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Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

BIG Things Happen at Cooper!

Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, Founder and Chairman, Cooper Aerobics

Have you seen the B&G letters around the city of Dallas? When you stand in between the B&G (like Dr. Cooper here), the six foot tall letters spell BIG! These letters are part of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (Dallas CVB) branding campaign “Big Things Happen Here!”  Now until July 7, we at Cooper Aerobics have our own set on campus.  Prior to joining the Cooper Aerobics team as Vice President of Marketing and Communications, I worked as a VP for the Dallas CVB on its rebranding campaign. Two years ago we conducted research studies alongside TracyLocke with residents and visitors alike to determine our city’s new tagline. At Dallas’ brand launch event in March of 2013, the life-size letters were part of a four-week social media contest but have gained popularity resulting in more than two dozen sets across the city a year and half later. Thousands of photos have been shared on social media with #DallasBIG. As I made the transition to Cooper Aerobics earlier this year, I quickly found out that BIG things happen every day on the Cooper Aerobics campus.

Cooper Fitness Center completed a $7.5 million renovation in February and the Cooper Hotel is in the final stage of its $1 million renovation.  Just this week, Olympic Bob Sledder Johnny Quinn shared his story to more than 40 youth campers and last week Olympic Speed Skater Jordan Malone joined Summer Camp at Cooper Fitness Center. Our concierge medicine program Cooper Clinic Platinum announced a third physician joining that practice and Cooper Consulting Partners recently hosted a Fit:Business Seminar, just to name a few.

See photos of members, patients, guests, campers and teammates (employees) in the B&G on the Cooper Aerobics campus. Share your spirit to Get Cooperized by taking a photo between the B&G. Share with us on social media with #DallasBIG and @CooperAerobics.

 

Eating Well in College

Eating healthfully at college may seem like an impossible task but with the right knowledge and resources it can be done. Often times, students don’t focus on their diet with all the excitement that goes with leaving home for college and gaining new independence.

One of the things you can avoid is the dreaded “Freshman 15.” It’s pretty common for students to pack on pounds, especially that first year. Like a kid in a candy store, you are introduced to large amounts of ready-to-eat food available 24 hours a day. To avoid weight gain, try these tips:

  1. Put yourself on a schedule. Eating every 3-5 hours during the day makes it easier to avoid the out-of-control eating when hunger hits.
  2. Watch the grazing. Be sure to eat your balanced meals and planned snacks so the calories are better controlled.
  3. Include breakfast daily. Eat within an hour of waking to boost your metabolism and help control indulging late in the day. (Note: Breakfast recipes from Cooper Clinic)
  4. Be aware of non-hunger cues that make you want to eat. Food can be a great comfort for emotions and used for: coping, celebrating, relaxing, procrastinating and a part of socializing. Make sure you sit down and focus on eating rather than eating while doing other tasks. Mindless eating can lead to extra calories.
  5. Pay attention to the calories in alcohol which can lead to weight gain. It’s not only the empty calories from alcohol but also the munchies that often accompany drinking contribute to weight gain. Never drink on an empty stomach alternate each caloric beverage with water or seltzer and dilute the drink with water. Don’t forget, it’s always acceptable to decline a drink.

You can learn more about nutrition to make smarter choices to fuel your body for your college experience. Before you leave home, visit a nutrition expert at Cooper Clinic to learn the nutrition basics. Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can arm you with tools to balance your meals and snacks, choose appropriate portions, navigate social eating situations and make it easy to enjoy a healthy lifestyle during college and for years to come.

For more information about nutrition consultations at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 972-560-2655.

Post provided by Colleen Loveland, MS, RDN, LD, CDE

H-E-B Slim Down Showdown

Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD, has been the Director of Nutrition for Cooper Wellness for more than 25 years and all who interact with her praise her extensive knowledge, ability to relate and fun personality. In January, Kathy helped kick off the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown, a 12-week health and fitness program for H-E-B grocery store partners (employees) and customers. She spent a week teaching 30 program participants nutrition the Cooper way.

