Prep Your Skin for Spring with Dermaplaning

February 7, 2021 Leave a comment

Give your drab winter skin a jump-start on spring with a new facial resurfacing treatment from Cooper Spa. Lisa Boyle, Cooper Spa Manager, explains how dermaplaning safely removes dead skin cells on the surface of your face, resulting in beautiful skin well into spring.

How it works

Dermaplaning is a safe cosmetic procedure that removes the top layers of the skin and provides immediate results for a smoother, youthful and more radiant complexion. Because this procedure doesn’t require any downtime post-treatment, it makes for a convenient and effective way to minimize wrinkles, acne scarring and dull skin without a lengthy recovery period. Our Cooper Spa trained estheticians provide specific steps to best care for your skin after your dermaplane service in order to prevent any possible irritation.

What to expect

Using a small lightweight blade and facial oil, your esthetician gently scrapes the top layer of dead skin cells from your face to reveal healthy skin just below the surface. This 50-minute treatment is not painful; you may feel a slight tingling sensation during your treatment, which is completely normal. Following your dermaplane service, your esthetician may use a light lactic acid peel to remove the remaining debris from your skin. 

Possible side effects

Dermaplaning is a low risk procedure but just like any facial resurfacing treatment, you may experience slight redness in your complexion. You may also feel a sensation of tightness which can be relieved by applying aloe or moisturizer. You will also need to avoid sun exposure for 7-10 days after your treatment and daily apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 as your skin will be more susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays that cause typical sunburns and age spots.

Radiant results

Your dermaplane experience is customizable by skin type. Pair it with any of our signature facial services at Cooper Spa. Dermaplaning provides immediate results with the full effects visible within two to three days after your treatment. Though the results are not permanent, they can be maintained for up to three to four weeks along with an esthetician-recommended, at-home skin care regimen.

To schedule an appointment or purchase a Cooper Spa gift card, visit or call 972.392.7729.

Categories: Cooper Updates

How to Pack Your Gym Bag Like a Pro

Aiming to get back in the gym? Did you know by including a few key items you are more likely to achieve your fitness goals? Mary Edwards, MS, Cooper Fitness Center Director of Fitness shares how you can pack your bag like a pro and boost your confidence in the gym.

My gym bag provides me easy access to my belongings. I don’t want to dig around in my gym bag, fighting pesky straps or inconvenient pockets. Look for a bag with waterproof or mesh-lined pockets for storing sweaty clothes and smelly shoes and smaller pockets for storing other necessities.

The “Go-Getter Beginner”

If you’re newer to working out at the gym, have no fear—come prepared with the right gear! Some items ideal for beginner gym-goers to invest in are:

  • Supportive shoes—When it comes to shoes you are going to work out in, aim for function over fashion. Many shoe brands provide an array of styles and colors designed for different types of training. The important thing to remember is they should be comfortable and supportive in all the right places. Tip: many running shoe stores provide a complimentary gait analysis to help you find the best type of shoe for you and your activity level. Make sure to ask about this complimentary perk when you’re out shoe shopping!
  • Dri-fit clothing—While clothes made of dri-fit material are by no means essential, they can prove to be the most comfortable for working out. This type of fabric is lightweight, breathable and sweat wicking to help you crush your workout in comfort.
  • Water bottle—It’s vital to stay hydrated in order to get the most out of your workout. Try to drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes of your workout and another 8 ounces within 30 minutes of completing your workout.

The “More Comfortable Member”

For those of you who are a bit more familiar with making your way around the gym, these items are helpful for taking your workout up a notch:

  • Heart rate tracking device—By regularly tracking your heart rate you can identify your true exercise intensity and therefore achieve specific fitness goals or performance results. Monitoring your heart rate during exercise also helps minimize the risk for overtraining, which can cause injury and decrease performance.
  • Headphones—Listen to your favorite upbeat tunes to keep you energized, focused and motivated while exercising.

The “Gym Junkie”

For more seasoned gym-goers, the following recommendations can help with recovery after your hardest workouts:

  • Percussion therapy massage gun—Massage guns have recently gained popularity and attention in the fitness world. This handheld massage tool puts the power of muscle recovery into your own hands by directly activating muscles with vibrations. These massage guns have also been shown to increase range of motion, improve blood flow and decrease soreness and promote weight loss. I highly recommend working with a professional fitness trainer who is trained in using the equipment and purchasing a personal device for muscle recovery in between training sessions.
  • Towel—Keep a small towel handy for wiping sweat during your cardio sessions or in between circuits in your HIIT routines. Certain towels are designed to have a cooling effect when wet and can cool your body temperature down by 30° in seconds.
  • Post-workout protein powder— Protein is key in promoting muscle recovery and growth. Refuel your body properly with a simple protein shake that can be mixed with water within 30 minutes after completing your workout.
  • Shaker cup—Shaker cups can double as water bottles during your workout and be used for shaking out clumpy protein powder for a post-workout snack.

