beginner to competitive—are offered for ages 3-15. The low student-to-instructor ratio ensures a nurturing, safe environment. Two-week group sessions and private/semi-private lessons are available. Cooper Swim Academy begins May 6.
Fit and Fun Camps deliver non-stop activity for ages 5-12. Campers participate in sports and activities including relays, soccer, basketball, hip hop dance and more. They also have a daily fitness/nutrition lesson to empower them to make healthy choices. Beginning June 3, weeklong full- and half-day camps are offered.
“We don’t want kids to spend their summer sitting in front of a TV or playing video games all day. At Cooper Fit and Fun Camps, we show them that being active can be fun and how to incorporate movement every day,” said Meredith Rosson, Cooper Fitness Center Youth Programs Director. “Campers play various sports including basketball, tennis, volleyball and soccer. Plus, they have a blast playing non-traditional games such as kickball and capture the flag. And we add in nutrition lessons for a well-rounded experience.”
Sports Camps are perfect for those ages 5-17 looking to try a new sport or wanting to improve their skills. Taught by Cooper Fitness Center pros and experienced coaches, basketball, tennis, soccer, dance, hip hop dance, martial arts and self-defense camps are offered. Weeklong sessions will be held June 10-August 2 (dates vary by sport).
Cooper Fitness Center’s Athletic Development Programs, IGNITE! (ages 8-12) and F.A.S.T. (ages 13-18), prepare youth to perform their best in any sport. Through drills and games athletes develop their speed, agility, power, strength and coordination. The multi-week programs are offered year-round.
No matter which summer activities your children choose, they’ll play with a purpose at Cooper Fitness Center.
Cooperize your kids today! Register online at cooperyouth.com/Dallas. Or for more information, call 972.233.4832.
Adam Hindson has more than 10 years of teaching and coaching experience and began instructing swim classes at Cooper Fitness Center last week. We are very excited for Adam to join the Cooper team, and look forward to the laps ahead!
Here are a few words from our new Cooper Fitness Center “fish” himself:
When I decided to come to Cooper…I honestly felt like a prayer had been answered. I had prayed on my way to Masters practice for the right job to come along. After practice that day, a fellow swimmer and friend told me about Cooper looking for a Swim Pro. Now I am here and I couldn’t be happier!
My first month at Cooper…Has been crazy busy. We started on Swim Academy just three weeks into the job and very soon the program will be up and running (8:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.). Wow, that is a lot of swimming!
Do you prefer outdoor or indoor workouts? Why? Swimming outdoors is such a GREAT way to workout. Swimming is a repetitious sport. Swimming inside can become monotonous. When you swim outdoors it adds variety and character to the pool.
Where is your ideal vacation spot? A private family island in Stoddard, NH, where there is no TV, Internet or cell reception.
What is your favorite color? Blue, Blue and BLUE.
What modern convenience couldn’t you live without? It’s not modern, but mornings would be tough without a cup of cappuccino.
How would you like to be remembered? The same way people remember my Grandfather, with love. His name was Happy Jack. And yes, he was always happy and kind to others.
What is your favorite movie of all time that you can watch it over and over again and quote lines from? Highlander. It is a 1986 Sci-Fi film with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. It depicts a battle between immortal warriors. “There can be only one…”
What’s your favorite spice or condiment that you use the most? Most things taste better with garlic and cilantro. Condiment? I use French fries as a vessel to eat a lot of ketchup!
What would you name the autobiography of your life? Swim Hard (it’s a comedy for sure)!
To learn more about Swim Academy or swim lessons with Adam at Cooper Fitness Center, click here.
The next time you make a sandwich, think beyond a boring piece of meat between two slices of bread. Get a bit creative and squeeze in most of the food groups for a high fiber, high protein and healthy fat combo meal. Here are some ideas on how to mix and match different ingredients to build a health savvy and satisfying sandwich.
Start with Wholegrains:
There’s a wide array of options beyond sliced bread. Check the food label for 100 percent wholegrain or wholewheat as the first ingredient and aim for 3 grams of fiber or more per slice. Fiber will give you staying power to keep you going through the day. Beyond bread, choose from any of the following wholegrains: wholewheat sandwich thins, pitas, Kaiser rolls, tortillas, bagel thins, English muffins and Flat Out wraps.
Go for Lean Protein:
For a heart healthy sandwich, go for a lean protein filling. On the deli route, pick healthier meats free of additives and nitrates and compare labels to find a lower sodium option. Examples are: turkey breast, chicken breast (deli sliced or fajita style), roast beef, lean ham, reduced fat cheese made with 2 percent milk, tuna, salmon or chicken salad made with low-fat mayonnaise. Get creative with tuna or chicken salad by incorporating some extra crunch and flavor with diced celery, onions, relish, water chestnuts, shredded carrots, chopped pecans or walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries. Fill your sandwich with about a 3 oz. protein portion. Shop for canned tuna, salmon or chicken packed in water.
