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Sit Less, Move More – Exercise Guidelines for Diabetes and Prediabetes

November 14, 2016 Leave a comment

By Elana Paddock, RDN, LD, CDE, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services

Many people with diabetes do not exercise despite all of its proven benefits. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, physical activity is more than just a way to lose weight – it can also make it easier to keep your blood glucose (sugar) levels closer to normal.

When you have diabetes, your body’s insulin action is less effective in storing glucose and regulating your blood sugars, but exercise sensitizes insulin. During exercise, stored glucose becomes a source of energy for your muscles and as the stores gets depleted, your blood sugar goes down and can stay down for 24-48 hours.

What types and amounts of physical activity are recommended for diabetes?

  • Aerobic exercise includes brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, aerobics, elliptical, dancing, rowing, tennis and stair climbing. Engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity weekly, spread over at least three days per week, with no more than two consecutive days without activity.
  • Resistance training includes exercises with weight machines, free weights, elastic resistance bands, body weight and group strength training classes. Perform these at least two times a week on non-consecutive days.
  • Balance and flexibility training includes yoga and tai chi. Aim for two or three times a week.
  • Light-intensity activities daily (read below under “updates”).

To better fit your schedule, you can break up 30 minutes into 10- or 15-minute segments several times a day. Research has shown the health benefits are similar. Recent studies have also shown that a 15-minute walk after meals can help lower your blood sugar.

What are the updates in the latest exercise guidelines?

People with diabetes are advised to incorporate “light” activities throughout the day, particularly when sedentary for prolonged periods of time (working on the computer, sitting in a meeting or watching TV). Take a light activity break for three minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting. Examples include:

  • Overhead arm stretches
  • Leg extensions
  • Torso twists
  • Walking in place

Exercise Tips:

  • Have a very specific plan. Define what, when, where and for how long you’re going to commit to working out. This will improve your chances of adherence and success.
  • What kind of exercises will you do? Make a list of activities and be creative. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick with it!
  • When are you going to fit in a workout? Make a schedule of the specific days and times you will exercise. Prioritize them on your calendar as “appointments.”
  • Are you going to exercise at a gym, in a group class, at a park or track or at home using a workout DVD or technology app? Decide what might work best for you.
  • Do you prefer to exercise solo, with a buddy, in a class or with a personal trainer? Participating in supervised training may provide more health benefits for people with diabetes than non-supervised programs. Plus, the accountability to others can be very motivating.
  • How long will you exercise? Be realistic and set achievable goals. If you are brand new to working out, start with 10 minutes and build up to 30 minutes or more.
  • Keep a log of your exercise to stay on track. You can use fitness technology resources like a pedometer, fitness band or exercise watch to track steps, calories and heart rate. Don’t forget to give yourself credit for what you do-every step counts!

When you have diabetes, prioritize exercise as part of your lifestyle to better control your blood sugars. Beyond managing your diabetes, exercise can help you feel better about yourself and improve your overall health.

For more information about preventing and managing diabetes and prediabetes, visit the Cooper Aerobics website.

Cooper Connections at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

The closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games is finally upon us, following countless displays of athleticism and sportsmanship these past two weeks.  The United States leads the final medal count, with American athletes earning 121 total medals – 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze. We take a look back now at some fun facts and Cooper connections to the celebrated Olympic Games through the years.

  • Did you know Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper was selected to participate in the Olympic torch relay through Arlington, Texas, for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia? Prior to every Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is transported with the Olympic torch from Greece to the designated host city via the Olympic torch relay.DrCooperOlympicsTorchRelay
  • This year was the first time that Brazil served as host for the Olympic Games. Dr. Kenneth Cooper has visited Brazil many times and first traveled to Brazil to train the Brazilian national soccer team with Coach Cláudio Coutinho in 1970. That year the Brazilian national team went on to win the World Cup, and because of Dr. Cooper’s introduction of aerobic exercising to Brazil, in Brazil they refer to “jogging” as “Coopering” or “doing your Cooper.”
  • The five Olympic Rings symbolize the five regions of the world: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. At least one of the colors of the Olympic rings – blue, yellow, black, green and red – appears in every flag in the world. Dr. Cooper’s message has reached almost every corner of these regions; his 19 books have been sold in 52 countries and translated into 40 languages. The most recent book, Start Strong, Finish Strong, was co-authored with his son, Tyler Cooper, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Cooper Aerobics.
  • Of the 28 sports in the Summer Olympics, Cooper Fitness Center Sports Pros offer training in five of these sports – aquatics, basketball, boxing, martial arts and tennis. You may not be an Olympian, but you can certainly train like one at Cooper.
  • The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” When translated from Latin to English it means “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” Most athletes make use of the top five aerobic exercises – cross-country skiing, swimming, running/jogging, outdoor cycling and walking – in their training to help them build endurance for optimal performance. Training with one of our 28 professional fitness trainers at Cooper Fitness Center can help you become faster, higher and stronger.
  • There is no limit to the number of athletes a team can bring to the Olympics; nations can bring any and every athlete that qualifies. Did you know Cooper Fitness Center Boxing Pro Derrick James accompanied boxer Errol Spence, Jr. to the London 2012 Summer Olympics? 