The “Virtual Gym-goer” If you don’t feel comfortable heading to the gym for COVID-19 related reasons, you can still pack your gym bag with some of these items for an at-home workout:

  • Resistance bands—Resistance bands are convenient and provide a strength workout virtually anywhere! You select the amount of resistance to add variety to your strength training routine.
  • Yoga mat—Roll up your favorite mat and take your workouts outdoors or in any room in your home to provide cushion for your hands, knees and back while performing floor work in order to protect your joints from the hard surface.

What’s in my gym bag

I always stow away a good pair of running shoes, workout clothes, my Myzone® heart rate tracker, shower items and a change of clothes for whatever lies beyond my gym session that day!

Whatever your activity level, simply being prepared by packing a gym bag with key essentials can help boost your confidence no matter your location. Pack your gym bag for success as you set out to achieve your fitness goals.

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a session with a Professional Fitness Trainer, visit or call 972.233.4832.

Article provided by Cooper Fitness Center Director of Fitness Mary Edwards, MS.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Hydrate Winter Skin at Cooper Spa

December 5, 2020 Leave a comment

With the wonders of winter also come the complexities of battling dry winter skin. Cooper Spa Manager Lisa Boyle shares the top most hydrating treatments and services at Cooper Spa to soothe winter skin! 

If you are experiencing itchy, red, flaky skin or seeing more wrinkles than usual, your skin may be telling you it needs hydration. Our Antioxidant Hydrating Facial targets these unwanted reactions caused by cool, dry winter air. At Cooper Spa, we use a variety of products with powerful antioxidants, moisture-binding elements and essential lipids your skin can soak up, leaving it energized and looking radiant.

Not only do our faces fall prey to dry winter skin, our knees, ankles, knuckles and elbows also are susceptible. A replenishing body treatment can help with head-to-toe dryness. Enjoy a luxurious and nourishing Ultimate Hydration Ritual at Cooper Spa with our use of high quality Moroccanoil® products. This service brushes dead skin cells away with an orange peel scrub and hot stone massage application of the Moroccanoil® Botanical Intense Hydrating Treatment, revealing healthy glowing skin.

Maintain your soft, hydrated glow with the ideal at-home care specifically for you. Your Cooper Spa service professional can help you select the products from your service to make you stay radiant longer. We offer a variety of emollient, moisturizing products for all skin types. Some of our customer favorites this time of year include:

  • SkinCeuticals® Triple Lipid Restore
  • Dermalogica® Super Rich Repair
  • Eminence® Organic Skin Care Rosehip & Lemongrass Soothing Hydrator for Face and Body

Don’t let  winter weigh you down —discover your inner glow with our variety of products and services available at Cooper Spa Dallas designed especially for your skin’s needs.

To schedule an appointment or purchase a gift card, visit or call 972.392.7729.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Alzheimer’s and Vaccines

November 9, 2020 Leave a comment

You may have heard the interesting reports about infections and Alzheimer’s disease mentioned at the July 2020 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). It appears that illnesses, such as the flu and pneumonia, may trigger inflammation in the brain that predispose the body to developing Alzheimer’s. The logical next question is: does preventing the flu and pneumonia lower a person’s risk for also developing Alzheimer’s disease? Some initial data presented at the AAIC conference addressed this question.

According to datasets from large populations (including The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston), people who received even one flu shot in prior years were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. People who received flu shots every year had an even further reduction in risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In another study from Duke University, individuals who received pneumonia vaccines in combination with the flu vaccines were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. The more vaccines that were received over time resulted in even lower risk in developing the disease in this specific study as well.

It is important to note that these studies are correlational, meaning it is unclear if the vaccines themselves provide protection or if the individuals who are vaccinated also engage in other healthy behaviors that make them less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. To be clear, it has not yet been proven that vaccines can lower risk of Alzheimer’s. This early data simply suggests it is a possibility that should be investigated. Maria Carrillo of the Alzheimer’s Association recently stated, “This research, while early, calls for further studies in large, diverse clinical trials to inform whether vaccinations as a public health strategy decrease our risk for developing dementia as we age.”

