Jack LaLanne, The “Godfather of Fitness” 1914-2011, Toni Miles, Miles Fitness

Do you remember Jack LaLanne?  Most of us today may remember him as the “juice man” with his “Power Juicer.”  But, I also remember watching my mother exercising along with him everyday on television and thinking he looked a little funny with those wide shoulders.

Jack LaLanne was a successful bodybuilder, author of numerous books on fitness and host of a fitness television show between 1951 and 1985. He opened one of the nation’s first fitness gyms in Oakland, California; invented numerous exercise machines; created videos; and coached elderly and disabled people in exercising, believing it would increase their well-being.  He was also the first well-known nutritional and motivational speaker who was sometimes called the “first fitness superhero.”

When LaLanne turned 43 in 1957, he performed more than 1,000 push-ups in 23 minutes on the “You Asked For It” Television Show. At 60, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California — handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat. Ten years later, he performed a similar feat in Long Beach Harbor.

Former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger once stated, “That Jack LaLanne’s an animal”, after he, at 54, beat me a 21-year-old “badly” in an informal contest! He credited LaLanne for being “an apostle for fitness” by inspiring “billions all over the world to live healthier lives.”  While as Governor, Schwarzenegger placed LaLanne on his Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Jack LaLanne was inducted to the California Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  He died at the age of 96 of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home in Morro Bay, California.

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it.  Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”

Jack LaLanne

References:  Wikipedia.org, huffingtonpost.com and ESPN

 

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