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How Diet and Exercise Improve Men's Fitness Levels, a Case Study

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How Diet and Exercise Improve Men's Fitness Levels, a Case Study

With the help of Cooper Aerobics, since Rick first made the decision to improve his health by losing weight, he has lost 300 pounds with diet and exercise. Even more impressive is his dedication to keeping off the weight and continuing to improve his health and fitness more than a decade later.

Accountability for Your Health

Rick overcame a monumental obstacle in order to live a healthier life for himself and for his family, but he did not face the challenge alone. Each one of us needs support when facing a challenge or a major change in life. Rick hopes his story motivates others to take action and make changes toward a healthier lifestyle.

In his early years working out at Cooper Fitness, Rick met Dr. Tyler Cooper through pickup basketball games. Over the years, the two forged a friendship that reaches far beyond the court. “When I look at him and know the great challenge he faced to achieve his goals, it motivates me to stay on course with my own health and fitness goals,” says Tyler.

If Rick can do it, so can you. “Most people aren’t looking at a 300 pound mountain in front of them,” says Dr. Tyler Cooper. “They’re looking at 15, 20 or 30 pounds. but they do not recognize what damage that weight is doing to their body and quality of life.”

“People are rolling the dice thinking they can get away with drinking, smoking, not eating right and not exercising—until it’s too late,” he says. “Do you want to be 65 or 70 and unable to walk or have a heart attack because of your weight? Do you want to risk not being around for your children and grandchildren?”

“There are only two ways we can control our health: what we put in our mouth and what we do with our body,” says Dr. Tyler Cooper. “These are two simple things that have a tremendous effect on how the body functions. It’s never too late to get healthy, no matter how old you are.”

“If someone like Rick can make a dramatic change for his health, nobody can sit in my office and tell me they can’t do it,” says Dr. Tyler Cooper.

Lessons Learned from Rick’s Story

If you are on your own journey to better health, use these tips from Rick and Dr. Tyler Cooper to help you along the way. 

  • Consistency is key. Everybody has a bad day, but tomorrow you still get up and try to do better.
  • Set realistic goals. Don’t set goals that are too hard to achieve over time. Take it one thing at a time and set goals very low—make sure they are goals you know you can accomplish consistently over time. When you reach those goals, build on them. Success breeds success.
  • Everything in moderation. Allow yourself some freedom in your diet every now and then, but most of the time you should try to eat healthily.
  • Think before you eat. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Don’t eat out of boredom or entertainment.
  • Choose an exercise or physical activity you love. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you enjoy the physical activity you choose.

“I want people to realize life is wonderful. It’s beautiful,” said Rick. “I’ve drank alcohol and eaten all the foods in the world,  but when they put that New York Marathon medal around my neck, there was no drug, no alcohol, no food that could compare to the joy I felt that day.”

Rick’s Current Success

When he is in town, Rick is on the Cooper campus every single day–it is a big part of his regular routine. “I don’t feel right if I don’t exercise every day,” says Rick. Having a daily routine wherever you are, even if you can't make it to the Cooper Fitness Center often, is key to maintaining a great workout regime and other healthy habits.

He and his wife, Kelley, also try to make sure their family eats as healthily as possible. Their staple food items include fruit, chicken, fish and lots of water. And, while the kids do get treats like ice cream and cookies occasionally, Rick and Kelley steer clear of the sweets. In addition, the couple tries to get the kids outside as much as possible. Both of their sons are involved in sports, and their daughter, age four, will begin playing sports of her own next year.

Rick and Dr. Tyler Cooper see each other at the Cooper Fitness Center once a week or so, and they usually talk about fitness and what’s going on in each other’s lives.

“We really don’t see each other much outside of the gym, mainly because we’re both raising three kids,” Rick says. “But, if I choose to run another marathon or reach a certain goal, Tyler will do it with me and he always helps me accomplish what I set out to do.”

To celebrate 10 years of keeping the weight off, Tyler agreed to run the New York City Marathon with Rick. They trained for a year, only to have the race be cancelled. Instead of giving up, they trained for another year and finally had the chance to run the race. “Tyler got me through,” said Rick. “At mile 8 I wanted to quit, but he slowed down and helped me do it.”

Rick knows firsthand the struggles of obesity and its impact on every aspect of his life. Tipping the scale at 538 pounds, Rick suffered from heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; he was plagued by joint issues and skin problems. For Rick, even walking was difficult. But today, Rick is active and healthy and continues to maintain the lifestyle he has always wanted to live.

To learn more about how Cooper Clinic can assist you on your journey to better health through weight loss, visit or call 972.560.2655. 

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.