Dive In to Summer with Cooper Swim Pro Marni Kerner

Learning to swim can be a challenging experience, no matter if you’re a child or an adult. If you’re searching for the perfect swim program for your child or for yourself, making a decision can be stressful as well. Cooper Fitness Center offers swim lessons for all ages, Marni Kernerand Swim Pro Marni Kerner explains a few aspects of her instruction that sets her programs apart from others.

It’s All About the Swimmer

Only small groups of swimmers will be found in the Cooper Fitness Center lap pool – Marni offers private and semi-private lessons for kids and teens in order to personalize each lesson and hone in on each swimmer’s development. This allows swimmers to continue advancing in their skillset, instead of plateauing after a certain point.

Although Marni works with both children and adults, she does not offer “mommy-and-me” lesson options. Having a parent in the water at the same time as a young child can sometimes keep the child from focusing on the lesson and building independent skills. However, while some programs don’t allow parents to observe the lesson in progress, Marni encourages parents to stick around the pool during each lesson, and she makes sure to provide feedback and instructions for at-home activities to each parent. Additionally, Marni  does offer parent/child sessions for children 8+ years old. This is often a great option for a child learning to swim alongside his or her parent or when a parent and child are training for a triathlon.

Safety First

Safety is the top priority for Marni and her swimmers, but she also focuses on making sure each swimmer is enjoying him or herself throughout the lesson. She lists a few practices that some people might think are safe, but could potentially be dangerous for new swimmers:

  • Goggles or no goggles? Marni discourages her youngest swimmers from wearing goggles during lessons so they become accustomed to opening their eyes underwater without becoming disoriented. This is a great safety measure for kids – if a child happened to unexpectedly fall in a pool, he or she would not become disoriented by the water in their eyes.
  • Floaties or Fins? Items such as water wings and other inflatables can give a false sense of security and can actually be quite dangerous. They still allow for a child to fall forward into the water and takes away from learning proper water balance. Instead, Marni is a big proponent of using water fins during swim lessons, as they help with efficiency and development of muscle memory for kicking. It can be challenging for new swimmers to learn how to kick, and using tools such as fins can make it a steadier process.
  • Holding your breath or blowing bubbles? Teaching children to hold their breath for as long as possible while swimming is not a tactic Marni recommends. In fact, she and her swimmers focus on blowing bubbles as much as possible, which helps early development of proper breathing patterns. When younger swimmers hold their breath for too long, they can start to take in water, which can cause many issues. There have also been instances when older swimmers who try to hold their breath for too long have actually passed out while swimming laps.

A Unique Environment

All of Marni’s private lessons focus on individual skill development, which is not standard in larger group programs. Swimmers, including toddlers, take lessons in Cooper Fitness Center’s lap pool, which helps develop skills with regard to distance and endurance.

Additionally, the unique Cooper campus provides an experience all its own for swimmers and their parents alike – especially when a duck or two hop in the pool to join in the lesson!

Though her typical swimmer is between four and eight years old, Marni offers services for all ages, needs and abilities. Her youngest swimmer is 10 months old, and her oldest recently turned 89.  She works with children on the learning spectrum, those who are rehabilitating an injury and high-level competitive swimmers. To learn more about Marni and Cooper Fitness Center’s swim programs, visit cooperyouth.com/dallas.

Enjoy a Healthier Easter Brunch

A delicious Easter brunch with family and friends doesn’t have to be packed with calories, sugars and fats. Whip up one of these recipes from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services for a lighter brunch option.


Serves 12| Serving Size: 1-1½” think slices


  • 12 slices of day-old French bread, 1½” thick
  • 4 eggs (or 2 eggs + ½ cup Egg Beaters)
  • 4 cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp. fresh lemon peel/zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon


  1. Grease two 9×13 glass pans (do not use metal). Divide bread between the pans.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, ¼ cup sugar, lemon peel/zest, vanilla and salt.
  3. Pour mixture evenly over bread. Let soak 5 minutes.
  4. Turn bread over, cover and chill for 12 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 325F.
  6. Mix 1 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over bread.
  7. Bake uncovered 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Serve at once, with powdered sugar, fresh fruit and maple syrup.

