Jack LaLanne dedicated his life to helping others "feel better and look better so [they] can live longer," which he proclaimed every morning for 34 years on his television exercise program, The Jack LaLanne Show. The fitness guru lived what he preached until the end. LaLanne died Sunday, Jan. 23, at the age of 96.
Known as "The Godfather of Fitness," LaLanne instituted exercise and proper nutrition as everyday essentials for a healthy lifestyle. He also pioneered the concept of weight training as a means to improve sports performance, at a time when it was thought to make athletes slow and muscle-bound. During the mid-1930s, professional and collegiate athletes used to sneak into his Oakland-area fitness center and train with him. In a recent interview, LaLanne said, "It was absolutely forbidden in those days for athletes to use weights."
In retrospect, STACK might never have been possible without LaLanne. And that leg extension machine you use tirelessly at the gym? You can thank LaLanne for that as well. But way before he developed this and other fitness products [including the Power Juicer], LaLanne was instructing women, children and athletes on proper and effective methods for keeping fit, thus improving their general well-being. The exercises were as simple as the times, incorporating bodyweight and common implements such as a towel or folding chair.
LaLanne stressed the importance of balanced nutrition and supplementing with vitamins and minerals. His advice for gaining and losing weight is right on point with basic guidelines from today's experts.
LaLanne never shied away from the public, even in the latter stages of his career. He was a perpetual wonder who refused to associate a number with age. He often joked that he would live forever, and we believed him.
One of his famous quotes: "The only way to hurt your body is if you don't use it." In honor of Mr. LaLanne, get out there today, tonight, tomorrow morning, and seize the opportunity to improve your performance—and your life.
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