Posts Tagged ‘stress management’

Stress Less Before the Holiday Season

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

BlogStressFinalAs one of the busiest times of the year quickly approaches, many people begin to feel the effects of both personal and professional pressures. These causes of stress can be harmful to your health if not managed properly. Acute stress is short and intense in duration and impacts the central nervous system. Chronic stress lasts longer than 20 minutes and impacts the endocrine (hormonal) system. The human body is only designed to respond to acute stress – this is your “fight or flight” response. The body is not programmed to combat chronic stress, which is why those experiencing chronic stress often present health issues. Did you know…

  • 1/3 of people in the U.S. report experiencing extreme levels of stress
  • 1/5 report that they are experiencing high levels of stress 15 or more days per month
  • Stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults lying awake at night, according to American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America™ survey

“Stress is part of life,” says Kenneth Cooper, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman of Cooper Aerobics. Stress can increase your chance of suffering a heart attack and pose a serious threat to your health. But, “it’s not stress that kills, it’s the way you handle it,” Dr. Cooper notes.

Managing stress effectively can take many forms. It has been proven that a single session of 25-60 minutes of aerobic exercise increases positive mood feelings while also decreasing negative mood feelings. Additionally, eating healthy and nutritious foods can boost serotonin (the “happiness hormone”), folic acid and vitamins D and C. Taking time to breathe deeply, enjoy nature and go on vacation are other ways to combat the negative effects of stress.

Think you’ve got stress management down pat? Take our stress management quiz to find out!

  1. Can you identify the term referencing the science of laughter?
    a. Gelotology
    b. Laughotology
    c. Humorology
    d. Comedicology
  1. How can laughter and humor be beneficial to your health?
    a.They can decrease stress
    b. Laughter has some similarities to a brief workout (called “internal jogging”)
    c. Humor can help put your problems into a different perspective
    d. All of the above
  1. How can frequent or over-reactive anger be harmful to your health?
    a. “Anger-in” (internalized anger) can increase blood pressure and heart rate
    b. “Anger-out” (externalized anger) can damage relationships and social support, which are important stress buffers
    c. Both A and B
    d. Over-reactive anger can make you paranoid and anxious
  1. True or False? Being married is an important stress buffer.
  1. What is the term used when you experience too much stress?
    a. Overworked
    b. Distress
    c. Struggling
    d. Eustress

Answers: 1. A; 2. D; 3. C; 4. False: Not necessarily! A happy marriage is a great stress buffer, but being single is healthier than a bad marriage, which can increase unhealthy stress.; 5. B

Preparing for Pampering

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

With all-natural ingredients like lemon, Madagascar cinnamon and coffee, enjoy this detoxifying and firming treatment leaving skin firm and bright. Espresso Limon Cellulite Reducing Cocoon available until Nov 30.

If it’s your first spa treatment or not, it’s always a good reminder to prepare your body before receiving a spa treatment. To get the most value out of your service and to help manage your stress during the busy holiday season, Cooper Spa shares pre-massage tips with you!

  1. Use the sauna or steam room prior to treatment, if current health isn’t a restriction. The time that a massage therapist will typically spend warming up your body will be better utilized to work on any particular issues you’d like addressed. The heat also increases blood flow and will aide in the recovery from a deep tissue or fitness massage.
  2. Drink plenty of water, before and after treatment. A hydrated body is a healthy body, particularly for a massage.  You can imagine how much fluid is moved around with the various massage techniques and drinking water is the best way to expel any waste that results from that movement.
  3. Speak up. This is your service and your massage therapist is there to cater to your needs. Don’t be shy if you want less pressure, or more.  And make sure your licensed massage therapist knows about any health matters–it makes  a difference in keeping you comfortable and safe.
  4. Take your time. We certainly want our guests to use our beautifully-renovated locker rooms in Cooper Fitness Center as part of the treatment process. Plan ahead and arrive 20-30 minutes early to take advantage of this unique facility offering.  If you are having 2 or more services or would like information about a guest pass to use the fitness equipment or outdoor track, please ask a teammate (employee) of Cooper Spa.
  5. Go slow after a massage. You won’t want to rush around as your body is in a more relaxed state. Feel free to have a seat with us and don’t feel like you have to leave right away. We enjoy your company.