     

    Fitness has been the foundation of Dr. Cooper’s teachings since 1968 when he coined the term “aerobics” and sparked an international fitness revolution. We hope you’ll learn more about Cooper Aerobics and Dr. Cooper’s 8 Steps to Get Cooperized as the sun sets on the Olympic Games in Rio and the countdown begins for the next Olympic Games – 547 days and counting until PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, followed by Tokyo 2020 for the next Summer Olympic Games.

What Cooper Fitness Center Sports Pros Love About the Olympics

Every four years, the Olympic Games provide an opportunity to watch the best athletes in the world compete against each other and showcase their incredible skills. Cheering your country on to victory brings about a sense of patriotism and appreciation for physical fitness that is unmatched.

Cooper Fitness Center Sports Pros are no exception–they love the summer and winter Olympics alike, and each of them has special memories of specific games. Learn more about our Pros’ favorite Olympic moments below, and make sure to comment and share your favorite Olympic sports and what you’re most looking forward to seeing take place in Rio this year.

What is your favorite Olympic sport to watch?

Who is your all-time favorite Olympic athlete?

  • Mike: Rafer Johnson (Track & Field)
  • Marni: Michael Johnson (Track & Field) – I got to see him set records at Baylor in the late 1980s.
  • Corey: Venus Williams (Tennis)
  • Coleman: Jessie Owens (Track & Field)
  • Derrick: Muhammad Ali (Boxing)

If you could compete in an Olympic sport, which one would it be?

  • Mike: Fencing
  • Marni: Cross country skiing (Biathlon)
  • Corey: Well, besides tennis…swimming.
  • Coleman: Basketball
  • Derrick: Boxing

Do you have a favorite Olympic memory?

  • Mike: I attended the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where I had the opportunity to meet Rafer Johnson.
  • Marni: When Muhammad Ali lit the torch at the 1996 games in Atlanta!
  • Corey: 1992 Dream Team. Michael Jordan and those guys were incredible.
  • Coleman: 1992 Dream Team. It was the first time all professionals from the United States participated in Olympic basketball.
  • Derrick: I went to the 2012 Olympics in London, where one of the boxers I train was competing.

What do you like most about the Olympics?

  • Mike: The overall patriotism and positive attitude of athletes and spectators.
  • Marni: I love the fact that amateur athletes who have worked so hard have the opportunity to come together to compete, and it’s their chance to perform their best. It’s their time to shine!
  • Corey: I like all the patriotism. It’s nice to see the country come together and work together toward a common goal.
  • Coleman: The Olympic Games are an opportunity for all countries to compete on a level playing field. The games give athletes a chance to compete against other talented athletes from all over the world, who they may not face in other competitions.
  • Derrick: The Olympics are in the name of sports and friendship. It’s the greatest event in the world.

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center’s Sports Pros and sport-specific training, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com/ProZone.

 

Conquering the Summer Camp Swim Test

Sneakers? Sunscreen? Sleeping bag? All may be necessary items for summer camp, but children should also be armed with top-notch swim skills. Cooper Fitness Center Swim Pro Marni Kerner helps kids of all ages prepare for swim tests that are often required at summer day camps and overnight camps.

Each test varies in length and intensity. Some require a child to swim the length or width of a pool, but others require performing all four competitive strokes–freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly–in open water situations. If a child is unable to pass the designated swim test, he or she may have limited access to water activities throughout the duration of the camp, or may be required to wear a life jacket when swimming in a pool or open water.

Training with a certified swim instructor prior to taking a swim test has numerous benefits:

  • Sharpens the child’s skills early in the summer, since it has likely been a while since the child has swam longer distances
  • Introduces specific stroke training to those who may not be familiar with all four competitive strokes
  • Increases physical strength and endurance
  • Improves stroke techniques
  • Builds confidence in the swimmer

In addition to working on swim skills, each swimmer also learns water safety and rest strokes, including how to bob and tread water in order to conserve energy.

