DALLAS, Texas- Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, preventive medicine pioneer and “father of aerobics,” presented a talk at the 2017 National Senior Games Association (NSGA) Annual Conference on Friday, January 27. Attendees were representatives from 53 Member Games that serve as qualifying events for the biennial National Senior Games, as well as partners and vendors of the organization.
Dr. Cooper is founder and chairman of the renowned Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, the home of seven health and wellness companies and The Cooper Institute. He introduced the concept of exercising in pursuit of good health when he launched the world-wide phenomenon with Aerobics in 1968— his first of 19 books on health and fitness. Alabama Senior Olympics coordinator Ronnie Floyd, a longtime friend of Cooper’s, arranged for the appearance.
“NSGA is honored to have Dr. Cooper come speak to us,” NSGA Health and Wellness Manager Andrew M. Walker said. “Many of our senior athletes have told us his aerobics books inspired them to begin running and other fitness activities in midlife, and that they are senior athletes today due to his inspiration.” Walker added that NSGA’s history reveals that Warren Blaney, widely credited as the founder of the first multi-sports senior event, was also inspired by Cooper’s work.
In his presentation, entitled “Health Benefits of Exercise from Evidence-based Research,” Cooper shared extensive research data to prove that regular exercise and healthy lifestyle choices measurably improves heart health, diminishes chance of various diseases including cancer, and promotes longevity. He also shared recent study results that show regular activity also measurably reduces the chance for development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s your life, and you can do what you want,” Cooper concluded about the recommendations he shared. “But I want to live. Fitness is a journey, not a destination.”
A former Air Force flight surgeon, Cooper invented the 12-minute and 1.5 mile fitness tests and Aerobics Point System. For more than 46 years, Dr. Cooper’s scientific research and expertise has shown that it’s easier to maintain good health than to regain it once it’s lost.
His latest book, Start Strong, Finish Strong, is a collaboration with his son, Tyler Cooper, MD, MPH. His current focus is working to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic through school-based physical fitness and nutrition programs and assessments. For more information, visit cooperaerobics.com/Health-Tips.aspx
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) is a nonprofit Multi-Sports Council member of the United States Olympic Committee that promotes health and wellness for adults 50 and over through education, fitness and sport. NSGA governs the biennial National Senior Games, the largest qualified multi-sport event in the world for seniors. NSGA is comprised of 53 Member Games across the country and in Canada who conduct multi-sport competitions which serve as qualifying events for the National Senior Games. The 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana will be held in Birmingham, Alabama from June 2-15, 2017. For more information, please visit www.NSGA.com.