This holiday season, enjoy seasonal services at Cooper Spa Dallas. For fall, try the Honey Graham Cracker Pedicure or the Espresso Limón Cellulite Reduce Cocoon through Nov. 30. Need a gift for the holiday season? Starting today through December 24, purchase a $300 Cooper Spa gift card and receive a $40 voucher. Look for new seasonal services on Dec. 1!

To book your appointment, call 972.392.7729 or complete the online appointment request.

Happy Valentine’s From Cooper Spa!

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Giving a spa service is good for your heart, and theirs too! If you haven’t purchased a gift for your valentine just yet—it’s not too late! Give a gift from the heart—Cooper Spa’s Valentine’s Special through Feb. 14! With every $250 Spa gift card purchased, receive a $30 voucher to use toward a Spa service or Beautiful Fit products.

For your convenience and peace of mind we provide complimentary childcare for children ages 2 months to 12 years at the Jungle Gym based on length of time and availability. When booking your spa appointment, please request childcare reservations. 24-hour advance reservations are required. Click here to learn more about your visit, including complimentary use of the locker room facilities including sauna, whirlpool and steam room are available for use during the day of treatment. See our signature Beautiful Fit Massage and Elegant Escape below for great gifts.

Beautiful Fit Massage
This personalized service, tailored to your specific needs, incorporates varying techniques, pressure and essential oils to give you ultimate relief. Following a private consultation with the licensed therapist, your one-of-a-kind service will begin to unwind your body and mind.

Elegant Escape
Invigorate your mind and body with a Deep Cleansing Facial and a 50-minute Swedish Massage. This total body experience concludes with an Essential Manicure and Essential Pedicure.

Cooper Spa also offers services tailored for a man’s unique body and skin care needs. See all men’s services here. View Cooper Spa’s full spa menu to find the perfect gift for your valentine. Shop online, by phone at 972.392.7729 or at Cooper Spa Dallas.

Life in Transition

December 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Jasmin, who was an intern for Cooper Consulting Partners, contributed Living a Life of Alignment to our blog earlier this fall. As she wrapped up her internship and makes a transition to her next steps in her career, she shared her thoughts on change.

Change can be such an intricate process. It comes in many forms and with multiple layers.

Change can be challenging. In many presentations I’ve heard at Cooper Aerobics, we hear the experts discuss behavioral change. There are different phases in readiness to change, as well as different stages* to navigate on your own personal journey to maintaining that change.

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance

Change can be beautiful. I’ll especially miss driving through or past the Cooper Aerobics campus and seeing the brown, orange and red leaves recently fallen from those majestic trees. Autumn has historically been my favorite season just for this simple course of nature. I find that when I’m facing a challenging change, if I take a step back and recognize the ‘little wonders,’ something as simple as nature around me, it helps me to proceed more calmly. It reminds me of the internal wellness program at Cooper Aerobics—Cooper Fit and the presentations about stress management and guided meditation. During this, Erika Bazan from Cooper Spa reminded us of how essential it was to take moments for deep breaths. Check out this video with Erika. If you seek, I think you can find beauty in every transition.

Change can be exciting. When we’re moving from one space to another—physically, mentally, or emotionally, I think the scary, challenging part is leaving the familiar. Yet, this does not negate the excitement of stepping into the unknown. I believe little surprises are often around the corners of life’s journey if we dare to turn. New experiences open our minds to be creative, drawing upon past lessons and eagerly looking towards the future.

For whatever 2014 may bring, we wish you a Happy, healthy New Year!

*Transtheoretical model of behavior change

Living a Life of Alignment

November 12, 2013 1 comment

Some people will know Cooper Aerobics by a particular “entity” that has somehow made a connection in their life. This could be a youth program at Cooper Fitness Center, a preventive exam at Cooper Clinic or our Cooper Complete vitamins in local grocery stores. For an impressionable graduate student to have the opportunity to work for three of the eight Cooper businesses during her post-baccalaureate career is a testament to the teammates of Cooper Aerobics and the culture we strive to maintain. Jasmin shared her passion for writing with our team and I asked her to write a guest blog post. We discussed her busy lifestyle as a working graduate student and how working in an environment where health and wellness is a priority can help align your life.