In the weeks since then, participants have had individual phone coaching with Kathy, logged their food, exercised and shared their journey in personal blogs. Kathy recently traveled to San Antonio for the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown finale.

Elizabeth Sandoval, a quality assurance technician at H-E-B’s bakery in Corpus Christi, and Richard Arrington, an H-E-B shopper from Aransas Pass, Texas, were two of the participants Kathy coached. Each of them won a $5,000 “Healthy Hero” prize for their involvement and dedication to the program. Richard, who originally weighed in at 385 pounds, improved his cholesterol by 75 percent, decreased his body fat by 36 percent and lost a total of 66.6 pounds. And Elizabeth improved her cholesterol by 28 percent, decreased her body fat by 36 percent and dropped 46.8 pounds. Read the news release and watch the video below to celebrate their success in their journey to live longer, healthier lives.

To learn about Cooper Wellness, click here or call 972.386.4777.

You’ve Set Your Resolution. Next Step? Action.

Forty-five percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions each year. Only 25 percent of those who make resolutions successfully carry their resolutions past the first week of January. A mere eight percent are successful in achieving their goals.

A large percentage (about 38 percent) of New Year’s Resolutions made each year are related to weight and fitness. In some cases, failure to achieve those resolutions could hold negative health consequences.

What is it that holds us back from achieving the resolutions we make? What can we do to ensure the resolutions we make will be more than an unattainable goal, but a reality?

Cooper Fitness Center Group Exercise Director, Scotty Esquibel explains seven tips for making (and keeping) your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions.

  1. Pick a date and commit to start. Even if you are getting a late start on your New Year’s Resolution, what’s most important is that you pick a date and commit. Put it on paper. Tell a friend. Then start ramping up to begin. If your resolution is to run a marathon in 2014, take some time before the end of the year to purchase a new pair of running shoes and select your training plan.
  2. Set attainable goals. Your resolution shouldn’t be unreasonable; instead, it should include a step-by-step plan. For example, if you want to take up running in the new year, but are currently a couch potato, it’s wise to start with a walking program before beginning to run. Achieving your fitness goals should also be attained through activity you enjoy. If you are new to fitness, experiment with different fitness programs until you find activities you enjoy because those are the things you’ll want to do. People are more likely to follow through with a workout, if it’s an activity they enjoy.
  3. Take it seriously. Treat your fitness program like a doctor’s appointment. If you wouldn’t cancel a doctor’s appointment, why would you cancel your workout? Fitness is directly linked to your health. Fit people are more likely to be healthy. Treat your fitness resolution with upmost importance. If you need to, mark each training session on your calendar as an appointment with “Dr. Fitness”.
  4. Fill up your tank before you begin. Before you start working out, it’s important to make sure you are fueled up for your fitness program. Make sure you are eating properly. One reason many people are not successful with their fitness program is because they aren’t properly fueling their body. If you aren’t eating properly, you won’t have the energy you need to enjoy and complete your workout.
  5. Mix it up. Don’t stick with just one thing. For overall enjoyment and benefit, do a variety of activities; after all, variety is the spice of life! Choose some kind of cardiovascular exercise and some kind of strength exercise. There are five components of physical fitness: cardiovascular fitness level, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition. The healthiest fitness program contains more than one of these five elements.
  6. Get an understanding of the “paradoxes of fitness.” Fitness doesn’t always make sense. For example, the more energy you expend working out, the more energy you’ll have, but if you try to conserve energy, you’ll end up losing energy. This is why couch potatoes are not energetic people. People who are active have more energy. If you want to gain energy, you have to expend it. If you conserve it, you lose it. Keep in mind that recovery is not the same as conserving energy; if you are training five or six days a week, that one or two days of recovery are a vital component of your overall fitness program.
  7. Find a trainer and dietitian to help you reach your goals. The more information you have, the more tools you’ll have to be fit and make better, healthier choices. Call on people who are experts to help you achieve your resolution. If you don’t know how to plan your meals, or how much food you need to eat, talk to a nutritionist or dietitian. Choose a personal trainer to help you define your fitness goals and develop a plan for achieving those goals. There are so many great resources available, there’s really no excuse not to call on experts for help.

