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Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth Cooper’

Fitness Testing: The 12 Minute Cooper Test

March 18, 2013 2 comments
12-Minute Test

Dr. Cooper (right) and a fellow researcher conduct aerobic tests on a U.S. Air Force serviceman.

Just as the definition of fitness has evolved, so have the ways in which fitness is measured. You may know that Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, coined the word aerobics, but did you know that years ago he also developed a timed test to evaluate fitness?

In the 1960s Dr. Cooper worked with nearly 27,000 men and women in the military to gather research on the impact of physical fitness on the body. He worked with NASA to develop the first preflight conditioning and in-flight antideconditioning program for astronauts. He conducted field testing, bed studies to simulate weightlessness, oxygen consumption tests on treadmills, and more. All of the information culminated in the creation of the 1.5-mile and 12-minute-mile tests to measure aerobic capacity.

During the 12-minute mile test, a person runs, jogs or walks as fast as they can in 12 minutes. Their results are based on how much distance covered in that time frame. The 1.5 mile test is designed to see how fast a person can run, jog or walk that specific distance.

The 12-minute test, often called the Cooper Test, has been used worldwide. The Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, has used the test to measure individual athletes’ fitness in professional soccer since the early ’70s.

To learn more about this history of Aerobics and its impact around the world, read our 45th Anniversary Infographic.

March Forth – Happy Birthday to Dr. Kenneth Cooper

March 4, 2013 2 comments
Wishing a happy birthday to Dr. Kenneth Cooper!

Wishing a happy 82nd birthday to Dr. Kenneth Cooper!

Today marks a very special day at Cooper Aerobics. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper is celebrating his 82nd birthday!

It’s no coincidence that Dr. Cooper’s birthday is on March 4. Over the past 45 years, Dr. Cooper has inspired thousands of people across the world to truly “march forth” in their health journey by igniting the fitness revolution with his best-selling book, Aerobics.

Dr. Cooper sets an example for maintaining a healthy, Cooperized lifestyle. Today you’ll find Dr. Cooper working and seeing patients at Cooper Clinic, exercising most days of the week at Cooper Fitness Center, traveling the world and spending time with his family.

When he’s lecturing around the world, Dr. Cooper often says, “It is fascinating to know one can grow healthier as they grow older, but not necessarily the reverse.”

We’re looking forward to celebrating another great year and joining Dr. Cooper in his exciting endeavor to Cooperize the world.

Head over to our Facebook page to wish Dr. Cooper a happy birthday!

How Much Running is Too Much?

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Excessive RunningResearch from The Cooper Institute has shown that the value of exercise is overwhelmingly good; however, studies also show that more is not always better. 

How much running is too much? This a very controversial question, but Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, has long said that if you are running more than 15 miles a week, you are doing it for a reason other than health. When you run beyond 15 miles a week, there is a fairly sharp increase of muscular skeletal problems in areas such as your knees and hips.

If you are training for a vigorous physical activity like endurance running, it’s important to make sure that you are not damaging your body tissues.  When you are an endurance athlete, your body can be compromised from oxidative stress as you lose essential nutrients through sweat and increased oxygen consumption. When this occurs, your body can begin to produce dangerous free radicals, which are a by-product from the metabolism of oxygen. An increase in these free radicals throughout your body can result in soreness, DNA damage, cancer, muscle tissue damage and other degenerative diseases.

Running 30+ miles per week may be linked to scarring of the heart due to a lack of oxygen and free radical damage. If you’re running this much, Dr. Cooper says it is imperative that you supplement your body with the proper nutrients to suppress any DNA damage from free radicals. Elite athletes can benefit by taking the proper dosages of vitamins E, C and beta carotene. Dr. Cooper recommends taking 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E twice a day to decrease risks associated with excess running. The Cooper Complete Elite Athlete formula provides the nutrients needed to suppress free radical damage.

Over the years, there have been reports of sudden deaths while endurance athletes were running. Dr. Cooper stresses that this is a rarity, because the majority of athletes who suddenly die while running often have an underlying congenital heart defect. This defect can typically be detected from an EKG.

Our bodies were designed to be fit and active. When you put this topic into perspective, you can clearly see that the proven benefits of exercise outweigh the risks associated it. If you are an endurance athlete, consult your physician to ensure that you are receiving the proper supplementation to stay healthy while you train.

For more information, read The Dallas Morning Newsrecent article where Dr. Cooper discussed this topic or you can view Dr. Cooper’s statement on excessive exercise that he published as a result a Wall Street Journal article on endurance sports.