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Female Focus: A Tight-Knit Community

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Female Focus: A Tight-Knit Community

The pathway to health and fitness isn’t one-size-fits-all. In fact, it can be as unique as the individual. Female Focus is a fitness program designed exclusively for women and aims to empower women to improve their health through education and fitness.

Through six-week small group training sessions, nutrition education and fitness assessments Female Focus gives women the tools they need to maximize their wellness through one of three programs offered: weight loss, disease management or pre- and post-natal health.

Female Focus “addresses each individual woman’s needs,” says Colette Cole, Female Focus Director and Professional Fitness Trainer. “We set them up on an appropriate exercise and nutrition program to meet them where they are.”

Female Focus gives women a place to find accountability and learn specific exercises to improve strength, mobility, flexibility and stamina for whatever health issue they may be facing, Cole explains. Participants also learn proper nutrition through weekly meetings with Meridan Zerner, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Each Female Focus program has the potential to be life-changing for the participants, but the disease management group provides a special community for women who are fighting cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a number of other health conditions.

The bond between the women in the disease management program “can’t even be explained on paper,” says Cole. “The word special, that’s exactly what it is. You have a group of women who have experienced the same situation—that bond is very, very strong. They are fighting this together. They are going to win and defeat it together.”

The relationships among these women go beyond the walls of Cooper Fitness Center. Many of the women meet up during the week to walk or do their cardio workouts together. "The physical, emotional and psychological benefits of Female Focus are huge,” says Cole. Improvement for these women isn’t necessarily measured in a fitness assessment, but in the strength and stamina women facing cancer and other health issues gain. Female Focus helps to keep them going and keep them strong, both physically and mentally.

Five years ago, Marlene Rubin joined Female Focus at the prodding of her friend, Laurie Scott. “I was retired, I felt it was time for me to do something good for my body,” says Rubin. “I had taken care of my children, taken care of my parents, it was time for me to do something good for me.”

Today, 64-year-old Rubin is battling breast cancer, and Female Focus has taken on a new meaning for her. When she first received her diagnosis, Rubin admits she was unsure if she’d be able to continue in the program. But to her surprise, her doctors all agreed that participating in Female Focus is the best thing she could do for herself during this time.

Research shows that being physically active during and after treatment for breast cancer can reduce risk of recurrence up to 50 percent. “That’s motivating,” says Cole.

Throughout her treatments, Cole has modified the exercise program to fit Rubin’s needs based on how she is feeling had what physical challenges she is facing at the time (surgery, chemo, radiation, etc.).

Not only has Female Focus helped reduce her fatigue, Rubin says it has also improved her mood. “Doing this is something good for my body,” she says. “Going through all of this (cancer) is outside of my control, but exercising is something I can control."

If she had not joined Female Focus five years ago, Rubin acknowledges that she wouldn’t be in such good physical shape to battle her own health issues, nor would she have the emotional support she finds from her friends and fellow group members. The hugs and support has made a “tremendous difference,” she says. “I know it made a big difference in my life. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”

There is no other program available like Female Focus, says Cole. Through Female Focus, women meet other women in a positive environment who are going through the same thing. “That is healing within itself.”

For more information about the Female Focus program at Cooper Fitness Center, please call 972.233.4832 or visit

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.