Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth H. Cooper’

Happy Memorial Day!

Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, U.S. Air Force

Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, U.S. Air Force

As we celebrate a long weekend with American traditions like BBQ and baseball, we want to remember those who gave their life to protect and defend our freedom. We are grateful to the men and women who have served in the U. S. Armed Forces, including our own Founder and Chairman, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper.

In 1970, Dr. Cooper resigned, as a lieutenant colonel, from a 13-year military career in order to open the Cooper Aerobics Center. While he was an Air Force flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory in San Antonio, Dr. Cooper first began studying the impact of physical activity on health and longevity. His findings eventually formed the basis for the Air Force physical conditioning program. He also developed the 12-minute test and Aerobics Point System that led to his first book, Aerobics, in 1968. Today, many branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and several foreign military organizations still utilize his program.

Thank you to all of those who have served for dedicating your life to protect our country. We wish you a happy, healthy Memorial Day!

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.

Cooper Aerobics Goes Red for American Heart Month

February 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Pinterest Heart Health Quotes3Today marks the 10th anniversary of the American Heart Association‘s Go Red for Women Movement and also kicks off American Heart Month. We are proud to Go Red and support this important cause. We share a mission with the American Heart Association—working to fight heart disease and stroke. For more than 40 years we have been helping people Get Cooperized through the practice of preventive medicine by identifying early signs of heart disease.

Our organization has a longstanding history with the American Heart Association. In 1992, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper launched the first Dallas Heart Walk. They started with just 400 walkers, and today, the Dallas Heart Walk is the largest in the nation with more than 50,000 walkers, raising more than $4 million for cardiovascular research.

Here’s a few ways that we are showing our support to fight heart disease and stroke:

  • Go Red with Heart Healthy Tips: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for daily heart healthy tips, articles, videos and inspiration. This month all of our social channels are going red! Plus, we’ll have new articles and videos from our Cooper experts throughout the month on our Health Tips page.
  • Shop to your heart’s content. Cooper Spa Dallas is donating 10 percent of gift card proceeds from Feb. 1-14 to the American Heart Association. And all month long, Cooper Spa Dallas will donate 10 percent of all retail products that are marked with a red heart. Purchase online or call 972.392.7729.
  • Irresistibly Heart Healthy Culinary Demo: Want to learn how to make heart smart choices without feeling deprived?  Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Cindy Kleckner will demonstrate how fresh ingredients and bold flavors can make a delicious difference on Monday, Feb. 11 at Cooper Craig Ranch in McKinney.  Heart smart substitutions to reduce fat, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories will be emphasized. Register here.
  • Race to No Place: Join us on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch for a stationary cycling relay, benefiting the American Heart Association. Teams of two to ten people will “race” with the goal of “traveling” the most miles. Register here.

We hope you’ll join us in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Leave a comment and tell us how you plan to Go Red this month.

The University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Honors Dr. Kenneth Cooper

January 31, 2013 1 comment

Evening of ExcellenceToday, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper is heading to his alma mater, The University of Oklahoma, to be honored by the College of Medicine Alumni Association at its annual Evening of Excellence dinner. Dr. Cooper is an Oklahoma native and was a former track star at the university. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oklahoma and then received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

The Evening of Excellence dinner recognizes three remarkable and inspiring individuals who have provided outstanding medical and community service. Dr. Cooper is receiving the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Medical Service for his work to revolutionize health and fitness through the practice of preventive medicine.

Evening of Excellence“Receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award from my alma mater, The University of Oklahoma’s School of Medicine, is without question one of the highest honors I have ever received. I am indebted to the members of the Alumni Association who made this possible,” says Dr. Cooper.

Philanthropists Peggy and Charles Stephenson and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust will also be honored.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Cooper on receiving this award for his continual work to improve lives across the world!


Coca-Cola Addresses Obesity in New Ad Campaign

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment
Meridan Zerner at Fox 4 News

Meridan Zerner at Fox 4 News

Yesterday Coca-Cola introduced a new advertising campaign and became the first soda company to address a critical topic that we are facing: obesity. The campaign launched with a two-minute ad called “Coming Together.” The video highlights Coca-Cola’s beverage options, specifically focusing on low and no-calorie options.

Last night Meridan Zerner, Registered Dietitian with Cooper Clinic, spoke with Fox 4 News about the campaign. As they mention in the ad, it is about calories in and calories out. But that is just the beginning of the discussion. From there, it’s important to address the quality of those calories. Not all calories are created equal. Empty calories, such as those we get from soda, are not harmless. There’s strong evidence that liquid calories don’t fill you up like calories from food.

Think about it this way. The average soda contains 140 calories and approximately 40 grams of high-fructose corn syrup. If you take out two Coke’s a day and replace them with water, you would lose 28 pounds in a year.

Sugary drinks are the largest contributor to calories in the nation. When you’re drinking 140 calories of soda, what are you missing out on? For 140 calories, you could have something that could nourish and energize your body, such as a cup of Greek yogurt, an apple with peanut butter or a few carrots with humus. To look at alternatives is great. Diet sodas are an option, but they are not health foods.

Obesity is an important topic. Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman of Cooper Aerobics, was quoted in today’s Dallas Morning News on the same topic. He said, “We’ve been on a disastrous course for many years. It’s just about out of control. We have a window of opportunity with children, and that’s my big obsession at the present time.”