Making and achieving your health and fitness goals allows you to “square off the curve,” as Dr. Cooper says. In other words, as you age, you don’t have to gradually decline into old age and unhealthy years. By resolving to maintain a lifestyle of health and fitness, you can live a healthy life your entire life.

To learn more about how Cooper Aerobics can help with your 2014 goals, visit cooperaerobics.com.

New Trainers Encourage Change For The Better

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

On Dec. 2 we welcomed two new Professional Fitness Trainers to Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas: Aaron Feldman and Ryan Sheppard. Both are certified with TRX suspension training and offer great expertise to share with our members and teammates.

Aaron Feldman, MS

Aaron comes to us from Ohio, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science at The University of Akron and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology at Kent State University. He said he loves to get in the weight room for high-intensity strength training workouts, which is proven true as he is an award-winning natural bodybuilder. Aaron received a personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and has also been certified as a swimming instructor by the Red Cross for 10 years. His areas of specialty include: weight loss, exercise as medicine for aches and pains and lifestyle transformation.

To remind himself why he is where he is, he often looks at the collection of the cards and notes he has received over the years from clients thanking him for helping them change for the better.

When Aaron can find extra time in his day, he focuses on his mobility and balance. He said with all of the weight training he does, it is important to invest time to improve movement quality. Along with weight training, Aaron enjoys running outdoors—you just might see him on the Cooper Aerobics outdoor track jamming along to the Rolling Stones.

Aaron isn’t completely new to the South, one summer he lived on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina as a beach lifeguard. We are happy to have you in Dallas, Aaron!

Ryan Sheppard, MSed

Ryan says he is most productive when he has clearly set his goals and objectives—and we are glad he does! Ryan had his eyes set on this opportunity since he  interned at Cooper Fitness Center in 2004 while playing football at the University of West Alabama.

As a Dallas native, he is excited to be back at Cooper—seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones. As Ryan and Aaron build up their clientele, they will also be working closely with Director of Fitness Mary Edwards to implement Small Group Training at Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas in 2014.

Most recently, Ryan was the Assistant Strength Coach at Georgia Southern University. An innate teacher, Ryan has also trained at The University of Alabama, Birmingham Southern College, Baylor University and YMCA.

As a husband and a father of two boys, Ryan says his favorite family tradition is running the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day!

His areas of specialty include:

  • Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
  • Periodized and Progressive Strength Training
  • Sport Specific Power, Speed, Agility and Conditioning
  • Injury Prevention and Post-Rehabilitation Training
  • Quality of Life Improvement for All Ages and Abilities

If a movie were to be made about Ryan, he would choose Chris Hemsworth to play himself. Some of his favorite physical activities include: weight training, jumping, sprinting and mobility work.

Ryan earned his undergraduate degree from University of West Alabama and received his masters at Baylor. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA).

If you are looking for a Professional Fitness Trainer for the New Year, contact Mukidah Wiggins at 972.233.4832, ext. 4329 or send an email. All Professional Fitness Trainers at Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas have a four-year degree in an exercise science-related field; a Nationally Accredited Certification and a minimum of two years of personal training experience.

Cooper Challenge on Good Morning Texas

October 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Did you see familiar faces on Good Morning Texas earlier this month? If you missed it, we’ll be on air live again tomorrow! The producers at WFAA-ABC selected four bloggers to work with Cooper Clinic dietitian Meridan Zerner and Cooper Fitness Center’s Director of Fitness Mary Edwards for four months as part of the Cooper Challenge. On Oct. 2 Meridan introduced each contestant and shared their challenges and opportunities for weight loss. Meridan said each of these contestants face common challenges that we all struggle with and wanted to share to help motivate others. Check them out:

Valerie is an award-winning blogger for Family eGuide who has struggled with her diet. Valerie was trying to lose weight with a very low-calorie diet (approximately 1,000-1,200 calories per day). Meridan said with her height and weight she needed a more balanced diet and is working on a more balanced diet with minimal carbs at night.

