Jack LaLanne Was Pioneer for Fitness and Nutrition

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Jan 23 2011 - 10:17pm
Jack Lalanne Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Jack LaLanne is known as “The Godfather of Fitness.” Born in 1914, in San Francisco, California, he admits to being “addicted” to sugar and junk foods just like the rest of his childhood friends. But at age 15, he heard Paul Bragg speak on health and nutrition, began focusing on his own diet and exercise habits, and then spent the next 80 years of his life inspiring others to do the same.

Mr. LaLanne’s long life was directly influenced by his positive lifestyle habits and fitness.

Even at age 95, he was still working out every day for as much as two hours a day in his home at Morro Bay, California. His famous saying was, “The only way you can hurt the body is not to use it.”

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Jack LaLanne died today at age 96 of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. Elaine LaLanne, Jack’s wife of 51 years, said “I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for.”

“The Jack LaLanne Show” was the longest running television exercise program, beginning as a local program on KGO-TV in San Francisco, and eventually carried onto the ABC network nationwide. Mr. LaLanne also published many books and videos on fitness and nutrition and marketed such health items as exercise equipment, vitamin supplements, and electric juicers. He was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2005.

One of Mr. LaLanne’s favorite exercises was swimming. At age 40, he swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater. The next year, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Even at age 80, he swam 1.5 miles in the Long Beach Harbor during strong winds and currents.

The way Mr. LaLanne lived his life should be an inspiration to all. His diet and exercise advice? “There are no shortcuts. No magic. The truth is, you’ve got to make smart food choices and exercise, not once in a while, but every day.”

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