Archive for the ‘Kids Health’ Category

NEW! Teen TRX at Cooper Fitness Center

At Cooper Fitness Center, Dallas, our Youth Programs provide endless activities for kids and teens. Designed specifically for teenagers, this week we are introducing Teen TRX Hybrid!

Teen TRX Hybrid is a full-body workout that incorporates the TRX Suspension Training system and other equipment including battle ropes, kettle bells, slide boards and stability balls. In small groups of no more than six, the teens benefit from the camaraderie of group training and the individualized attention of personal training.

Professional Fitness Trainer Ryan Sheppard is excited to work with teens at Cooper Fitness Center. “TRX training is great for teenagers,” Ryan said. “It ensures that they are proficient with their own body weight before adding weight on the machines.”

He joined Cooper Fitness Center in December, but he first got a taste of being Cooperized in 2004 when he was an intern here. As an innate teacher, Ryan has also worked with The University of Alabama, Birmingham Southern College, Baylor University, YMCA and most recently, was the Assistant Strength Coach at Georgia Southern University.

With the use of the speed ladder and hurdles, teens also learn to move better and improve coordination. Register today!

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:45-5:30 p.m.

Session 1: March 18–April 24
Session 2: April 29–June 5

Watch a video as Mary Edwards, Cooper Fitness Center Dallas Fitness Director, introduces TRX suspension training.

For more information, contact Mary Edwards at 972.233.4832, ext. 4230 or email medwards@cooperfitnesscenter.comRegister today!

Wintery Family Fun

The temperatures may be dropping, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside. Read a few fun recommendations from Cooper Fitness Center for family outings that are sure to get the whole family moving.

Ice Skating
Take to the ice! Not only is ice skating a great way to bond with family members and friends, but a 150 lb. person can burn up to 250 calories in just 30 minutes of skating! As a seasonal activity, it’s fun, different and sure to provide some good memories.

Winter Vacation
If you are planning a winter vacation, look into locations that offer activities to keep your family moving. If you head to the mountains, hit the slopes on skis, a snowboard, sled or in snow shoes. You can even choose to try cross country skiing, which is one of the top five aerobic exercises.

If you choose to escape the cold and head to the beach instead, try starting or ending your day with a run or walk on the beach. Grab your friends or family members and strike up a game of sand volleyball.

Friendly Competition
Sign up the family for a fun holiday run or walk. There is something exciting about joining hundreds of families that are running for the same cause. Use it as a time to explain to your kids the true meaning of the foundation or charity they are running for and the importance of giving back during the holidays.

See the Lights
Take a stroll around your neighborhood and take in all of the holiday lights. Doing so is a great way to stay active and get some quality time with your family. If you’ve toured the neighborhood one too many times, mix things up and choose a different neighborhood or head to your favorite public park.

No matter what you do this holiday season, it’s important to stay active with your family. Doing so will help give you a jumpstart so you can start the new year healthy and happy.

For more Health Tips, visit

Grab and Go Grub for the Lunchbox Warriors

September 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Lunch box warriorsLong gone are those grade school brown bag lunches of mushy PB & J sandwiches and warm sodas. Whether tucked in the latest trendy insulated lunch sack or favorite “character” lunchbox, taking the noonday meal to school has never been more in vogue. It’s like a picnic everyday!

Packing a lunch can be a balancing act for parents. Taking into consideration your child’s favorite foods, strong dislikes and special nutritional needs, can present a challenge. Planning ahead to have a variety of food on hand and make lunches the night before can prevent some of the morning mania.

Cooper Clinic registered dietitian, Cindy Kleckner offers tips and tricks to turn the science of nutrition into the art of packing a delicious and nutritious lunch. The goal—more food in their tummy and less in the trashcan.

The key is to get your kids involved in the lunch making adventure. Choose My Plate is an excellent resource with tools to provide information and guidance on the basics of feeding your kids. A good start is using color as a quick visual for planning a balanced meal. Is there something green? Red? Orange? Yellow? Building a better brown bag lunch incorporates as many food groups and colors as possible.