A dad of five kiddos, Colby also known as “Days of a Domestic Dad” online, doesn’t get much good quality sleep. Meridan said that not receiving proper sleeps can be a huge barrier in maintaining or losing weight. Rather than measuring his progress on the scale, Meridan said she wants to look at his change of body fat.

Arena also known as “The Nerd’s Wife” eats a lot of take out. Rather than eliminating it all together, Meridan will help her to choose better choices and slowly start adding in easy nutritious meals she can prep at home.

Latrice also known as “The Untidy Clean Freak” has a challenge we can all understand—she is a chef, so she is always around food! With her diet plan, Meridan is trying to lower her blood pressure with minimal sodium. Latrice said one of her goals is to run the National Veteran’s Day Run in Dallas on Nov. 11—go Latrice!

After introducing each contestant, Meridan gave a breakfast nutrition consultation. “Studies show those who have breakfast eat less over the course of the day,” Meridan stated. She presented many quick breakfast options (under 300 calories) to help jump start their Cooper Challenge. Click here to watch the video clip.

Along with a healthy diet, Mary provided simple at-home workouts for our contestants—even if they can’t make it into the gym. A common struggle for all four contestants was a lack of time. Mary demonstrated a few exercise moves to get them moving and to kick off the challenge—click here to watch the video.

As bloggers, our contestants have been sharing their Cooper Challenge journey on their multitude of social media channels with the hash tag #CooperChallenge. Reach out to the contestants via email, Twitter, Facebook—whatever social media channel you have to give them words of encouragement to help reach their goals and to Get Cooperized™.

Tune in tomorrow morning to catch up with our contestants, hear their progress and get further health tips from Meridan and Mary to keep them on track!

To receive free health tips from Cooper Aerobics, click here to receive The Cooperized. Distributed on the first and third Tuesday of the month, The Cooperized offers research-based health information and tips from all of our Cooper experts, guiding you to Get Cooperized™.

For more personalized help, learn more about nutrition services at Cooper Clinic and professional training at Cooper Fitness Center.

Apples for a Healthy Bite

October 10, 2013 Leave a comment

153755211_applesOctober is National Apple Month! Apples are one of the most popular fruits purchased by American consumers and there are over 700 varieties to be picked! They not only taste great, but they also provide a lot of nutrients. Apples have only 80 calories for a medium-sized fruit. They are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL). They contain good quantities of the antioxidant vitamin C and also beta-carotene and B-complex vitamins. Apples are fiber packed and can be very filling for a power snack before a workout or as a pick-me-up during a mid-day energy slump.

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away! Here are some of the health benefits that make apples so smart to eat. They may:

  • Boost weight loss
  • Improve brain health and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inhibit growth of cancer cells of the colon, breast and protect against other cancers
  • Improve heart health
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase good bacteria in the gut

Apples are crunchy and satisfying and easy to grab and go. Here are some great ways to pack apples into your routine:

  • Lunch box
  • Car trips
  • Beach/pool trips
  • Plane rides
  • Picnics

Apples are a ready-to-eat fruit. These tips can help you keep them fresher longer:

  • Select apples that are firm to the touch, free of bruises.
  • Wash apples under running water and dry with a paper towel.
  • If slicing or dicing up an apple, store in a mixture of one part lemon juice and three parts water and either eat within 2 hours or refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate apples right away to maintain flavor and slow down ripening. Apples that are stored properly can last 4-6 weeks.

Apples are fun to eat in creative ways:

  • Apple slaw
  • Apple chips
  • Chopped apples as an oatmeal topping
  • Baked apples for dessert
  • Chopped in tuna salad
  • Tossed in a green salad
  • Sliced in a turkey sandwich with melted 2% low fat Swiss cheese
  • Apples smeared with peanut butter
  • Served with a low fat cheese stick for a snack
  • Homemade chunky apple sauce
  • Low-fat high fiber apple berry muffins or apple walnut bread

What’s your favorite apple?