One of my favorite lyrics of all time comes from The Beatles song ‘All You Need is Love’. The line states, “There’s no place you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be, it’s easy.” As I sat in the Coaching Healthy Behaviors course at The Cooper Institute a few weeks ago, that phrase resonated with me. I considered all the steps that led me to that point. Last September, I started working as a service desk associate at Cooper Fitness Center. After a few months of inquiry, I landed an internship with the research department at The Cooper Institute for the summer. This experience equipped me with skills that enabled me to apply for my current position, a corporate wellness intern at Cooper Consulting Partners. It’s like each step aligned perfectly with the next.

Alignment is a lively word, isn’t it? It makes me think of attempting yoga moves, lengthening and adjusting your limbs appropriately to achieve a posture gracefully. Living a life of alignment to me, is when every aspect of your life flows nicely with the other. Your personal goals, professional goals, health goals—everything is working synergistically. I strive for this type of alignment. I used to think it was important to remain super busy and to balance it all. But, now, I’ve learned that less is more, especially when everything you do has a significant purpose.

While taking that course that day I experienced a moment of clarity—a moment where I could clearly see that I was where I was meant to be. I think those moments come often when you are living a life of alignment. And all of those little moments add up to your life’s journey towards fulfilling your purpose. It’s a beautiful thought, don’t you think?

Want to be an intern or apply for a position with Cooper Aerobics? Click here to see the available opportunities. Join Cooper Consulting Partners on Thursday for ‘Leading a Fit Business’ one-day seminar. Register today to learn the proven methods to influence a culture of wellness.

Recharging Your Phone

You might be wondering how recharging your cell phone has anything to do with wellness. How long does your phone last off of one charge? 10 hours, one day, a day and a half, two days? Oftentimes it depends on how much you are using it to talk, text or browse the Internet. I know I am guilty of constantly having my nose in my phone. I’m always checking email or scanning through my social media feeds, which requires me to charge my phone at least once a day.

This week I heard something interesting from our Cooper Fit Wellness Coordinator (Cooper Fit is our internal wellness program for Cooper Aerobics teammates). She said to think of our bodies like a cell phone – if we do not properly recharge ourselves we will run out of power! If we only recharge ourselves to the bare minimum then we are not at our fullest potential for the day.

Recharging can come in many forms and fashions and at any time throughout the day. It can come from sleeping, eating well, exercising, allocating some time for yourself, social interaction…the list goes on. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your body. And the way you recharge can vary day-to-day or week-to-week, so long as you actually are recharging.

Coming off of a three-day weekend, I’m sure we could all use a little recharging. So take a moment to think – how are you recharging today?

My Relaxing Afternoon of Aromatherapy

May 10, 2012 1 comment

Cooper Spa Dallas’ Wendy Ruggiero is the expert on aromatherapy with the use of essential oils to help combat stress. She knows how to make your afternoon calm and relaxing.

When it comes to inhalation, Wendy noted that everyone has a different scent preference. She enjoys the earthier, more citrus scents. For both inhalation and skin application, you can also blend favorite scents to find your perfect match.

Here are a few of Wendy’s favorite scents and their therapeutic benefits:

Lavender – Lavender is very versatile and blends well with a variety of other oils. It does well with citrus or floral blends alike. The name Lavender comes from the Latin word, lavare, meaning “to wash.” In ancient times, this was the oil of choice in cleansing wounds and to disinfect and purify the air.

The use of Lavender helps to relive migraines and headaches, nervous tension, insomnia and hypertension. It has a soothing, sedating and balancing effect. Try using Lavender in a bath or with a full-body massage. To help relieve stress, blend Lavendar with Bergamot (more about this scent below).

Chamomile – This oil was not cultivated until the 16th century and probably arrived from Britain. Hieroglyphic records show that Chamomile was used cosmetically for at least 2,000 years.