Nutrient Analysis

  • 305 calories
  • 4 g fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 66 mg cholesterol
  • 2 g fiber
  • 12.5 g protein
  • 716 mg sodium
  • 109 g carbohydrates

*Nutrient Analysis uses 4 eggs and does not include toppings

Recipe provided by Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD



Serves 8


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • One 12-oz package of cooked smoked chicken sausage with apple, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light green part only (or 2 green onions)
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (approximately 3 oz)


  1. Coat a 4-quart slow-cooker with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add sausage; cook for 6-8 minutes or until brown.
  4. Add sweet potato, red bell pepper and leek; cook for 3-5 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer sausage mixture to the prepared slow cooker.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine eggs and milk. Stir in ½ cup of the cheese.
  7. Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture in cooker.
  8. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1-2½ hours or until eggs are set.
  9. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup cheese.
  10. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrient Analysis

  • 247 calories
  • 16 g fat
  • 6 g sat fat
  • 146 mg cholesterol
  • 1 g fiber
  • 495 mg sodium

Recipe provided by Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND

Categories: Cooper Updates

Spring Skincare Tips from Cooper Spa Dallas

Spring is here! As the seasons change, so should your skincare routine. Cooper Spa Dallas Manager Lisa Boyle shares skincare recommendations to implement for healthy, radiant skin this spring.Facial_CooperSpa_SDIL8670-Edit

Year-round exfoliation is ideal, but spring is a great time for a chemical facial peel. Spring peels can help shed dry winter skin caused by cold temperatures and brighten complexions for spring.

What is a chemical facial peel? A chemical facial peel is an exfoliating agent that typically contains alpha hydroxy acids and/or beta hydroxy acids. Acids break down the bond between healthy and dead skin cells, allowing the dead cells to shed.

Today’s chemical exfoliators are used in a controlled manner and provide a safe method for revealing healthy and renewed skin. Chemical peels (which typically do not have “down time” if received in a spa setting) can make skin smoother, help fade brown spots and improve uneven skin tone from sun damage. Overall, peels enhance the surface of the skin, allowing it to look brighter and younger. Having regular peels every 6-8 weeks will lead to collagen stimulation, healthy skin cell turnover and improve the appearance of wrinkles. Cooper Spa’s Glycolic Peel by SkinCeuticals will complement any Cooper Spa facial and can accommodate all skin types.

Is it preventive? Yes. Removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin can help the skin continue renewing itself regularly, thus keeping its barrier function strong. A strong barrier function helps to defend against environmental stressors. Daily use of sunscreen is a must when using chemical exfoliators. As we know, the UV rays from the sun can cause premature aging and skin cancer.

How often should you do a chemical peel? A six-week series of glycolic peels is ideal to reach desired results with regular at-home maintenance as recommended by your Cooper Spa Dallas esthetician. Medical grade chemical peels are available at Cooper Clinic Dermatology, where one of our four board certified dermatologists will customize a treatment plan.  A medium-depth chemical peel is often recommended to improve overall texture and skin glow, in addition to treating pre-cancers and reversing photo damage. A chemical peel is a popular revitalizing treatment to regain a fresher, healthier and younger-looking complexion.

For daily skincare, follow these simple steps:

  • Cleanse – Clean skin daily twice daily (morning and night) to keep skin clear and remove debris, oil and makeup.
  • Exfoliate – Use a scrub or daily at-home peel to remove dead skin cells for healthy skin cell turnover. Over the counter exfoliators are not as strong as those given in the professional setting but are needed for maintenance.
  • Tone – Restore the pH balance of skin and remove residue from cleanser.
  • Moisturize (sunscreen) – Keep skin moist and always, always use SPF during the day! It’s a good idea to find a combination moisturizer with sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.

Visit Cooper Spa Dallas to learn more about skincare and what is best for you. Book an appointment with an esthetician for a consultation, facial and an introduction to our recommended product lines: SkinCeuticals, Dermalogica and Éminence Organic Skin Care.

25 Things You Didn’t Know about Coach Coleman Crawford

Cooper Fitness Center Basketball Pro Coleman Crawford has more than 40 years of coaching experience on top of an impressive playing career. He graduated from the University of North Alabama, where he still holds the career scoring and rebounding averages records. From coaching youth/teen clinics to collegiate teams to NBA Development League and international teams, Coleman is passionate about developing players at all levels. He is especially dedicated to helping youth realize their athletic potential through the sport of basketball.

Winter Basketball Camp_7762

Though Coleman’s resume is impressive, there are many things not listed on his bio that contribute to the great person and coach he is. Read on for 25 facts you didn’t know about Coleman:

  1. The celebrity Coleman would most like to meet is Denzel Washington.
  2. Coleman’s favorite color is black.
  3. Coleman’s two children live in Tallahassee, Fla.
  4. He’s got the facts…Coleman’s favorite subject in school was history.
  5. Zucchini does not make the list of Coleman’s favorite foods. He can’t stand it!
  6. The worst injury Coleman ever had as a player was a double quad tear, which required surgery to repair.
  7. The best gift Coleman ever received was his two sons.
  8. Coleman’s favorite band is The Temptations.
  9. It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s superhero Coleman! If he had one superpower, it would be the ability to spread the power of education.
  10. Coleman is most proud of being married to his wife for 34 years.
  11. Ho Ho Ho! Coleman’s favorite holiday is Christmas.
  12. As a teenager, Coleman was a window washer at a shoe store. This gig turned into an even better one when he was asked to be a salesman at the shoe store!
  13. Coleman has lived in other countries, but his favorite place he’s lived is the United States.
  14. If you need someone to help you face your fears, Coleman is the guy! He says he is not afraid of anything.
  15. The thing he misses most about where he grew up is his brothers and sisters.
  16. Coleman’s favorite tasty treat is coconut cake.
  17. The nicest celebrity Coleman has ever met was Michael Jordan.
  18. The most memorable and exciting sporting event Coleman has ever been to was the NCAA Final Four.
  19. If his players learn only one thing from him, Coleman hopes they learn to persevere.
  20. The best thing Coleman cooks is breakfast food.
  21. When he was younger, Coleman wanted to be a lawyer.
  22. Coleman thinks the funniest hairstyle he ever had was a puffy afro.
  23. A fan of sun and surf, Coleman’s favorite family vacation was to the Caribbean.
  24. Some of the most nerve-wracking games Coleman was a part of as a coach or player included a number of Atlantic Coast Conference games.
  25. If he could train under another Cooper Fitness Center sports pro, Coleman would choose boxing with Derrick James.

For more information about Coleman and the basketball programs he offers at Cooper Fitness Center, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com/ProZone.

KO a Heart Healthy Workout for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and what better way to spend quality time with your significant other than through an amazing workout. Hitting the gym as a couple is an important part of many relationships – just ask Cooper Fitness Center Boxing Pro Derrick James.

Derrick has Derrick and Tish Boxing Ring35 years of boxing experience and more than 10 years of coaching experience, and he even recorded the fastest KO in American International Boxing history. However, one of the few times Derrick was truly knocked off his feet happened right here at Cooper Fitness Center. Derrick met his wife, Tish, when she worked in the Cooper Fitness Center Business Office, and they have now been married for 10 years. Though dedicated to his boxing routine, Derrick also enjoys quality exercise time with Tish when they walk or jog with their kids.


When it comes to breaking a sweat through a tandem workout, Derrick says boxing can be an excellent form of exercise for couples to “knock out” together. Boxing can help both people de-stress, and it can also be a great opportunity for a couple to bond and face the challenge of a new workout. Because many people are so busy with work, kids and other activities, exercising together can give couples extra quality time to reconnect, challenge each other and have a great time while doing so. It’s all about getting better and learning at the same pace as each other, and having a built-in accountability partner can help you both stay on track!

Derrick’s go-to moves for getting his heart pumping through boxing inDerrick and Tish Date Nightclude working combinations on the heavy bag and jumping rope. Boxing can help maintain and improve mobility, and the athletic training works various muscles and makes it an incredible full-body workout. Cardiovascular exercise, including boxing, can decrease your low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and blood pressure, improve mood, and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Let your heart overflow with love this Valentine’s Day while still getting it into fighting shape. For more information about boxing sessions with Derrick at Cooper Fitness Center, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com/prozone.


Millie Cooper Honored by American Heart Association

February 9, 2016 2 comments

Every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.  According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! Additionally, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

Millie Cooper, known as the “First Lady of Aerobics,” was recently honored with the Sandi Haddock Impact Award at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon in Dallas thanks to her global efforts to promote physical activity and healthy habits.  Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth H. Cooper, are longtime supporters of the American Heart Association and major advocates of living healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease.

Go Red Luncheon Family Crop

From left to right: Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, Millie Cooper, T.J. Estes, Berkley Estes, Angie Cooper and Dr. Tyler Cooper

At the February 4 luncheon, close to 1,300 attendees heard from heart attack survivor Elissa Taylor, a Dallas-area mother who in 2015 had a heart attack at age 39. Her message to women is to take care of yourself, slow down, see your doctor and know the warning signs of a heart attack (which are different in women than in men).

Additionally, Lori Greiner of Shark Tank and QVC-TV paralleled business success with living healthy lifestyles. She explained the importance of women taking control of their health, not being afraid to ask questions and working hard to be healthy, safe and there for their loved ones.

Go Red Luncheon Lori

The phrase “Go Red” is a call to action for women to understand the risk of heart disease and stroke and actively work to keep their bodies healthy in order to prevent a cardiac event.  Remember…

G – Get Your Numbers

O – Own Your Lifestyle

R – Raise Your Voice

E – Educate Your Family

D – Donate

To learn more about the Go Red for Women campaign, click here. To see more photos from the event, visit the Cooper Aerobics Facebook page.

Treat Your Taste Buds – Frozen Yogurt

February 5, 2016 Leave a comment

National Frozen Yogurt Day is Saturday, February 6.  Frozen yogurt is a great lower-calorie alternative to ice cream, and can add a dose of nutrients and flavor to your diet when topped with healthy fruits and nuts! What’s your favorite flavor and topping? Click here to learn more about suggested frozen yogurt serving size and topping choices from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.


Categories: Cooper Updates

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