The next time you’re sweating your way to a healthier life, gasp a “thanks” to Dr. Kenneth Cooper.
Dr. Cooper is our special Savvy Dad guest today. Dr. Cooper is a famous father — the father of aerobics. As you will see, his dad … and mom inspired him to help others live a longer, healthier life.
Dr. Cooper is known worldwide for inventing the term “aerobics.” He authored the 1968 book by the same name, and launched a health movement that swept the land and endures to this day. Dr. Cooper advocates keeping your body fit and strong to prevent disease—true primary care.
As Dr. Cooper puts it, “…Health insurance is really disease insurance…Primary care is a misnomer and, in reality it is secondary care; taking care of people when they are sick.”
According to Cooper, “The goal of medicine should be to keep you healthy, not to provide too much care too late.”
We are intrigued with folks who think miles outside the box. Who inspired them to see things that way? For Dr. Cooper, it was his very savvy dad, a doctor himself.
“My father, a practicing dentist for some 50 years, was intently interested in the prevention of disease as compared to just treatment.
When I was applying for medical school, my dad told me that if all I would be doing in the future was taking care of people by ordering drugs, he was wasting his time and money. That is one reason I redirected my medical practice from ‘too much care too late’ to prevention of disease.”
Dad said, “It is always cheaper and more efficient to maintain good health than regain it once it is lost.
My father practiced his specialty of dentistry all day on a Friday and died on a Monday. We call that ‘squaring off the curve.’ It’s living a long, healthy life to the fullest and then dying suddenly.
Certainly, my mother ‘squared off the curve.’ Back in 1984, she voted in the presidential elections. She returned to her home in Oklahoma City and the next morning we found her stretched out on the sofa. The television was still on. She was wearing a lapel pin that said ‘I voted today.’
At 83 years of age, she was living in her own home, fully independent, driving her own car. What she feared more than death was ‘losing her independence.’
The stories about my dad and my mom ‘squaring off the curve’ are what motivated me and my son, Tyler, to collaborate on the book, ‘Start Strong, Finish Strong.’ Many have told us it inspired them to change their lives.”
A wheatgrass toast to Dr. Cooper…and his very smart dad.