Infection remains a leading cause of death in people with Alzheimer’s with patients being twice as likely to die from serious infections as those without Alzheimer’s. So even if vaccines don’t reduce one’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s, they may be proven to help extend Alzheimer’s patients lives. It is yet to be determined why people with Alzheimer’s are more likely to die from flu or pneumonia than their cognitively healthy peers.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza and pneumonia vaccinations are of even more importance than usual. The health of the public would benefit tremendously if we discover vaccines also protect against Alzheimer’s. At the very least, these vaccines could potentially reduce disease severity and help save more lives of both healthy and vulnerable patients.

Article provided by Michele A. Kettles, MD, MSPH, Chief Medical Officer and preventive medicine physician at Cooper Clinic.

For more information on Alzheimer’s prevention, check out Dr. Cooper’s Recommendations for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention.

Categories: Cooper Updates

History of Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services: Part II

Our first nutrition director, Georgia Kostas, was a dedicated professional who paved the way, built the foundation and set the standard for the Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services. Her innovation helped ensure our patients received the gold standard of care by developing cutting-edge programs. At the same time, our professional associations at both state and national levels recognized her achievements.

The majority of the work in nutrition in the early days focused on in-person outreach as well as writing and publishing numerous books on nutrition. This solid foundation paved the way for an increased focus on diabetes, sports nutrition, children/family nutrition, corporate wellness based on community needs. With this condition-specific nutrition knowledge, we expanded our reach through media relations, technology and social media.  

Broadening Expertise and Services

Kathryn (Kathy) Miller and I served as coleaders of the nutrition department for 10 years. During that time, our staff expanded as we hired registered dietitians with a variety of specialties and expertise. These specialties were not only available to Cooper Clinic patients but also to the public. Physicians recognized Kathy citywide as a Gastrointestinal Specialist. She was our go-to dietitian to refer patients with celiac disease, food sensitivities and other GI issues. Kathy served as Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s nutrition consultant for PepsiCo when he helped eliminate trans fats from its Frito-Lay food snack line.

Our culinary program flourished with hands-on demonstrations, home pantry makeovers, grocery store tours, dining out experiences and lectures at Cooper and in the community. Led by Kathy Duran-Thal with her practical, down to earth approach brought to life technical information in easy to understand terms.

To better serve our community, we hosted an annual Nutrition Expo led by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Meridan Zerner. The Expo attracted numerous outside vendors and was held for 10 years, reaching nearly 1,000 attendees each year. With a broadcast journalism background as well as being certified in Sports Dietetics, Meridan appears on news segments addressing the importance of nutrition for total health and wellness. In addition, she teaches group exercises classes at Cooper Fitness Center, which has helped expand our reach to area athletes no matter what age.   

Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services Team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists – 2020

Next, we added to our services with recipe calculation and consulting with local restaurants for menu analysis. We’ve worked with restaurants such as Start, Rise #1, Luby’s Cafeteria, TGI Fridays and Cedars Woodfire Grill at Cooper Fitness Center. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Cynthanne Duryea has advised on many of these projects and worked with individuals on product development with detailed recipe calculation included.

In response to the increase in obesity rates—among adults and children—we added more emphasis on child and family nutrition as well as diabetes. We launched Cooper Healthy Habits for Kids, which remains active today. This program is geared toward families with children and offers personalized sessions to build a positive food environment, including a positive relationship with food, healthy meal ideas and portion management.  

We hired two Certified Diabetes Educators, Colleen Loveland and Elana Paddock, to our staff. We also added resting metabolic rate (RMR) testing to see how many calories a person burns at rest, which is a key tool we use today.

Providing Nutrition to the Corporate World

Working with Merit Energy was one of the highlights of my career. Merit Energy sent its oil field supervisors to Cooper Clinic for a preventive exam and nutrition evaluation. Cynthanne Duryea and I then worked with the supervisors by phone for eight months providing weight loss counseling and performed follow-up physical evaluations to see how this intervention affected their health. The next year I traveled to different parts of the country giving presentations to Merit Energy employees who worked in the oil fields, providing them with practical nutrition tips they could live with.

These are just a small sample of our department’s work over the last two decades. Additional projects included providing our services to Bain & Company, Perot Systems, Dallas Cowboys, Sonic, Southwest Veterinary state meeting, All Saints Catholic Church, Lovers Lane Methodist Church, Alcuin School and Dallas Baptist University. From nutrition counseling to health fairs  and lectures to lunch and learns, our staff is always ready to rise to the occasion and deliver excellence.