Pile on Produce:
Bulk up you sandwich with lots of veggies. The sky’s the limit! If they start falling out, you can enjoy a small salad on the side. Pile on leafy greens, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions rings. If you’re stuffing a pita or rolling a tortilla you can add shredded carrots or broccoli slaw. You might also enjoy thinly sliced apples or pears for a sweet kick with crunch.
Hale to Healthy Fats and Low-Fat Spreads:
Use all fats, including these healthy ones, sparingly because they carry a hefty calorie load. Add a small amount of hummus, avocado/guacamole (I like Wholly Guacamole), chopped olives, light mayonnaise, reduced-fat salad dressing, flavored vinegar or mustard (spicy, wasabi, honey or plain). Don’t forget to mix in chopped up nuts in your tuna or chicken salad.
To add color and crunch to your sandwich, skip the chips in favor of these other options: carrot chips, baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, sweet bell pepper rings, celery sticks, Cherub or yellow sunburst tomatoes, etc. And don’t forget fruit or fat-free yogurt for dessert!
We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ – this is especially true for women who are approaching their golden years. A 2010 study in the International Journal of Obesity found women gain an average of 12 pounds within eight years after menopause. The drop in estrogen decreases fat burning by 32 percent, the study notes. In the absence of estrogen, the hormone that is lost with menopause, women whose excess pounds once settled on their thighs or hips (in the form of subcutaneous fat) find the weight shifting to the belly as visceral fat wrapping dangerously around the body’s organs.
But there are preventive measures women can take to stay healthy when aging. Once women enter their 50s, they need about 1/4 to 1/3 fewer calories than in their 20s and 30s to maintain their weight, but you need the same amount of protein. So it becomes this challenge of doing more with less, and trying to pack more quality into fewer calories. This is because your metabolism, or the rate at which your body burns calories, slows down as you age.
- Don’t skip breakfast. It wakes up your metabolism – incorporate some lean protein such as eggs or egg whites. This is the time to have smart carbohydrates such as oatmeal or wholegrains.
- Instead of three big meals, have several small meals to keep your energy up and reduce hunger and cravings.
- Choose lean protein throughout the day.
- Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables – they keep you feeling full and supply nutrients, antioxidants and fiber.
- Drink lots of water (and have some tea) to stay hydrated.
- Add extra fiber to help keep you feeling full.
- Get some shut-eye. If you don’t get enough rest, it’s hard to lose body fat. Aim for 7-8 hours.
The other good news is that you can increase your metabolism rate by increasing lean muscle mass through strength training and aerobic activity. Your metabolism can also be affected by how frequently you exercise – the more physically active you are, the more you can boost your metabolism.
Meridan recommends the following:
- Include resistance training two to three times a week to help boost weight loss and build bone density. Without it, women tend to lose bone density after menopause.
- Commit to cardio! Do aerobic exercises at least thirty minutes four or five times per week, as the American College of Sports Medicine recommends. That can mean walking, jogging, biking, Zumba or any continuous movement. If you want more fat reduction, talk with your doctor about increasing the intensity or duration of your exercise.
For more health tips, sign up for our free e-newsletter, The Cooperized.
A few months ago I worked with Amber Odom, RD, LD, one of our Cooper Clinic dietitians, to get a few green recipes for a Dallas Morning News story around St. Patrick’s Day. One of the recipes Amber shared was for kale chips. She listed kale as the number one way to Go Green Healthfully because it is high in vitamins A, C and K and is also an excellent source of fiber, folic acid and potassium.
Amber mentioned that kale chips are super easy to make, and even her kids love them. Since the story ran, I have been wanting to test out this recipe. I finally got the chance to make it last night, and it lived up to the hype. It was delicious! This will definitely be a go-to snack at my house. Here is Amber’s recipe:
- 6 cups fresh kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Morton Kosher salt (I added a little black pepper, too)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil.
- Wash and cut kale into 2-3 inch pieces.
- Spread kale out on baking sheet in single layer.
- Mist the kale with olive oil spray and lightly sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are crisp and begin to turn brown. Be careful not to burn.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:
Fat: 2.72 g (0.37 g sat)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 185.66 mg
Fiber: 1.34 g
Carbohydrates: 6.71 g
Protein: 2.21 g
April is National Soyfoods Month. It’s a great time to add some soy to your diet several times a week or to try it for the first time. Here’s the scoop on its nutrition and health benefits, as well as simple ways you can sneak some soy into your routine.