Chamomile helps to manage allergies, depression symptoms, digestive trouble and high fevers among others. Blend it with Clary Sage, Lavendar and Majoram to enhance sleep or try it in a bath.

Bergamot – Bergamot originates from South East Asia, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. This oil acts as a pain reliever, anxiety reducer, antiseptic and more. It’s thought to be emotionally encouraging and uplifting bringing balance to the spirit.

Peppermint – Peppermint is strongly used as a stimulating, digestive rememdy. It’s also used to lower fevers and to relieve pain.

Clary Sage – This oil is believed to be euphoric and calming. People use it as an antidepressant, antiseptic, deodorant and sedative.

Marjoram – Marjoram is a warming and calming oil that is known to relieve anxiety and stress. It’s also great for muscle aches and pains as well as digestive issues and stomach cramps.

Wendy offers aromatherapy massage courses and is able to educate anyone on the popular practice. If that isn’t enough greatness, Cooper Spa Dallas offers massages and aromatherapy blends for topical and aromatic needs.

Introducing Lavender Dreams

Cooper Spa staff are proud to launch our newest product selection focused on using lavender to calm the mind and relax the body. Personally, I am fond of lavender oil’s property to be able to reduce anxiety and stress. The Body Polish and Bath Salt are the perfect accompaniment to our hour and a half of pure bliss, the Harmonic Lavender Sugar Scrub ($150), a service meant to reveal your most beautiful skin; and I must mention the almost fifty minute hydrating full body massage to complete the service!

Lavender Dreams Body Polish ($28, 8oz) is the take-home body polish which will complete about a dozen full-body scrubs in the privacy of your own bath or shower. This product is sugar-based with a variety of health-improving oils, making it readily dissolvable and suitable for all scrub users, even those with sensitive skin. We do want to point out that it is important to hydrate following a polish of any sort; make sure to test any of our Beautiful Fit body lotions as an excellent addition to this at home care for your body.

Lavender Dreams Bath Salts ($20, 16oz) will aide in the relaxation process at home as well as gently exfoliating impurities from the skin and to soothe tense muscles. Lavender bath products are our most highly-requested product and we have happily answered those requests. Our product is made of Salts from the Dead Sea which are known to aide in relieving arthritis, stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation among other benefits. A soak of about 10-30 minutes will have you dreaming peacefully at night and feeling afresh the next day.

All Cooper Spa products contain no artificial color or fragrance, are free from parabens and phthalates and are not tested on animals. You can purchase items in our Boutique or by phone and we’ll wrap your gift up beautifully and ship it directly to you.

Manage Stress with Aromatherapy

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Managing stress is a critical component to Get Cooperized. Whether it’s through exercise, breathing techniques, or spa treatments, there are multiple ways to relax and rejuvenate. Wendy Ruggiero, massage therapist at Cooper Spa shares tips to unwind with aromatherapy.

I love aromatherapy. I use some form of essential oil everyday, especially when I feel stressed, tired, and overwhelmed. I attribute my healthy immune system to regular massage and aromatherapy. It amazes me every time how these special blends can cheer me up and calm me down all at once.

Aromatherapy triggers a positive emotional and physical response by stimulating your body’s limbic (emotional) and endocrine (hormonal) systems. For example, when you smell Lavender essential oil, its microscopic chemicals immediately trigger your body to calm your nervous system and relax your muscles.

Try my top-three essential oils: 

  1. Eucalyptus: This is great for treating respiratory problems, such as coughs and colds. It helps relieve muscle tension.
  2. Tea Tree: A natural anti-fungal oil, Tea Tree is good for treating all sorts of fungal infections including vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm.
  3. Rosemary: Rosemary is stimulating and uplifting. It’s good to help mental stimulation and fuel the immune system, and it’s great for muscle aches and tension. Rosemary is also stimulating to the digestive system.

Venturing into aromatherapy can be overwhelming with all the choices. Start slow by finding a reputable company who sells essential oils such as Cooper Spa. We carry a line from Aromatherapy Associates, highly recommended by Wendy to any general consumer. Buy one or two at a time exploring the options of each oil. Feel free to contact Cooper Spa for more details at 972.392.7729 or visit