The Cooper Institute
 

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

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Thursday, Jan 28, 2016

There’s More to Workouts Than Just Cardio!

Most of us know that in order to be “totally fit” we need a combination of strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility but many of us only focus only on the cardio part. We do our running, cycling, elliptical, or walking with little to no regard for resistance training or stretching. Perhaps we justify it because we think we don’t have enough time to work in resistance training. Stretching is all too often an afterthought and is not regarded as being important by some people. What are we compromising in the long run...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015

Improve your posture and reduce back and neck pain

There are numerous lifestyle factors related to back and neck pain such as poor posture, improper biomechanics, poor flexibility, muscle weakness, upper body obesity, and smoking. Easy-to-Do Assessments Postural Alignment: From a side view of one’s posture, correct alignment consist of an imaginary vertical line that would pass down through the ear lobe to the top of the shoulder, the top and center of the hip, straight down the thigh bone, the knee, and slightly in front of the large, lateral, protruding ankle bone. Deviations from this alignment might be a forward head position, rounded sh...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Thursday, Feb 27, 2014

Foam Rolling as a Recovery Tool from Intense Physical Activity and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

In a recent posted blog in September, 2013 on Whole-Body Cryotherapy we examined whether cold therapy speeds up recovery from muscle soreness.  This topic is of great importance to athletes and coaches alike who want to plan an athlete’s workout to maximize performance as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) often reduces force production and range of motion (ROM) at joints.  Even if you don’t classify yourself as an athlete, if you exercise you have likely experienced DOMS.  Now the use of foam rollers is commonly advocated to alleviate muscles soreness and stiff joints along with improving n...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
Eat better

Thursday, Jan 23, 2014

2014 Technology Trends for Health and Fitness

How many health apps do you have? According to research2guidance© there are now close to 100,000 health apps, with the top 10 apps generating over 4 million free downloads every day.  But there is a new trend emerging—wearable technology. Wearable smart garments will be hitting the stores this year with a projected market of $2.03 billion in sales by 2018. OMsignal© has created the world’s first bio-sensing apparel by embedding sensors into the apparel that will monitor your heart rate, breathing, and activity while the OMsignal© app displays your data in real-time on your mobile phone.  Even...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Thursday, Oct 24, 2013

Park Utilization and American’s Fittest or Fattest Cities: Are They Connected?

Surely by now you have seen at list one listing of America’s Fattest Cities.  If you are like me, did you wonder what criteria were used to create this listing? Well I discovered it is the U.S. Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that surveys 1000 Americans every day. The index is a partnership between Gallup and Healthways that began in January of 2008. Other news and magazine publications then use part of this information to publish the ‘Top Ten Fattest Cities in America’ or ‘The Top Ten Fittest Cities in America’. The criteria includes six sub-indexes: Life Evaluation Index Emotional Hea...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Thursday, Aug 01, 2013

Recent Research on Kettlebells

In recent years, there has been a large rise in the use of kettlebells in exercise training. Kettlebell classes are taught in YMCA’s, military bases, athletic conditioning rooms, and fitness centers just about everywhere. Personal trainers are using kettlebells with their clients to challenge them with whole body movements with the intention of achieving greater training results in a short period of time. The unique design of the kettlebell allows for a swinging motion which allows not only for a simulation of various Olympic lifts such as the snatch and clean and jerk but also is thought to a...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pairing Stretching within Strength Segments Improves Flexibility and Strength

Sound to good to be true? Well it isn't. Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D. is a renowned fitness researcher, who also has practical insights for ways to save time during workouts without compromising results. He realizes that many of us spend time and energy in resistance training and cardiovascular programs, but fail to find time to stretch. So he conducted a study at the South Shore YMCA with 76 participants from their fitness classes aimed at showing the effect stretching exercises can have when mixed in with normal training routines.  The fitness class activity consisted in performing 12 Naut...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Monday, Mar 18, 2013

Light Exercise Following a Meal Has Tremendous Impact on Triglyceride Levels

Many studies have demonstrated that the timing of meals and exercise is important for glycogen loading, muscle building and improved nutrient uptake and utilization by the body.  These studies have shown that even a single bout of exercise can change the body's hormonal response that in turn positively affects nutrient metabolism in skeletal muscle, liver and even adipose (fat) tissue. Some studies have looked at these same factors in relation to triglyceride (TG) levels in the blood and now, importantly so, because recent evidence suggests that elevated TG levels several hours after a m...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Monday, Jan 21, 2013

Kick Exercise Boredom Right Out!

Ever heard of the exercise excuse "oh I get so bored?" You  may have even felt it from time to time yourself. Actually, this reason is a well-documented and legitimate reason people quit exercising.  It is a "barrier to exercise" that science has identified as a primary reason people give for not exercising along with others like "I don't have time," "I'm too tired," and "I don't know how to get started."  And this problem is apparent across all ages. So if we know boredom is a major reason given for giving up on exercise what can we do to increase adherence (sticking with it...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Monday, Dec 17, 2012

Spice Up Your Exercise Program This Holiday Season

Most of us know that to be "totally fit" we need a combination of strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility but many of us only focus only on the cardio part. We do our running, cycling, elliptical, or walking with little to no regard for resistance training or stretching. Perhaps we justify it because we just think we don't have enough time to work in resistance training. And stretching is all too often an after-thought and only lightly regarded as important. But what are we compromising in the long run?  Think about this: what good is all that cardio if you throw your back ou...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
Move more

Monday, Nov 19, 2012

Effectiveness of Self-Selected Music on Strength, Explosiveness, and Mood

Most of us would agree that maximizing our effort and optimizing our time in the gym is ideal and coaches are always looking for the individual's gym time to translate into improved athletic performance. So if an ergogenic aid (an external influence that enhances performance) like music can elicit maximum results in mood, rating of perceived exertion and performance, then bring it on! Previous studies on music and performance have primarily focused on predetermined music and aerobic exercise. In a recent study (1), however, researchers were interested in outcomes for strength, power, and moo...

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Written by
Karyn Hughes, MEd
Posted in
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Monday, Oct 15, 2012

Useful Health and Fitness Apps

There are some terrific apps on the market to help you get fit, stay fit, be healthier, challenge yourself and connect with others. Check some of the following out to see if there are any of interest to you and also share with us some of your own favorites. Activity Apps RunKeeper is a free app that coordinates with your phone's GPS to track where you have run, calculates the mph, distance and pace. It syncs with music on your iPhone and provides audio cues while you run.  It will also let you enter data for indoor runs so no effort goes untracked! CardioTrainer + Racing is a free a...

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