Top Ten List of Fruits and Fiber

September 17, 2013 2 comments

It’s no surprise that eating more fruits and vegetables is the foundation of a healthy eating plan. Yet less than 30 percent of Americans are meeting the goal of at least five servings a day. That may sound like a lot to chew off, but you can make some small, simple changes.  Start with even one fruit a day at breakfast or as part of an afternoon snack and go from there. One serving of fruit, which varies in size depending on the specific fruit, has only about 60 calories, zero grams of fat and no sodium. Rich in vitamins, nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and water, ALL types of fruit are healthy carbohydrates that provide our body’s essential fuel. It’s best to go with whole fruits over juices or canned fruit for the fiber benefit.

Why is fiber so important? Here are some great reasons to boost your fiber numbers. Aim for 20-35 grams a day.

Fiber:

-Helps with fullness to manage weight

-Contains cancer-fighting antioxidants

-Aids in digestion

-Lowers blood cholesterol

-Stabilizes blood sugars

Top Ten Fruits and Fiber:

1)      Raspberries, 1 cup- 8 grams

2)      Blackberries, ¾ cup- 6 grams

3)      Boysenberries, ¾ cup- 6 grams

4)      Cranberries, fresh, 1 ¼ cups- 5 grams

5)      Strawberries, 1 ¼ cups- 4 grams

6)      Pear with peel, 1 small or ½ large- 3 grams

7)      Orange, 1 medium- 3 grams

8)      Clementines- 2 pieces- 3 grams

9)      Blueberries, ¾ cup- 3 grams

10)   Apple with peel,  1 small (snack size)- 3 grams

Power Up With High Fiber Fruits:

1)      Feature a new fruit each week. Experiment by taste testing at the grocery store.

2)      Keep it where you see it. Keep a bowl of fruit on your countertop or desk at work. You’re more likely to eat it when it’s right under your nose.

3)      Wake up to fruit. Mix diced apples, berries or mashed bananas into your oatmeal.

4)      Get creative with salad beyond veggies. Top with blueberries, sliced strawberries or Clementine wedges (or go for all three!).

5)      Make your own fruited yogurt. Instead of buying yogurt loaded with sugar, add your own fresh berries to plain fat-free yogurt for fiber and sweetness.

6)      Fresh is not the only route. Buy frozen fruit, particularly off season, and stir in fat-free milk for an icy treat.

7)      Throw a few Clementines in your work bag or in your kid’s lunch box.

8)      Fresh cranberry relish is perfect for a fall side dish, but you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy it! Also you can spread some on you turkey sandwich at lunch.

9)      Avoid hunger pangs when you go out to dinner or to a party. Before you go, munch on an apple or pear to curb your appetite. It can be very filling!

10)   Don’t skip dessert. Make delicious baked pears or apples in the microwave and sprinkle with some cinnamon and nutmeg for a great quick dessert.

What fruit do you enjoy?

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a nutrition consultation, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Spring Into Shape: 5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Health Fitting in Exercise QuoteSometimes exercising isn’t the hard part, it’s more about getting motivated! We’re all guilty of forming excuses to avoid the gym on a regular basis. To kick off this Spring, learn ways to get and stay motivated, making fitness part of your routine.

Research has shown that self-change is a staged process. We go through a process from not thinking about changing a behavior, to thinking about it, to planning to change and then testing out ways to do it, all before we actually start.

Cooper Fitness Center Director of Personal Training Education Carla Sottovia, PhD, shares five tips for fitness motivation.