Without hesitation, Kathy and I agree we had one of the best teams any department could ever wish for. These talented women had knowledge, caring hearts and enthusiastic attitudes to deliver the message of better health through nutrition.

Kathy retired in 2014, and I decided to “retire” from my leadership role in the department and return to my first nutrition love, consulting patients. This year I celebrated 33 years at Cooper Clinic. We hired a Gastrointestinal Specialist, Gillian White, who continues to work with people who have celiac disease, food sensitivities and other GI issues. She also speaks to universities and trade associations on behalf of Cooper.

Going Virtual

Today, under the leadership of Nutrition Director Ginny Ives, we offer many of our services virtually including our Cooper Weight Loss program led by Lizzy McCrary. Our recipes and tips are shared through social media as well as in The Cooperized e-newsletter produced by Cooper Aerobics. You will often see Meridan in the media, specifically on the Dallas-Fort Worth FOX and ABC affiliates. Our team writes blogs and a monthly online article, Nutrition Bites, which is free by subscribing to The Cooperized.

A great deal has changed in 50 years of Cooper Aerobics, but our philosophy remains the same: Nutrition for Life – a healthy eating program custom fit to your daily routine. Working with our registered dietitian nutritionists, you will learn to make choices right for you, developing habits to keep you eating sensibly and enjoyable for a lifetime.

Article provided by Patty Kirk, RDN, LD.

Read Part I of the blog here.

Categories: Cooper Updates

History of Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services: Part I

September 4, 2020 3 comments

The opportunity to establish the Cooper Clinic Nutrition Program and serve as its Director for 25 years has been one of the greatest joys and blessings of my life. To share a kindred spirit and esprit de corps with dedicated, talented colleagues committed to the mission of helping others prevent or reverse heart disease with diet, exercise and lifestyle was a dream come true. Inspired by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s first book, Aerobics, I knew I wanted to work with Dr. Cooper and his clinic even before completing graduate school and my clinical residency. I sent Dr. Cooper my ideas. We met. His exciting response still rings in my ear: “Welcome aboard.”

In the Beginning
The Nutrition Program began in 1979 as the “new” Cooper Clinic building opened its doors. Our concept was novel at that time: 1) prevention-focused, 2) individualized nutrition guidance and 3) nutrition feedback for each Cooper Clinic patient as an integral part of a comprehensive physical exam. Each patient met with a registered dietitian nutritionist and received a nutritional assessment, personalized guidance and individualized eating plan. We developed our own in-house computer software to analyze each patient’s diet. Our services soon extended to Cooper Fitness Center members and the Dallas community. People were hungry for safe, science-based, effective, tailored nutrition guidance where lifelong success could be achieved through knowledge, habits, accountability and coaching.

My first assignment at the Clinic was to develop the first Cooper Clinic Nutrition Guidelines. These preceded the first official United States Dietary Guidelines (USDG), released later that year. Decades before American Heart Association and USDG provided specific quantitative recommendations to the public for sugar, sodium, fiber, caffeine, alcohol and water intake, we translated the research into patient guidance. Today, guidance from these two national committees matches ours.

First in Dallas to offer group weight loss classes that included nutrition education, individualized eating and fitness plans and behavioral modification, our weight management programs soon became a major consumer-driven service. Within the next three to five years, five registered dietitian nutritionists expanded our staff, including Kim Glascow Goldstrohm, Pam Neff, Cindy Kleckner, Patty Kirk and Cindy Wachtler. Kathy Miller and Lara Hassan joined our team a few years later. Today, Patty Kirk holds the record for serving Cooper Clinic patients longer than any other dietitian nutritionist, having worked at the Clinic for 40 years. Her nutrition expertise, innovative patient programs, exceptional skills in counseling, teaching, cooking, recipe development and creating patient teaching tools are only exceeded by her compassionate style of working with her patients and colleagues, earning her accolades, accomplishment and appreciation by patients and staff alike.

In the early ’80s and ’90s, in response to patient requests, our team authored four books: The Balancing Act Nutrition and Weight Guide (by Georgia Kostas and Kim Goldstrohm), The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution (Georgia Kostas), What’s Cooking at the Cooper Clinic (staff) and The Guilt-free Comfort Food Cookbook (Georgia Kostas).The health and weight guidebook became required reading for recruits of the U.S. Coast Guard and part of wellness programs of the U.S. Army and Navy and numerous hospital systems nationwide. Many happy cookbook readers reported losing weight and lowering cholesterol simply by cooking recipes from our books!