As we like to say at Cooper, it’s about moderation, not deprivation. Make food choices that will benefit your health.

Leave a comment below and let us know what do you think about this new campaign.

This was written by Christine Witzsche former Communications Director at Cooper Aerobics. Christine is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

BMI: A Well Proven Tool for Maintaining Health

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

By Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman of Cooper Aerobics and Laura DeFina, MD, Medical Director at The Cooper Institute

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that suggests that being normal weight is associated with a higher risk of death than being overweight or mildly obese should not lead us to reject a preponderance of scientific work that has demonstrated significant medical risks associated with being overweight and obese.

There are a number of technical limitations in this publication that deserve review. In this publication, the authors used body mass index (BMI) to define normal weight (defined as BMI 22.5-24.9) or mildly obese (defined as BMI 25.0-29.9). BMI, which categorizes weight ranges according to height, is a good measure of obesity, but it is not a perfect measure. For example, the same elevated BMI could describe athletes who have a lot of muscle mass and overweight couch potatoes with loads of abdominal girth and yet these two groups of people may have significantly different risk of developing heart disease or dying prematurely. Furthermore, the BMI ranges used in this study are not the same ranges used by other investigators who have published in this field. Normal weight is more frequently defined as a BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 rather than 22.5 to 24.9. So, it is possible that dividing up the weight groups differently lead to these surprising results. There are a number of other risk factors for death that are associated with being overweight or obese (such as levels of physical activity or fitness) which were not evaluated in this study. The authors combined the findings from a number of large studies to generate a study population for 2.88 million, which often requires creative statistical manipulations to homogenize the groups which can in turn introduce bias in the results. Finally, in a very large study population, even very small differences in outcomes can reach statistical significance but may not always have clinical significance.

Independent of the methodological limitations of any analysis, it is also important to consider whether the conclusions of a study are biologically plausible and reflect clinical experience. A preponderance of scientific work supports the conclusion that significant medical risks are associated with being overweight and obese. People who are overweight suffer from more diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers such as breast and endometrial cancer. Further, there is clearly a greater death risk in those who are significantly obese.

BMI, or other measures of fatness versus leanness, are clinical measures that do not exist in a vacuum. There are important relationships among blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol profiles, physical activity, physical fitness, vascular inflammation and BMI. In addition to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease, obesity increases the risk of certain cancers, arthritis and related immobility, and difficulty fighting infections. So, maintaining a BMI in the normal range as recommended by the CDC can reduce the risk of a variety of health problems.

Finally, even within groups of individuals who are overweight or obese, there are factors which influence the likelihood of elevated BMI leading to the development other medical conditions. Numerous studies from The Cooper Institute demonstrate that obese men and women who are physically fit have longer lifespans compared with those who are less fit.

So, let’s not discard a robust scientific literature which details the many health hazards of being overweight or obese based on the findings of single study. Staying or becoming physically fit and achieving or maintaining a normal BMI are not only well proven tools for maintaining wellness, they just make sense.

Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2012 1 comment

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Cooper Aerobics. We wish you and your family a new year filled with health and happiness!

Enjoy this special holiday greeting from Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper.

Statement on Excessive Running

December 18, 2012 2 comments

By Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, Founder and Chairman of Cooper Aerobics

Running a RaceAn article entitled “One Running Shoe in the Grave” published in the Nov. 27 issue of The Wall Street Journal. In this article, they stated that “in older endurance athletes, new studies suggest that ‘the fittest reap few health benefits.'”

As I have said in many of my presentations and have written in my books, “If you run more than 15 miles per week, you are running for something other than cardiovascular fitness.” However, if you want to continue running after 50 years of age, have no musculoskeletal problems, and have been cleared of any cardiovascular disease, I am not concerned about older endurance athletes running too much.

The theory of excess running – running more than 30 miles per week and running marathons – is that it may damage the heart, and that scarring the heart muscle will occur after many, many years of endurance running in older athletes. My feeling is that this condition does occur rarely in endurance athletes, but is not the normal response. If you do develop extensive scarring, this could produce a type of fatal heart irregularity which could result in sudden death from that irregularity (ventricular fibrillation).

Studies from Germany indicated that when highly trained endurance athletes exercise to maximal performance, some DNA damage occurs as a result of the increase in free radicals. But also, they showed in these athletes that if they took 1200 IU of vitamin E (600 IU twice daily), it almost totally suppressed the DNA damage.

The Cooper Complete Elite Athlete formula (four tablets twice daily) gives you a total of 800 IU per day. If you follow my guidelines regarding signs of overtaining and take the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete as prescribed, this should effectively reduce any DNA changes or problems with free radicals, enabling you to run safely whatever speed and distance that you so desire.

What I have found personally and in many of my older patients, a runner stops running primarily because of musculoskeletal problems and, if so, I recommend that they continue walking since you can get great cardiovascular benefit from walking if you walk far enough and fast enough.

A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2011 showed that walking speed at age 80 is one of the best predictors of longevity. If men and women can walk an average speed of 3.5 mph (a 17-minute mile), there is an 84 percent chance that men will live to age 90, an 86 percent chance that a woman will live to age 90.

In summary, the benefits of exercising throughout your life far outweigh any detriments that have proven to show a reduction in deaths from all causes and an increase in longevity.