Jack LaLanne photo
Credit: wikipedia.org photographer Cliff Riddle, Hollywood

This is a photo of Jack LaLanne in the early 1960's.

Wellness Pioneer

I remember watching Jack LaLanne in the early sixties on our grainy old black and white television in the family room.  Not that I really watched him, I was actually looking for cartoons.  I do remember being somewhat confused because Jack certainly looked more fit than the guy who played Superman, although the jumpsuit he wore was not as cool as Superman's outfit.  I didn't think at the time that Jack LaLanne was the real man of steel, but he actually was the true Superman.  

I vaguely recall my Mom thought Jack was kind of a kook.  Who did exercise routines?  At that time, no one jogged or lifted weights.  My Dad was a gym teacher, but he rarely exercised.  The lone voice in the wilderness extolling the virtues of fitness was Jack LaLanne.  He wasn't merely for show, he lived a disciplined and healthy lifestyle his whole life.

Jack LaLanneCredit: wikipedia commons public domain - US Dept of HHSFitness Gym Founder and Inventor

Jack contributed to the fitness industry in ways other than creating a television show.  Jack opened one of the country's first fitness gyms in 1936 at the age of 21.  Consistent with the times, doctors actually advised their patients not to join.  Working out with weights was viewed as a health danger instead of a health benefit.  Because weight traing was still very much in its infancy, Jack also developed fitness equipment.  One of his inventions was the first leg extension machine.

Disciplined Health Habits

Like most successful people, Jack was highly disciplined.  He made a habit of rising every morning at 4:00 a.m.  His mornings included weights and strength training for an hour and a half.  Strangely enough, Jack was not a fan of warming up before training.  After weights, he would swim for 30 minutes.  He ate two meals a day: a late breakfast and an early dinner.  He always ate ten raw vegetables a day.  As a proponent of natural foods, Jack's catch phrase was "if a man made it, I don't want to eat it."  He also thought things that tasted good could not be good for you.

Legendary Fitness Feats

Jack LaLanne is famous for his fitness feats, many of which he accomplished as an older man.  As a 42 year old, he did 1,033 push ups in 23 minutes.   At age 61, he swam the length of theJack LaLanne towing boatsCredit: wikipedia commons public domain - User:cargoman02 Golden Gate Bridge towing a 1,000 pound boat with his hands and feet bound.  For his 70th birthday, Jack swam a mile and half towing seventy row boats.  These are extraordinary feats for a young man, much less an older guy.

Health and Wellness Rules

Jack lived by several health and wellness rules.  Here are examples:

        - You can only hurt your body by not using it;

         - No coffee;

         - Use a juicer to get your daily dose of raw fruits and vegetables;

          - Do high intensity cardio, generally for short periods, unless you want to lose weight;

          - When weight training, use short rest periods between sets;

          - Change your fitness routine every 30 days;

           -Take vitamins;

            - Avoid sugar.

The Jack LaLanne Power Juicer

Jack LaLanne lives on through his endorsement of the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer.  First sold in 2002, according to Business Week, over one million were sold between 2002 and 2004.  I am an avid juicer and the first one I ever bought was a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer.  After all Jack's success and amazing feats, for many younger folks considering juicing, Jack will be best known for the low priced centrifugal juicer bearing his name.

Juice Like Jack!

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