Legendary “Father of Aerobics” Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper Turns 90

DALLAS, March 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fitness pioneer and “father of aerobics” Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, celebrates his 90th birthday on Thursday, March 4. In honor of Dr. Cooper, who has inspired millions to exercise for good health, we challenge America and the world to commit to living healthier for the next 90 days by joining the #GetCooperized90-day challenge and following his “8 Healthy Steps.” Visit DrCooper90.com for additional information or to leave a birthday wish for him.

“Dr. Cooper has dedicated his career to investigating the links between cardiorespiratory fitness and improving the quality and quantity of people’s lives,” said Laura DeFina, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cooper Institute. “It is with great admiration and enthusiasm, we celebrate our founder and colleague Dr. Cooper’s 90th birthday.”

At age 90 and having logged more than 80,000 miles exercising daily, primarily running and now walking and cycling, Dr. Cooper sets the example for maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising at Cooper Aerobics Center regularly, along with his wife, Millie, daughter, Berkley, son, Tyler and their families.

World’s Largest Repository of Data

Dr. Cooper has long advocated moving the field of medicine away from disease management to disease prevention. In 1970, Dr. Cooper founded The Cooper Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting life-long health and wellness through worldwide research, education and advocacy. The Cooper Institute provides the science behind the philosophy that exercise is medicine, and it is dedicated to demonstrating the positive effects health and fitness have on one’s quality of life. Dr. Cooper’s wish for his birthday is to continue the vital health-changing research and education at The Cooper Institute. To contribute to this research in his honor, visit DrCooper90.com.

Physical Fitness for Youth

A grandfather of five, Dr. Cooper is passionate about fighting childhood obesity both locally and globally. In Texas, Dr. Cooper was and continues to champion physical education in schools through the passage of Senate Bill 530 requiring enhanced PE activity levels and annual physical fitness testing using FitnessGram®. Since then, The Cooper Institute has partnered with NFL Foundation PLAY 60 initiative to bring FitnessGram to more than two million students in more than 8,000 schools nationwide, created the Healthy Zone School program and established The Perot International Youth Data Repository containing health-related data from children worldwide.

Recent Honors

Dr. Cooper was honored in 2015 as an inductee into the National Football Foundation Leadership Hall of Fame for his remarkable leadership skills, ability to inspire others and influence in the football community with groundbreaking research and preventive medicine teachings. His work with many football legends, through Cooper Aerobics and The Cooper Institute, has helped them make a lasting impact for optimum health and fitness at every stage of life. Also, in April 2015 Dr. Cooper was recognized by the Texas Senate for his pioneer vision regarding obesity prevention and the use of tools such as FitnessGram in Texas public schools to help address children’s obesity rates.

International Reach

Dr. Cooper has lectured in more than 50 countries. He is most famous in Brazil having trained the 1970 Brazilian soccer team to a World Cup victory. As a result, jogging is translated as “coopering” in Portuguese. In Hungary, the “cooperteszt” is the name of the national fitness test.

March 2020 marked the 52nd anniversary of Dr. Cooper’s bestseller, Aerobics. With the launch of his book in 1968, he created a new noun, aerobics, by adding an “s” to the existing word aerobic. In 1986, Dr. Cooper’s official definition of aerobics was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. In addition to Aerobics, which has been translated into 41 languages and Braille, Dr. Cooper has authored 18 additional books, which combined have sold more than 30 million copies. Dr. Cooper and son, Tyler Cooper, MD, MPH, released their first-ever book as a father/son team, Start Strong, Finish Strong (Avery), in 2007.

Dr. Cooper’s mark has also positively impacted the American diet. His collaboration with PepsiCo and eliminating trans fats from its Frito-Lay snack line started an international wave other companies have followed. For three years, the back of Baked Lay’s packages included this quote from Dr. Cooper, “Fitness is a journey, not a destination. It must be continued for the rest of your life.”

Military Service

During Dr. Cooper’s 13 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Dr. Cooper served as a flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory in San Antonio. He dreamed of becoming an astronaut and worked with the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) to help create the conditioning program preparing America’s astronauts for space and in-flight anti-deconditioning program used to keep astronauts active on board spacecraft. He also developed the 12-minute and 1.5-mile fitness tests and the Aerobics Point System, used today by military organizations, amateur and professional athletic teams, law enforcement agencies and public schools and universities worldwide.

In 1970, Dr. Cooper resigned from the military to explore the relationship between cardiovascular fitness and health and longevity. He founded Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas where he serves as Chairman of six health and wellness companies, including Cooper Clinic, and The Cooper Institute nonprofit located on 30-acres with 450 employees—all working together to help people live longer more productive lives.

For more information about Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, visit DrCooper90.

The Cooper Institute was established as a nonprofit in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, to promote life-long health and wellness worldwide through research, education and advocacy. By improving public health, The Cooper Institute helps people lead better, longer lives now and Well. Into the Future. To learn more, visit cooperinstitute.org.

Cooper Aerobics in Dallas serves as the headquarters for six health and wellness companies and a research and education nonprofit, The Cooper Institute®, founded in 1970 by Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH. Cooper Aerobics is the health and wellness resource that bases its recommendations on its world-leading body of data and expertise. Through the array of services Cooper offers, millions have been inspired to make good health a habit, helping improve their quality and quantity of life. Cooper Aerobics challenges people to Get Cooperized™ by adopting a healthy living mindset and following eight health guidelines developed by Dr. Cooper. For more information, visit cooperaerobics.com. Get the latest updates on the Cooper Aerobics Facebook page.


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