Use a mix and match concept for fun and creative combinations:

  • Sandwiches made using a cookie cutter
  • Wholegrain cereal, fruit, yogurt and nuts
  • Popcorn, apples, carrots with hummus and a cheese stick
  • Crackers, cheese, ham, cherry tomatoes and a Clementine
  • Chilled Mac n’ Cheese with diced lean ham, broccoli and melon cubes
  • Wrap sandwiches using leftover rotisserie chicken mixed with light mayo, celery and diced apples
  • Egg salad in a whole grain pita pocket, lettuce salad, trail mix and a peach

Use these examples for the lunchbox or use them as an inspiration to create your own! Try a rotation menu chart and vary the meal with the day of the week. Rely on leftovers from the fridge or try some quick fix recipes (below) that can be made in a flash.  Sprinkle in a dash of fun by adding a joke-a-day!

Quick Fix Recipes

 Deli Fajita

  • (1) 6-inch wholegrain tortilla
  • 2 oz. thin sliced lean ham, chicken or turkey
  • Finely shredded lettuce
  • Finely diced tomato
  • 2 Tbsp grated reduced-fat cheese
  • 1-2 slices avocado
  • 1 Tbsp Light Ranch dressing

Layer ingredients on tortilla, roll and eat it up!

Add this joke for fun – What is an astronaut’s favorite sandwich? Launch meat!


Lunchbox B-A-N-A-N-A Split

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp combination of chopped strawberries, crushed pineapple, nuts, granola and dried coconut.

Slit an unpeeled banana lengthwise in half, almost all the way through. Spread the peanut butter on the inside. Add the chopped mixture; close the banana, wrapping the peel around the banana. Place in plastic container and when ready for lunch, peel and eat!

And add a joke: Why did the banana peel? It forgot it’s suntan lotion!

English Muffin Pizza

  • 1 English Muffin split
  • 2 Tbsp Pizza Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp favorite veggies
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Spread 1 Tbsp sauce on each English Muffin half. Cover muffins with veggies and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Good either cold or hot in the microwave!

And one more joke for laughs: Do you know why bakers’ kids are so bored? They have “muffin” to do!

With a little effort, planning and involving your child, lunches can be well-balanced, tasty and appealing. You’ll have your lunch warrior go from “yuck” to “yum” before they can even think of negotiating for that Twinkie snack!

Cindy Kleckner RD, LD is a registered and licensed dietitian at the Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch and author of Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Cindy work with clients on lifestyle intervention with nutrition, helping to improve their diet, lose excess pounds, and enjoy optimal health. For more information or to schedule a nutrition consultation, call 214-383-1000 ext 2001.

Orienteering at Cooper Fitness Center

September 19, 2013 1 comment

If you’re looking for a fun activity for your child’s birthday, their youth group or class team building Orienteering may be the way to go. Cooper Fitness Center Personal Fitness Trainer Shannon Edwards, M.S., leader of the Orienteering programs, gives us an inside look.

Orienteering mixes physical activity, brain power, fun and teamwork to help groups find trust, guidance, communication and encouragement. Orienteering in it’s true sense is a cross country race in which participants use a map and compass to navigate between checkpoints along an unfamiliar course. It is very task oriented and ideal for small groups to compete in teams of five people or less. Group orienteering requires excellent communications skills and group cooperation to efficiently accomplish the mission of course navigation. Whatever obstacles or problems the group may encounter must be overcome and solved with only the use of group communication, compass, and map—which are important skill sets for children to learn early!

At the Cooper Aerobics Center  which is 30 acres, any given orienteering course will cover between 3-5 miles! Kids get a cardiovascular workout that is outdoors, mission based—and fun too.

There are two forms of Orienteering at Cooper Fitness Center:

The Scavenger Hunt is for small groups who will navigate a specific course with a map and compass.

The Blind Navigation requires one group to successfully plot coordinates on a map and relay the correct course navigation to teammates on the course that don’t have the benefit of seeing the map.

Leadership skills, listening skills and critical thinking under pressure are necessary for both styles of orienteering. No matter what style of orienteering you choose, fun is the main ingredient for both.

Cooper Fitness Center hosts orienteering events for church groups, sport teams, girl/boy scout groups, companies, and even youth birthday parties. Click here to see the flyer.

To schedule your group’s Orienteering, please email or call 972.233.4832, ext. 6402.

Summer Camps Offer Play With a Purpose

July 23, 2013 1 comment

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Cooper Clinic registered dietitian makes learning about nutrition fun at camp.

Summer is in full swing and our phones haven’t stopped ringing from parents hoping our Summer Fit & Fun Camp is the perfect day-camp for their child. Parents typically call for a camp that will keep their kids away from video games and TV. Cooper Fitness Center Assistant General Manager Meredith Rosson says parents ask what sets our camps apart from other camps and she loves having the opportunity to tell them.

