The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Message from the CEO - Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted in

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upset the balance of our daily lives and added significant levels of stress and anxiety to the mix.

This makes it more important now than ever to try to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Over the past half-century, The Cooper Institute has published countless studies showing that having at least a moderate level of cardiovascular fitness can help prevent a wide range of physical problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

We have also known for some time that staying active can have a very positive impact on our mental health. Getting outside and being active each day during and after the pandemic not only helps manage stress, but also helps improve your immune system, vitamin D level, and many other health conditions. 

In terms of how much physical activity you need, the current guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes each week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, and cycling, as well as a minimum of two days each week of strength training. 

Recent studies from The Cooper Institute have shown that good omega-3 levels benefit heart rate recovery following vigorous exercise, which in turn should help to reduce the risk of dangerous heart rhythms related to exercising. Literature suggests that most of us should increase our intake of omega-3 fatty acids by consuming more fatty fish and/or by taking an omega-3 product. 

As a reminder, The American Heart Association recommends 1-2 servings of fatty fish per week for heart health. In addition to ensuring that you consume adequate omega-3 fatty acids, it is especially important to ensure that you are eating an overall healthy diet during these difficult times. 

Additional dietary recommendations to be aware of during and following the pandemic is to consume more fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), whole grains, low-fat dairy (or fortified soy), and raw nuts. We should also consume less added sugar, saturated fat, processed meats, and sodium in order to stave off premature illness and death.

During the pandemic, many men and women have postponed or cancelled their annual check-ups. Our study on omega-3’s and prostate cancer should remind all men over the age of 40 to see their urologist or primary-care doctor regularly for a prostate checkup. Although prostate cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in men, it is nearly always curable if caught early. 

Finally, our study on omega-3’s and LDL-cholesterol serves as a reminder to have our blood cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels checked regularly. 

On March 4, we had the great honor to celebrate our founder and colleague Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s 90th Birthday. A birthday gala will be held on November 3 to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Cooper.  Details will be available in the coming months. We want to thank all of you for the overwhelming birthday wishes and donations to The Cooper Institute

Your gifts will help The Cooper Institute continue providing health-changing research and education to allow all of us to live Well. Into the Future.

  Read: Cooper Quarterly Newsletter - Spring Edition 2021