He performed 1033 pushups in 23 min. at the age of 42. He swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge…under water…with 140lbs attached to him…while handcuffed at the age of 40. Those were just TWO of the dozens of feats of strength he performed well into his 90s! Oh, and to top it all off he was the man that beat 21-year-old Arnold Shwarzenegar (yeah, that Arnold Shwarzneggar) at the ripe age of 54 in an informal bodybuilding contest. Yeah, he’s legit and he’s whom many consider the godfather of fitness. His name was Jack LaLanne.
Born in 1914, Jack LaLanne’s journey to becoming an inspiration to millions around the world started with a lecture on nutrition when he was just a teenager in 1930. His view on health and fitness changed forever. A former “sugarholic” as he called himself Jack began eating a diet high in protein, vegetables, and fruit. He steered clear of sugars and dairy. This attitude came long before our food supply turned for the worst and knowledge on nutrition was fairly basic.
Jack sought to inform the public of the benefits of strength training and healthy eating by opening up the first ever “modern” health club in the United States in 1936, 5 years before America got involved in World War II people! Later, Jack rocketed to fame with The Jack LaLanne Show where he taught America how to stay fit and healthy right in their own home…using only a chair and a broomstick! Jack was known for his witty quotes about health such as “the waistline is the lifeline” and “people don’t die from old age, they die from inactivity.”
This show continued for over 30 years and was the longest running fitness show ever. During that time he designed the first ever leg extension machine and pulley system used for strength training. He continued into the new millennia with his Jack Lallane Juicer selling more than 1 million over a 2-year period. Decades after their contest Arnold Shwarzenegar gave tribute to Jack Lallane for inspiring him to create California Governor’s Council on Phsyical Fitness and Sport. His awards continued and recognition continued with his own star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, the President’s Council Lifetime Achievement Award, California Hall of Fame, and so on.
The reason for this article is not just to give you Jack’s biography but to show you how someone born over 100 years ago figured out what most of us need in order to live a healthy and productive life: healthy diet and physical exercise. That’s it, simple and effective. Use Jack’s story to remind you that what we need to do isn’t complicated and it’s lifelong. It’s not about getting ready for your summer trip or your wedding day (although those are nice goals). It’s about a lifestyle that is sustainable and practical. Eat well, move well, be happy.
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!