  1. Make exercise a priority. Just like brushing your teeth or going to work, move exercise to the top of your “to-do” list. Once it becomes a habit, getting it to the top of the list will be a piece of cake.
  2. Set goals. Setting short- and long-term goals are extremely important when beginning or continuing an exercise regimen. Carla suggests staring with a weekly, short-term goal. Try goals like exercising 150 collective minutes a week, or three days a week. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. – they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and consider Time. Also, have a reward in mind for meeting each goal. Tasks are almost always easier to accomplish when there is something to look forward to in the end.
  3. Make a specific plan. Get your calendar and start planning your exercise routine. Writing down certain days and times to work out helps you stay accountable and less forgettable. Follow this plan to reach your weekly, monthly or annual goals.
  4. Grab a friend. Two heads are almost always better than one. If you’re having trouble with motivation and accountability when it comes to exercise, working out with a friend can be a great solution. Whether it’s just carpooling to the gym or determining your plan and goals together, friends are great supports for exercise.
  5. Find a professional fitness trainer. These experts are there just for you. Just like your friends, they are your biggest motivators to get fit. Not only do they know what’s best for your body and routine, they can easily help you set goals and create plans.

Exercising usually isn’t the hard part. It’s finding the motivation to do it! With these motivation tips, you can take your fitness goals head on.

Is it True that Birds of a Feather Flock Together?

January 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Vitamin Expert Todd Whitthorne

WSJ Image

Image from The Wall Street Journal

There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal  I found very interesting. It was about “mixed-weight couples” where one partner is overweight and the other isn’t.  Researchers from the University of Puget Sound and the University of Arizona studied 43 heterosexual couples and found those in the “mixed-weight” category experienced more relationship conflict, including resentfulness and anger, than so-called “same-weight” couples.  The results were published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Results also indicated that those couples with the most conflict involved a healthy-weight man and an overweight woman.  When just the man was overweight it wasn’t much of an issue.

Hmmmm!

It’s not news that men and women are different. John Gray made that very clear in his famous book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex. Weight is a very touchy subject and when it comes to relationships, one should always tread lightly. However, while they certainly exist, “mixed-weight” couples are not the norm. We know that those in our “warm circle,” which obviously includes spouses, have a huge influence on our behaviors and habits, and ultimately our weight. A study in the July 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that if your spouse is obese then you are 37 percent more likely to be obese. It might be surprising to learn that if your friends are obese you are 171 percent more likely to be obese! As I often say, when if comes to your health, which includes your weight, you are NOT the Lone Ranger!

In the Cooper Wellness Program we don’t often see “mixed-weight” couples. Usually those that come with their spouse have similar Body Mass Indexes and their overall health is fairly comparable. What we do see quite often though is a spouse motivated to improve his or her health that comes through the program solo. Then, after they spend six days getting Cooperized they leave campus completely convinced they will return home and “motivate” their spouse to hop on the wellness bus and embrace a healthy lifestyle. “Whoa, slow down!” In cases like this you need to be careful.

The last lecture of the Wellness Week is called “Managing Expectations” and its placement is intentional. We know that if you are willing to invest a reasonable chunk of change and six days of your life to come through the Wellness Program you are most likely in a “stage of change” that vastly improves your odds of success. More simply, you are ready to change. Remember, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” But ONLY when the student is ready.

It’s human nature that once you participate in a positive experience you want to share it with those you love. The problem however is if your loved one isn’t ready to change then your unbridled enthusiasm will most likely not be received as you intend it. In fact, it might completely backfire which could then potentially extinguish your flame. I’m not saying this always happens…just don’t be surprised if it does.

Change is difficult and when a spouse or close friend decides to change, even if it’s a positive change, then it often is viewed as a threat to the one being “left behind.” “What’s wrong with the way we’ve been ____________(fill in the blank…living, eating, exercising, etc.) for all these years? Am I suddenly not good enough for you?” It can lead to some very difficult, but necessary, conversations.

Stanford’s Dr. BJ Fogg teaches that as humans we are lazy, social and creatures of habit. Overcoming the status quo is often very hard but relying on the experience of experts can dramatically improve your odds of success. Human “energy” can be phenomenally helpful but remember that we are all unique and when it comes to change, those we love don’t always move at the same speed.    

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