Children may only need one lesson to refresh their swim skills, but others may take up to five or six lessons to prepare for their specific test. The time and effort invested is worth it so the kids can enjoy an exciting and safe summer in the water.

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center swim programs, visit cooperswimacademy.com or call Swim Pro Marni Kerner at 972.233.4832, ext. 5447.

10 Reasons Why Female Focus Benefits Women’s Health

Cooper Fitness Center

Since 2006, hundreds of women each year have participated in more than 3,000 Female Focus classes, a science-based small group training program designed to help women exercise to gain strength as they manage diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The women who have participated in Female Focus throughout the past 10 years listed the top 10 reasons why the program has benefitted both their physical and mental health:

  1. A sense of accountability to health and fitness and provides motivation to work harder both in and outside of class
  2. Camaraderie and support of women going through similar challenges and life experiences
  3. Personal attention from Colette Cole, the director of the program, and other trainers – staff expertise and experience is unmatched
  4. Improved overall strength, posture, balance, mobility, endurance, functional movement and daily activity movement
  5. Weight loss and maintenance
  6. Enjoyment from a variety of fun workouts
  7. Reduction of injury risk and attention to detail regarding training for specific injuries
  8. Sessions are personalized for both exercise and nutrition
  9. Focus on specific women’s health issues, including improvement of bone density
  10. Stress reduction

The program is based on materials and research from Women’s Health and Fitness Guide written by Michele Kettles, MD, MSPH, Chief Medical Officer of Cooper Clinic, and Colette Cole, MS, Cooper Fitness Center Female Focus Director and Professional Fitness Trainer. Under Colette’s guidance, participants learn how to overcome physical and mental challenges that are often a side effect of health issues.

In addition to learning and growing stronger physically, many of the women are drawn to the program because of the bonds they form with each other. Many are going through similar life changes, such as kids going off to college or becoming caretakers of aging parents. They also face similar challenges and are working toward similar goals – to be healthier and happier.

Dr. Jill Ombrello has participated in Female Focus for the past three years. She joined the program because she wanted the accountability of a scheduled and customized workout. However, she had no idea how many additional benefits she would receive as a result.

“Not only did I gain accountability, but I also joined a community of women looking to improve their health in the same ways as me. We are not equally strong or flexible, but Collette creates a different, unique and interesting workout for us every time we attend. In a society where many women are often competing with one another, Colette has created a unique environment where we all feel supported and pushed to achieve greatness.”

For more information about the Female Focus program, visit cooperfitfemale.com.

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.

 

CFC Trainer of the Year – Jamie Cochran, ATC

November 30, 2015 1 comment

Jamie-Cochran

Each year, Cooper Fitness Center (CFC) Professional Fitness Trainers nominate one of their teammates who consistently goes above and beyond in their work for the Trainer of the Year Award. This year’s recipient is Jamie Cochran, who has been with CFC since 2012. We sat down with Jamie to find out more about why she loves being a trainer at CFC.

Q: How long have you been a professional fitness trainer, and how long have you been a trainer at Cooper?

A: I’ve worked in the health care/fitness field since 1999. I started out as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), working exclusively in sports medicine, specifically high school and collegiate athletics. I earned my personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2008, and transitioned into personal training in 2010. I found that as my children got older, keeping up a travel schedule with athletic teams was getting harder and harder. As an ATC, I had been writing rehab programs all along, so I decided to move more toward the fitness realm and focus on special populations, which refers to people outside the realm of traditional personal training. These people typically have some “special” consideration that must be observed while training them, for example: rheumatoid arthritis, joint replacements, pre- or post-surgical conditions, Parkinson’s, injury recovery, etc. I came to Cooper Fitness Center in August 2012.

Q: In your own words, what does it mean to be a Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer?

A: As soon as I decided to take my career in the direction of personal training, I knew that I wanted to eventually end up at Cooper. In the health and wellness world, this organization is the gold standard. I’ve enjoyed every aspect of my career, but working here tops it all. Our facility is outstanding, our staff is second to none and our members are awesome! It’s a joy coming to work every day.

Q: What do you think is the most important part of your job as a trainer?

A: By far, the professionalism and level of service that I provide to all of my clients is the most important to me. I take a much more conservative approach to my program design because my niche is special populations. A lot of careful research and time goes into taking care of my clients, and I want to make sure that my approach is always measured, effective and safe.

Q: What is a “typical” day like for you at Cooper Fitness Center?