July 1984 – Cooper Clinic nutritionists (l-r top row) Virginia Laiming, Jean Storlie and Pam Neff; and (bottom row) Georgia Kostas, Sarah Van Amburgh and Kim Glasgow.

With Dr. Cooper’s prolific book writing throughout his career, staff dietitians soon became busy providing his nutrition sections. Patty Kirk, Kathy Miller, Cindy Kleckner, Cynthanne Duryea, Cindy Wachtler and I contributed to: The Aerobics Program for Total Well-Being, Controlling Cholesterol, Overcoming Hypertension, Preventing Osteoporosis, Kid Fitness, The Antioxidant Revolution and Advanced Nutritional Therapies.

Throughout the years, many full-time and part-time dietitians expanded the Clinic’s Nutrition Services, each contributing specific talents and expertise, including sports nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal/digestion issues, eating disorders, cancer and children’s nutrition. We added Recipe Analysis services for restaurants and The Dallas Morning News’ weekly Food section (led by Cynthanne Duryea and Patty Kirk), consulted with restaurants, provided public speaking, campus lectures, media communications, TV appearances, blog writing, The Cooper Institute research contributions and cooking classes (led by Kathy Duran-Thal and Cindy Kleckner). Of particular joy to me was the opportunity to spread the news of preventive nutrition to dietitians and health professionals at their annual state and national meetings in 47 states.

Nutrition Expansion across Cooper Aerobics Center
As the Clinic expanded its nutrition outreach, so did each division of Cooper Aerobics Center. 

The Cooper Institute
In the early ’80s, The Cooper Institute added Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Leni Reid, Sarah Van Amburgh, Jean Storlie, Virginia Laiming and Ruth Ann Carpenter. They taught nutrition prevention and health promotion programs worldwide, while also contributing to The Cooper Institute’s nutrition research.

They trained teachers and students at public schools as part of the FitnessGram® program, first in Dallas and Richardson before its nationwide launch; employees and trainers at corporate wellness programs, fitness and wellness directors in the military and health professionals at The Institute’s regular workshops.

Cooper Wellness Program
In 1986, Kathy Duran-Thal was named the first Nutrition Director of our Cooper Wellness Program, the new live-in residential program geared to helping people make lifestyle changes through experiential living and learning. Her cooking classes’ fresh approach to teaching nutrition became a hit and soon her first cookbook, Cookery Classics, was published. Kathy provided supermarket tours and learning experiences at restaurants, giving her clientele a real taste of healthier living. Kathy also contributed to Nutri-Points, a book by Dr. Roy Vartabedian, nutritionist and Cooper Wellness Program director. Thirty-five years later, Kathy remains passionate about educating Clinic patients on their nutritional needs and helping them live healthier.

Cooper Clinic
In 2004, after serving as Nutrition Director for 25 years, it was time for me to pass the nutrition torch to our well-qualified long-term staffers Patty Kirk and Kathy Miller. As Co-Directors, they led the Nutrition Department to a new level, along with their expert staff. As the years have progressed, it has been a true joy to watch the programs advance with the moving times and meet the extraordinary dietitians behind the progress.

For many years, new Clinic teammates received a write-up created by Mrs. Lawrence L. Nichols Sr., prior owner of the Cooper property, describing the history of the Cooper Aerobics Center grounds and original home, which housed Cooper Clinic initially. Today, four decades later, I, too, am enjoying the opportunity to blog about campus history, and amazingly, as Mrs. Lawrence Nichols Jr.!  I married her son! For all these treasured memories and blessings, I want to thank Dr. Cooper, dietitians, all staff and patients and friends on campus for making Cooper Clinic and Cooper Aerobics Center a phenomenal and “happy place,” filled with extraordinary people, providing extraordinary programs and continuing to move the Cooper mission forward, into the next 50 years.

Article provided by Georgia Kostas, first Nutrition Director at Cooper Clinic.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Empowering Women from Coast to Coast

When Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Colette Cole, MS, created the Female Focus program 14 years ago, she never imagined having to navigate the ups and downs of leading the class virtually during a statewide shelter-in-place. Nevertheless, she and her team of trainers successfully went virtual with Female Focus being one of the first programs at Cooper Fitness Center to do so. Not even a pandemic can deter the program from its purpose of empowering women to improve their health through fitness and education.