1. Our philosophy is to keep kids active all day with exposure to various sports. Our Kids Camp and Youth Camp are the sample platters on our camp menu. In these day-camps children in both age groups will try new sports like lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, disc golf and handball. This helps kids who might not excel in traditional sports like basketball or soccer, find something they feel comfortable with.

2. We provide a safe and encouraging environment within our day-camps for children to try these new activities. On the first day of camp our counselors emphasize how important it is to try new sports and how imperative it is to encourage one another. Children’s sports become so competitive at such a young age now, our camps provide a less competitive and more encouraging atmosphere to just have fun playing, not competing.

3. It’s not just sports–it’s games too! Some of our non-traditional games like Pilo polo, Last Man Standing, Nukem, and relay races are camp favorites. These games are great for the kids to share in their neighborhoods or recess with friends. They also works on the basic motor development skills children need to transfer to future athletic endeavors.

4. Our Counselors. Our Counselors go through three rounds of interviews and a background check to make sure they are just the right fit for our camp. We look for individuals that show a passion for uplifting children in a complete wellness manner. We maintain a 10:1 ratio of kids to Counselors and we also have Junior Counselors assisting. We ensure your children are safe and surrounded by individuals that want to be good influences in your child’s life.

5. Nutrition and fitness is made fun. We have experts in certain fitness and nutrition areas to complete the wellness picture in a kid-friendly 30-minute lesson. One of our popular lessons is led by Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic. She provides lessons that cover topics, like learning to “eat the rainbow” or what foods make you “leaner, stronger, faster, smarter.”

Another popular activity is the Friday Orienteering Scavenger Hunt with Shannon Edwards, Director of IGNITE! at Cooper Fitness Center. Shannon has always loved adventure and with the creation of his orienteering programs for kids, our campers have loved their Friday scavenger hunt. For the thrill of the hunt, they don’t mind running around our 30-acre campus to lead their team to victory.

6. Every day is different! I often hear from parents that their child got bored at other camps because every day was the same. We do our best to ensure that doesn’t happen. During our Counselor training we take several hours to plan out the entire summer and ensure that we make each day different.

7. Tailor it to your needs! Our sport specific camps like Soccer Camp, Tennis Camp, Basketball Camp and Dance Camps are weeklong camps that last one to two hours per day. If you are looking for a day-camp, you can pair a sport camp with our day-camps. We will ensure your child is at the right place and right time for each activity. This allows a heavier focus on their technical skills in a specific sport, which are coached by one of our Sports Pros, while also enjoying the remainder of their day at Youth Camp or Kids Camp.

8. It is affordable. Comparable to most YMCA camps, our day camps provide a “play with a purpose” philosophy without the high price of many sport and wellness programs. This allows parents to be able to sign their children up for multiple weeks at our day-camps without breaking the bank.

Most importantly we have fun! Summer is a time for kids to be kids and we want them to enjoy their summer break with fond memories of summer camp. For more information visit our website.

Summertime Fitness and Fun for Your Kids


Swim Academy at Cooper Fitness Center

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 Or for more information, call 972.233.4832.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents and Children

October 31, 2012 1 comment

By Meredith Rosson, Youth Programs Director, Cooper Fitness Center Dallas

The big day is finally here – it’s time to go trick-or-treating for Halloween. You have picked out the perfect costumes and have your favorite candy ready to hand out.

Before your family heads out the door, remember  to put safety first with these tips:

  • Go out trick-or-treating with a trusted adult. Walk up to every door with the children. Make sure to have a small ratio (adult:child). Plan a route ahead of time so you have a set plan, and have a spot to meet in the neighborhood in case you get separated. For older kids, set a reasonable curfew.
  • Use reflections or glowsticks.
  • Make sure masks/costumes are flame retardant.
  • Stay on well lit streets.
  • Make a game of organizing the candy by type. This allows you to look at the candy while the kids have fun.
  • Try your make up for 30 minutes first on your arm a few days prior to see if you will have any allergic reaction.
  • Make sure masks fit properly and can be seen out of.
  • Instead of carving a pumpkin, decorate it with paint.
  • Don’t consume food items that are homemade or wrapped individually (not commercially wrapped)

Have a safe, healthy Halloween!