Soybeans are part of the legume family and are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Soy is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, iron and calcium. It’s low in fat and cholesterol free.
Research shows that soy can help lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and may reduce risk of heart disease and stroke. Consuming soy foods may also be associated with reduced risk of osteoporosis and certain types of cancer, notably breast cancer.
Here are five popular ways to enjoy soy:
Edamame (small green soybeans):
- Usually found in the frozen food aisle, but also ready-to-eat in the produce section.
- Try shelled or unshelled.
- Easy to prepare by boiling or steaming.
- Serve as an appetizer or snack in the pods and then remove the shells before eating.
- Add to salads.
- Prepare as a side dish. Toss with corn, tomatoes, red bell peppers, herbs and a little bit of oil.
- Nutrition facts: ½ cup shelled edamame (Seapoint Farms brand) has 100 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 30 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein.
Soy Nuts (also known as dry roasted edamame):
- Dried and roasted soybeans.
- Enjoy as a high fiber, high protein snack with less fat than other nuts.
- Various flavors include slightly salted, wasabi and Goji blend.
- Nutrition facts: ¼ cup (Seapoint Farms brand, wasabi flavor) has 130 calories, 4.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 130 mg sodium, 7 g fiber, 14 g protein.
- Plain tofu (firm, soft, lite or silken) can be used in stir fries, tossed into salads, made into vegetarian burgers, used in place of yogurt or sour cream in creamy dips, soups, sauces or desserts. A 4 oz. serving has 100 calories, 4.3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 0.7 g fiber and 10 g protein.
- Baked tofu is an easy option because it comes pre-cooked and seasoned and in different flavors, such as Thai sesame peanut and Italian herb. Serve warm in pasta, soup or stir-fry or serve cold on sandwiches or salads. A 2 oz. serving (White Wave brand, Sesame Peanut Thai) has 90 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 280 mg sodium, 1 g fiber and 9 g protein.
- A lactose-free vegetarian milk option.
- Plain or flavored (chocolate and vanilla); regular or lite.
- Drink it plain.
- Pour it over hot or cold cereal.
- Add to coffee as a low fat creamer.
- Use it to make cream sauces.
- Create your own protein shakes blending soymilk and fruit.
- Nutrition facts: 1 cup plain soymilk (Silk brand) has 90 calories, 3.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 100 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.
- Use in baked goods to replace up to ¼ of the amount of flour (per 1 cup of flour: combine ¼ cup soy flour with ¾ cup all-purpose flour).
- Stir it into sauces and gravies to thicken them.
If you’re looking for more convenience, try some of these soy-based products:
- Energy bars made with soy
- Soy burger patties and other soy protein meat-alternatives
- Soy protein powder (added to smoothies or shakes)
- Soy yogurt and cheese
- Low fat soy frozen desserts
Happy Soyfoods Month!
Have you seen a piece of fitness equipment at your gym that looks similar to a space-age motor scooter? It’s probably a Power Plate, a vibration device used to improve strength and mobility.
The Power Plate creates instability in the body, requiring the muscles to contract to regain balance. When the vibration moves through the body, the nervous system responds in one of two ways. If there is high pre-tension in a muscle when the vibration is sent through the body, adaptations in strength will occur. If there is low pre-tension in a muscle, increases in mobility are realized. Pre-tension in the muscle is created by pre-stretching the muscle.
You can stand or sit on the plate (in a variety of positions) and vary the vibration. Changing the vibration frequency, or the speed of vibration, and duration affects the desired outcome.
The Power Plate can provide the following advantages:
- Shorter training duration for similar results
- Increased muscle strength and power
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
- Enhanced neuromuscular function
- Increased blood circulation
- Reduction of pain
- Increased bone mineral density
- Increased levels of key hormones-testosterone, human growth hormone, IGF-I and serotonin
- Quicker recovery and regeneration
- Improved balance and coordination
For strength training, Cooper Fitness Center Dallas Professional Fitness Trainer Shannon Edwards, MS, recommends using the Power Plate in conjunction with traditional weight training. For example, Shannon might have a client do a traditional push-up, and then go to the Power Plate and do a static hold in the push-up position on the Power Plate platform. The client would have his hands resting on the plate close to the bottom in a push-up position, with his feet on the floor behind them. The goal is to hold the body in the push-up position while the plate vibrates. As the trainer, Shannon sets the vibration speed/intensity and the amount of time the client holds the position.
Cooper Fitness Center personal trainers and fitness specialists have had Power Plate training and can assist members and guests in using the equipment. To schedule a personal training session or to learn more about becoming a Cooper Fitness Center member, call 972-233-4832 or visit cooperfitnesscenter.com.