Once the shelter-in-place order went into effect, Cole and her team got to work exploring the best options to keep Female Focus up and running. Female Focus never missed a beat. Exactly one week after Cooper Fitness Center closed due to local and then state mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Female Focus welcomed 20 participants on its first ever class via Zoom. Cole led the women using only an iPad in her living room. “The ladies were so remarkably adaptive! I just had to trust in the Lord, listen to Him and let Him get us through it,” said Cole. Little did she know the program would thrive with more consistency than ever before. “The women recognized the need for physical activity— mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally” said Cole.

Also for the first time, women from across the country were able to participate in Female Focus. The virtual classes included not only Dallas residents but also welcomed participants from New Jersey and even Canada! Former Dallas resident of nearly 20 years and Female Focus participant of 10 years, Laurie Scott, currently lives in New Jersey and was ecstatic for the opportunity to participate in Female Focus once again! “Colette does an amazing job. In addition to being an excellent trainer, I really appreciate how she knows everyone’s physical limitations and how to modify each exercise. I love the structure and the comradery.” said Scott. “During quarantine, it has reminded me that no matter how difficult life is, there are still really good things in our lives to be thankful for. I would not be the same without Female Focus.”

“I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I think that I am. We all are!”
-Leslie Goth
Dallas, TX

Fellow Female Focus participant Christi Hays, who has been active in the program since April 2019, echoes Scott’s praise. “I love that now I am doing something positive for my body. For this shift in my 40s, it’s not about the number on the scale or what size my clothes are—it’s about being physically active and healthy long term.”

Over the course of our shelter-in-place, in addition to the expanded class size, the support system among the women grew in leaps and bounds as they dedicated themselves to not only caring for their physical well-being but also caring for each other. Both the participants and instructors shared and prayed for each other’s struggles and difficulties. “Everything the program is about—deep relationships, community, support and accountability—was experienced one hundredfold during the shelter-in-place,” says Cole.

Cole explains how she consistently asks God to bring to Female Focus the people He wants her to help. “Through all of this I have learned that God brought every one of these ladies to help ME, too! They’re just as equally my support system and source of encouragement,” says Cole.

Another first for Female Focus came when Cooper Fitness Center reopened once the shelter-in-place was lifted. Women participated in-person and virtually all in one class. Whether someone was local or across the country, each and every woman was welcomed with open arms. University Park local and 18-year Cooper Fitness Center member Meg Carlsen says, “I love the program and I love Colette. She and the staff who help her are knowledgeable and professional—it is exactly what you would expect from Cooper! It is truly tailor-made for you but includes such comradery. It’s all the benefits of working with a personal trainer and group dynamic rolled into one.”

Cole and her team continue to simultaneously lead Female Focus participants in-person and on Zoom. They plan to offer virtual classes as long as the women need them and are participating. The 55-minute classes meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

To join the Female Focus program at Cooper Fitness Center or for more information , please call 972.233.4832 or visit

Categories: Cooper Updates

Live Longer, Walk Daily

July 10, 2020 2 comments

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor exercise is once again on the rise. If we have grown as a society in any measure, it would be our awareness of the importance of exercise to not only our overall physical health but our mental health as well. With gyms and fitness facilities having been temporarily closed for the public’s safety, many have opted to take walks outside to provide a break in their daily routine.

It’s now been 52 years since the publication of Aerobics in 1968. Founder and chairman of Cooper Aerobics, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, states that he has been amazed by the number of people he sees walking, jogging and cycling in the streets of Dallas during this crisis. “It is comparable to what we had in the exercise boom following 1968! And that is extremely important because we know that one way to power up your immunity against acute and chronic diseases is to exercise aerobically,” says Dr. Cooper.

Dr. Cooper recommends getting at least 30 minute of collective or sustained aerobic activity most days per week. Below are two progressive walking programs to help you safely achieve a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per day and reap the benefits of aerobic exercise.

Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s Progressive Walking Programs

The ultimate goal is to exercise 150 minutes total per week. In this first phase, there is no distance requirement but you should be able to talk while walking. Establish a course out and back or make it a circular route. Your total time can be divided into short segments (collective) or continuous (sustained) activity. As always consult with your physician before beginning this program.

Basic Progressive Walking Program: PHASE I

In the second phase, the goal is still to exercise 150 minutes per week, but the difference is your walking speed will increase, allowing you to cover farther distances. You should still be able to talk without being unusually short of breath. The sooner you begin a walking program to increase your endurance, the easier walking at this speed will be in your later years. And remember, “Fitness is a journey, not a destination.”

