IHRSA Supports Kenneth H. Cooper's 90th Birthday Proclamation

    In honor of Dr. Cooper’s 90th birthday, IHRSA supported the 90 days to “Get Cooperized” initiative.

    What did the “Father of Aerobics,” also known as Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., MPH, want for his 90th birthday? For Americans to live a healthier lifestyle.

    Cooper is the founder and chairman of Cooper Aerobics and a preventive medicine physician at Cooper Clinic. More than 50 years ago, he founded The Cooper Institute to establish a repository of health-related research and data and educate the public about the link between fitness and disease prevention. The Cooper Institute promotes exercise as preventative medicine for many chronic diseases and provides scientific, proactive solutions to improve public health.

    Earlier this year, Cooper invited everyone across the U.S. to follow Dr. Cooper’s 8 Steps to Get Cooperized for 90 days starting on his birthday, Thursday, March 4, 2021.

    How to “Get Cooperized”

    Those who celebrated with Cooper on his birthday took initiatives to live a well-rounded and healthy life with these eight steps:

    1. maintain a healthy weight;
    2. make healthy food choices most of the time;
    3. exercise most days of the week;
    4. take the right supplements for you;
    5. do not use tobacco;
    6. control alcohol usage;
    7. managing your stress; and
    8. get a regular, comprehensive physical exam.
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    For nearly a decade, between 1992 and 2000, Brent Darden, former IHRSA interim CEO and president, worked alongside Cooper at the Cooper Institute. Darden went on to become the Cooper Aerobics Enterprises vice president, where he provided leadership for the Cooper Fitness Center & Spa, the Cooper Wellness Program, and Cooper Consulting. Although it’s been 20 years since Darden worked directly with Cooper, he often quotes Cooper and his work in promoting physical fitness.

    "Dr. Cooper was truly a pioneer in terms of promoting exercise, research around the effects of healthy behaviors and longevity, and creating a world-class preventive medicine clinic,” said Darden. “Many of the fitness concepts, assessment protocols, emphasis on well-being, and even vocabulary we use today can be traced to his early work.”

    Cooper has a rich history of promoting exercise and overall health. His research jump-started a global fitness movement with the publication of Aerobics in 1968. Since then, Cooper and the staff and physicians at the Cooper Institute have dedicated their work to help people live healthier. IHRSA extended its best wishes to Cooper as he celebrated this milestone birthday and continues to improve the quality and quantity of people’s lives.

    Darden said, “If more people around the globe would embrace what Dr. Cooper has been teaching for decades, it is undeniable that the entire world would be a healthier and happier place. His passion and dedication to helping individuals improve their physical quality of life are unmatched."

    IHRSA Celebrated Dr. Cooper’s 90th Birthday With This Proclamation

    IHRSA is pleased to recognize Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper for his years of exceptional work in promoting physical fitness and acknowledge his vision in establishing The Cooper Institute and Cooper Aerobics.

    Cooper founded The Cooper Institute and Cooper Aerobics in 1970, two years after the publication of Aerobics, his groundbreaking book that introduced a new word into the general lexicon and advocated for disease prevention through exercise. The book played a vital role in starting a worldwide fitness movement.

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    During his 13 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Cooper served as a flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory. He developed the 12-minute and 1.5-mile fitness tests and the Aerobics Point System, used today by branches of the military, law enforcement, athletic departments, schools, and organizations worldwide.

    Cooper has lectured in more than 50 countries and famously trained the 1970 Brazilian soccer team to a World Cup victory. He has been instrumental in removing harmful trans-fat from processed foods. Cooper and The Cooper Institute have been aggressively working to combat the growing epidemic of childhood obesity by supporting regular physical activity in schools and fitness assessments.

    Cooper has dedicated his career to investigating the links between cardiovascular fitness, good health, and longevity; and improving the quality and quantity of people’s lives. It is truly fitting that he receives special recognition for the profound impact his work has had on the lifestyles of citizens throughout the world.

    The entirety of the IHRSA staff commends the physicians and staff of The Cooper Institute, Cooper Aerobics, and the Cooper Clinic on their commitment to helping people live healthier lives and extend the best of wishes to Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper on his 90th birthday.

    Do you want to hear more insight from Dr. Cooper directly? On Thursday, October 14, Dr. Cooper—an IHRSA 2021 keynote speaker—will present Preventive Medicine: It’s More Beneficial & Cost Effective to Prevent Disease Than it is to Find a Cure, sponsored by MXMetrics. Learn more and register to attend at ihrsa.org/convention.

    Author avatar

    Sami Smith

    Sami Smith is IHRSA's Communications and Public Relations Assistant. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content for IHRSA's advocacy efforts, while working to shape IHRSA and the fitness industry's public image on multiple platforms. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.