A: My typical day starts at 5 a.m., and I usually have eight or nine appointments per day. My mornings are usually very busy, but I try to squeeze in an hour to go outside and run on the track when I can. Some days are more booked than others, but I’m typically here until about 4 p.m. every day.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a trainer?

A: My favorite thing about being a trainer is that my job is never boring or monotonous. Every day is fun and different! Even when I’m very busy, there are always people to laugh and converse with. I took over the Parkinson’s Program a couple months ago and that has been a tremendous blessing. All of my clients are special to me, but working with this group has been especially rewarding.

Q: Why is Cooper Fitness Center a unique place to be a trainer?

A: There is no place like CFC. We have a beautiful campus, great facilities and wonderful members. Our team of Professional Fitness Trainers are collectively the most qualified you’ll find anywhere (maybe the world!).

Q: What does it mean to you to be named CFC Trainer of the Year?

A: I am very honored by this award because it was voted on by my colleagues, who I have a great deal of respect for. Many of them have been in the business quite a bit longer than I have, so I was humbled that they thought enough of me to give me this award.

Q: What is your favorite physical activity/workout?

A: My favorite physical activity is distance running. It’s the one activity I can do to completely disconnect from the world and clear my mind. It’s very therapeutic for me. I’ve run eight half marathons over the years, along with countless other 5Ks and 10Ks. I try to run at least 20-30 miles per week.

Q: What are your favorite hobbies?

A: I love to read. I rarely have time for leisurely reading, but when I get a chance to steal a few moments for myself, that’s what I love to do…even if it’s only for 10 minutes!

Q: What do you like to do after a long day of work?

A: After a long day of work, I’d love to say that I get to take a long soak in a hot bath, but I’m usually rushing off to one of my children’s many sports or school activities or doing homework with them while I cook dinner!

Age is Just a Number

By: Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper

Becoming healthier as you grow older does not have to be a far-fetched goal. Our bodies are built to last, as long as we take care of them properly. At 84 years of age, I continue to exercise, maintain my weight, take supplements and more in order to maintain the healthy and active life I want to continue living.

Taking the proper supplementation keeps your body full of the nutrients it needs, especially if those nutrients are unattainable from your diet. Recent studies show that taking 3 grams of EPA/DHA found in Omega-3 is associated with the reduction of muscle deterioration throughout the aging process. People normally begin losing muscle around age 50, but those taking the aforementioned levels of Omega-3 actually maintain their strength as they grow older. The supplement is also known to reduce the pain and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Healthy aging might seem like a difficult task, but if you take preventive measures early on, many unfortunate health circumstances can be avoided. As you begin to age and think about your desired quality of life as you get older, imagine how you would like to live. Would you prefer to reach your peak of fitness at an early age and feel your health steadily decline due to unhealthy habits? Or would you prefer to remain active throughout middle age and beyond, with no decline in health and a quick demise? I call this “squaring off the curve,” and it is the lifestyle model that I recommend to all of my patients, and that I fully embrace myself.

As I like to say, “you don’t stop exercising when you grow old; you grow old when you stop exercising.” To benefit the most from exercise as you age, I recommend the following balance between aerobic and strength training:

  • If you’re 40 years old or younger, devote 80 percent of your workout time to aerobic training and 20 percent to strength training.
  • If you’re 41 to 50 years old, shift to 70 percent aerobic and 30 percent strength work.
  • If you’re 51 to 60, do 60 percent aerobic exercise and 40 percent strength training.
  • After you pass 60, divide your workout time more evenly between the two strategies – while still giving an edge to aerobic exercise, which provides the most health benefits: 55 percent aerobic work and 45 percent strength work.

New studies also reveal a direct correlation between exercise and dementia and Alzheimer’s – proving that exercise of the mind can be just as important as physical exercise when it comes to healthy aging.  These studies show that levels of the protein TAU, which causes Alzheimer’s, actually lower following periods of consistent physical activity; even people who already have the disease show improved symptoms following intervals of exercise.

In addition to physical activity, one should follow my eight steps to Get Cooperized in order to thrive throughout the aging process. I also recommend the following steps to exercise your mind in order to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia:

  1. Exercise your mind daily
  2. Exercise
  3. Socialize
  4. Get adequate sleep
  5. Take Omega-3
  6. Take Vitamin D3
  7. Take Vitamin B12

Physical activity has also been shown to reduce neurological psychiatric symptoms such as depression, and those over the age of 70 actually show the most improvement under these circumstances.

Remember – age is just a number. Making the choice to stay healthy and active, no matter your age, can make a great difference in how much of your life you actually get to live, especially as you grow older. You can choose to age fast or age slow…it’s up to you.

#CooperHealthyAging

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.