Basic Progressive Walking Program: PHASE II

Regardless of age or gender, anyone can reap the benefits of aerobic exercise, especially walking. While COVID-19 still remains a global dilemma in the present reality, you can boost your immunity and improve your overall health by joining the global fitness revolution that has reignited once again.

To learn more about Dr. Cooper’s 8 Healthy Steps to Get Cooperized™click here.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Achieving a Healthy Lifestyle: Step by Step

June 2, 2020 1 comment

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have seen a resurgence of walkers in our neighborhoods. This has been a wonderful way to step outside the confines of homes, enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise while still maintaining physical distancing. 

Engaging in a brisk walk most days of the week is also a great way to meet physical activity recommendations for adults. Numerous expert panels recommend adults get at least a total of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week (such as brisk walking), and do muscle-strengthening activities two days per week. Of course, those 150 minutes per week can be divided in many different ways. Some people aim for 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. Others fit in 10 minutes of moderate intensity exercise several times a day.

Counting Steps versus Counting Minutes
Many of my patients have been walking for exercise long before the current pandemic; at our annual visits, we have discussed their weekly walking activity in terms of pace (for example, 15-minute miles, two miles per walk, five walks per week) so I can add up their weekly tally in minutes of brisk walking to see if they are meeting national guideline recommendations. With the advent of digital technology, many patients are now tracking (and reporting) their walking activities in terms of steps. Some may assume if they reach their goal of walking at least 10,000 steps per day, they have been meeting national physical activity goals and more importantly, garnering the many health benefits of meeting those goals. 

There are mountains of data spanning more than 30 years, including landmark studies from The Cooper Institute, supporting the health benefits of engaging in 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity (walking briskly at about 3.5 miles per hour, bicycling less than 10 miles per hour, raking the yard, dancing, doubles tennis) or 75 minutes per day of vigorous physical activity (running or jogging at five miles per hour, walking very fast at 4.5 miles per hour, bicycling faster than 10 miles per hour, chopping wood, swimming laps, competitive basketball, singles tennis). 

The hallmark of engaging in moderate physical activity is that you are exerting yourself with enough intensity that your breathing rate and heart rate are increased. 

What does the data tell us about the health benefits of accumulating 10,000 steps per day? You might be surprised to hear that when Fitbit launched its first device, which tracked steps, more than 10 years ago, the benchmark of achieving 10,000 steps per day dated back to a health marketing campaign from the 1960s.

At that time, Japan was preparing to host the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and identified a need for increased fitness in the general Japanese population. Walking was identified as a simple way to exercise that did not require special equipment and could be embraced by young and old alike no matter what their baseline level of fitness. A pedometer was invented by Dr. Yoshiro Hatano to motivate people in their walking efforts. It is reported that he chose 10,000 steps at the daily goal because 10,000 steps sounded like an ambitious goal and there was actually a specific word in Japanese for the number 10,000. In fact, many languages have a single word for 10,000. The classical Greeks used a capital letter mu (M)—which means myriad in Greek—to represent 10,000.

So, setting the goal at 10,000 steps per day was a motivating tool rather than an evidence-based objective. Given the wide public acceptance of this step-counting goal without a solid evidence base, researchers have published a number of studies characterizing the relationship between steps, physical activity and health in numerous sample populations.  

Some basics about steps:

  • The average number of steps per mile is 2,000; so accumulating 10,000 steps per day translates into walking about five miles.
  • If you take a brisk walk for 30 minutes (defined as a walking rate of about 3.5 miles per hour), you will cover about 1.75 miles in about 3,500 steps.
  • The average number of steps taken per day measured in various groups varies by age, gender and geographic location. For example, one study reported an average of 5,400 steps per day in a U.S. sample of multiethnic women (mean age 54 years) while another reported an average of 18,000 steps per day in a sample of Amish men (mean age 34 years). Western Australians 18 years and older take approximately 9,600 steps per day. 
  • Step based metrics can include volume (steps/day), step intensity or cadence (mean steps per minute) and sedentary behavior (percent time at zero steps per minute).

Number of Steps per Day and Health Outcomes
Numerous studies have shown individuals who accumulate more steps per day have fewer chronic health conditions and live longer. For example, in an analysis of approximately 3,400 U.S. participants (average age 47, average steps per day 7,564 in men and 5,941 in women) in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers found that increased number of steps per day were inversely associated with weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist girth in both men and women.

