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FITNESS

The World According to Dr. Kenneth Cooper

January 05, 1998|SHARI ROAN

On getting motivated to exercise:

"There is no key. I wish there were. . . . One of the best motivators I know is [medical] evaluation. Once you see, 'My gosh, my cholesterol is off the charts! My treadmill performance is at the bottom fifth percentile! My percentage body fat. . . . Why, I thought I just had large bones!' that's the best motivation I've seen."

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On implementing a personal fitness program:

"It has to be a realistic program. If I were to tell you to stop drinking, stop smoking and lose weight, I'll never see you again. I've learned that the hard way. So what I tell a patient is, 'We'll concentrate on one or two things. We'll worry about the other things later.' "

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On what kind of exercise to do:

"Exercises that have physical contact [are not as effective]. . . . Lifetime sports are best. That is why I wish our children were taught more lifetime sports during their school years rather than competitive sports. Exercises that require a lot of abrupt starting and stopping, as you get older, you find that you cannot participate in them as easily."

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