Posts Tagged ‘Carla Sottovia’

Carla Sottovia Named IDEA Fit’s Program Director of the Year

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Cooper Fitness Center’s Carla Sottovia, PhD, was recognized as IDEA Fit’s Program Director of the Year! Carla is the CooperPT Mentorship Director and Cooper Fitness Center Director of Fitness and Personal Training Education along with Senior Professional Fitness Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Wellness Coach.

To say that she is busy is an understatement and with more than 20 years of experience she is helping individuals all over the world achieve their personal wellness and fitness goals.

IDEA Fit is recognized as the world’s largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. Prior to being named Program Director of the Year, Carla was recognized as IDEA’s Personal Trainer of the Year in 2005.

Last week Cooper Fitness Center members and Cooper Aerobics teammates (employees) gathered in the newly-renovated fitness center to celebrate Carla’s accomplishment with cake and punch!

Next time you’re in Cooper Fitness Center, say congratulations and sign up to try a Pilates session with Carla.

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.

Cooper Experts at The Perot Museum

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Perot-LogoThe Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Downtown Dallas will open to the public tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 1. Within the museum there will be 11 permanent exhibit halls – ranging from engineering and brain health to sports. And while I am only slightly biased, I am most excited about seeing two of my favorite Cooper Aerobics teammates featured in the Sports Hall.

A few months ago the folks at the Perot Museum contacted us looking for local experts to feature in the Sports Hall. The Sports Hall is more than information on elite athletes; it explores the physics, anatomy and physiology of sports, teaching visitors about the science behind their bodies in motion. To help visitors understand how to get the maximum use out of their body, there will be several interactive “Coaches Corners.”  Two of the coaches you’ll see are Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, registered dietitian at Cooper Clinic, and Carla Sottovia, PhD, Director of Fitness and Personal Training Education at Cooper Fitness Center. And while you might not think of Meridan or Carla as “coaches” in the traditional sense, they are definitely two of the best coaches you’ll find when it comes to learning how to live a longer, healthier life.

Here’s a preview of a few things that Meridan and Carla explore in their Coaches’ Corner:

  • As a professional fitness trainer, what resources do you use to help people improve their fitness, and how do you know what works?
  • If you want to be a professional fitness trainer, what type of education is important?
  • What are some of the barriers people face when it comes to exercise, and how can they overcome them?
  • What are some exercises that can improve flexibility, strength, core and power?
  • What benefits will my body experience if I eat a healthier diet for a long time?
  • How can I eat more for my health to make me smarter, leaner, faster and stronger?
  • Is it true that different sports can benefit from different types of diets? What are the differences of eating for different sports?
  • What types of food should endurance athletes eat? How about strength and speed athletes?
  • What do you need to know about sports energy drinks?
  • What are some easy, tasty snacks that will fuel my body?

The bottom line is, you do not have to train like an elite athlete to get the health benefits of exercise.  It’s never too late to make changes to your health, and it’s never too late to feel better.

Are you planning to visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science? We hope you enjoy Meridan and Carla’s Coaches Corner! Leave a comment below to let us know what you enjoyed most.

This was written by Christine Witzsche former Communications Director at Cooper Aerobics. Christine is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

Tips From Our Experts: Sleep Well This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! Festive decorations, sparkling lights and baked goodies, the holidays are time of joy and excitement. But it may come at a price: your sleep. Around this time of year busier days and longer “to do” lists can keep our bodies and minds going non-stop, often making it difficult to relax and fall asleep. We asked some of our resident experts at Cooper Aerobics for their tips on how to keep your holiday nights full of zzz’s.

Carolyn Terry, MD
Internal and Preventive Medicine Physician, Cooper Clinic
1. Avoid eating a big meal too close to bedtime. This may trigger acid reflux and heartburn symptoms and that will keep you up for hours.
2. Keep exercising through the holidays! Everyone is busy running around trying to complete their holiday shopping, participating in holiday activities, etc. and it can be easy to excuse yourself from your usual fitness routine. Don’t! Consistent exercise is one of the best natural remedies to insomnia and sleep disturbances.

Meridan Zerner

Registered Dietitian, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Department
1. My favorite mantra is “Take a walk, take a breath, take a break” – all three things lend themselves to better sleep by relaxing the body and the brain.
2. Be mindful of the timing of your caffeine. It has a 12 hour half life, so that espresso in the afternoon will make it really hard to get a good, restorative night of sleep.

Carla Sottovia, PhD
CooperPT Mentorship Developer and Director
Director of Fitness and Personal Training Education, Cooper Fitness Center 
1. Meditate before going to bed. Sit Indian style, close your eyes, relax your hands and perform five minutes of diaphragmatic breathing (take in air through your nose, letting your diaphragm expand, and exhale through your mouth). Let your mind travel through your favorite places.
2. Stretch before going to bed. Lie down on your back, bring your knees to chest, hug knees and hold position for 60 seconds. Take deep breaths in and out at a slow pace.

Colleen Loveland

Registered Dietitian, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Department
1. Try not to go to bed either hungry or stuffed, as discomfort will keep you awake.
2. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine is a stimulant and can disrupt quality sleep.  Alcohol may make you drowsy and tired at first, but usually ends up interrupting good sleep.

Mary Edwards
Director of Fitness, Professional Fitness Trainer, Cooper Fitness Center 
Find activities that are calming, not stimulating, to engage in an hour or two before going to sleep. Turn off the cell phone, computer and TV! Instead, try taking a hot bath or reading a good book.

Wendy Ruggerio
Massage Therapist, Cooper Spa 
Aromatherapy is my go to answer – it works quickly and it’s natural. Most stress related sleeping issues respond well to aromatherapy. Lavender has sedative-like qualities and is calming, soothing and balancing. Use a few drops in bath water (no more than 30 drops), spray on your pillow or on a cotton ball/pad and place in pillow case. I have found it lengthens my sleep time, I feel I reach a deeper sleep and I wake up feeling refreshed.

On-the-Job Muscle Fixes

If you sit at a desk for long periods of time during your work day, odds are you aren’t checking they way you sit. Your muscles, bones and joints are taking the toll for immobility and bad posture.

Many Americans face this problem. Sitting for long periods of time can cause muscle fatigue and tightness. Carla Sottovia, PhD, Director of Professional Fitness Training and a Senior Professional Fitness Trainer at Cooper Fitness Centerdemonstrates some easy stretches to do while at your desk so you can loosen up!

If you sit at your desk for an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday or similar, Carla advises to take the stretch break once every hour. She also suggests you move around when you can. Ideally, this would be about every hour as well, but if you can’t, just get in a quick walk as much as possible.

Practicing these stretches guarantees less pain and stronger muscles. What are your daily stretching routines at work?