In a more recent analysis of a larger NHANES cohort, investigators evaluated the association of daily step count and step intensity with mortality in a total of 4,840 participants (mean age, 56.8 years; 2,435 [54%] women; 1,732 [36%] individuals with obesity) who wore accelerometers for a mean of 5.7 days for a mean of 14.4 hours per day. The mean number of steps per day was 9,124. The mean follow-up was 10 years. Those participants with higher daily step counts had lower BMI and lower incidence of diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer. Even after controlling for these important differences in baseline health, compared with taking 4,000 steps per day, taking 8,000 steps per day was associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of all-cause death and taking 12,000 steps per day was associated with a 65 percent reduction in all-cause mortality.

The Bottom Line
Is it better to walk briskly for 30 minutes five days a week or accumulate 10,000 steps per day? The answer is that it is best to do both. 

Most of the data describing the relationship between step intensity or cadence and outcomes is not very robust. This is a difficult measurement to make well in free-living adults. However, it makes sense that those individuals who accumulate the highest number of steps per day (12,000 steps is about six miles), likely walk at a faster pace because most adults have other things to do in the day than just walk. A benefit of accumulating at least 10,000 steps per day is that some of those steps are likely to be at a brisk pace. 

But the slower-paced steps also generate health benefits because those steps are replacing sedentary activity.

Even Slow Steps are Better than No Steps

Sedentary behavior is defined as any waking behavior or activity that involves an energy expenditure of 1.0 to 1.5 METS (the amount of energy it takes to sit quietly). Currently, sedentary behavior is likely to involve “screen time” both on the job (sitting using a computer or talking on the phone) or at home (using a computer to shop or interact with friends, watching television, engaging in reading or playing games on a smartphone).

In the 2019 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association Guideline on the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, experts suggest that decreasing sedentary behavior is a reasonable recommendation to reduce the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Adults in the U.S. spend an average of 7.7 hours per day in sedentary activity. They recommend replacing sedentary time with other physical activity; even light intensity activity is better than sitting.

Overall, the more steps you take on a daily basis the better. A reasonable goal is 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. Taking a brisk 30-minute walk on most days of the week is a great way to add 3,500 steps to your daily step count and accumulate 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

So whether you are tracking your movement by number of steps or number of minutes, it is simply important to keep moving. Achieving a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight but rather through a series of small choices throughout your day. It is achieved step by step.

Article provided by Nina B. Radford, MD, Director of Clinical Research and a cardiologist at Cooper Clinic.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Custom Nail Care Tips from Cooper Spa

May 11, 2020 1 comment

On average we take 8,000-10,000 steps a day. Regular pedicures and nail care are more than pampering—they’re important to your self-care.

Enjoy a spa-worthy pedicure at home with these simple instructions from Cooper Spa Nail Team Supervisor Marcia Lopez. She also provides a sugar scrub recipe you can make in just minutes. Give your feet a little TLC with these tips.

Materials Needed:

• Bath towel

• 2 to 4 cotton swabs

• Polish remover

• Nail clippers

• Cotton balls

• Liquid body cleanser

• Body or facial oil   

• 2 Tbsp. olive or grapeseed oil

• 2 Tbsp. sugar

• 2 Tbsp. water

• Essential oils

• Base coat

• Top coat

• Nail polish color of choice

How to Give Yourself an At-Home Pedicure
1. Remove any nail polish with a cotton ball and polish remover. The most effective remover is 100% acetone.

2. Clip toenails straight across with a nail clipper. Do not round off the sides, as this can cause ingrown toenails.

3. Fill bathtub with warm water and liquid body cleanser; soak feet. This is the relaxing part!

4. Remove feet from the water and dry slightly with bath towel.

5. Apply small amount of lotion to toes and around the heels to soften the cuticles and any calluses.

6. Use cotton swab to gently push cuticles back.

7. Use a sugar scrub to exfoliate feet, removing the dead skin around toes and heels. (Create your own with the sugar scrub recipe below.)

8. Massage body oil and/or lotion into feet.

9. Go back over toenails with polish remover and cotton balls to remove traces of oils and lotions on the nail surface. If you miss this step, the polish will not adhere to the nail.

10. Apply 1 coat of base coat, 2 coats of color polish and 1 coat of top coat.

11. Use cotton swab and polish remover to clean the edges/skin around the nails.

At-Home Sugar Scrub Recipe
1. Mix together 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil or grapeseed oil and 2 Tbsp. water.

2. Optional: mix in 5-10 drops of essential oils such as lavender.

Submit questions and nail care product purchasing requests to Marcia Lopez, Nail Team Supervisor, at

Schedule your nail or facial service by calling 972.392.7729 or visit

Categories: Cooper Updates