Jack Lalanne, one of the originators of the fitness movement has died but left a fantastic legacy to help people to look after their health and concentrate on their fitness as one of the cornerstones of a great life.
Here is a great article from the Globe and mail today talking about Jack Lalanne and what he taught and meant to those in the fitness community.
Jack LaLanne, who died on Sunday at age 96, was regarded as the father of the modern fitness movement. Dressed in snug jumpsuits, the television fixture preached a balance of exercise and healthy diet and inspired millions. The Post spoke to fitness gurus about the top lessons learned from LaLanne’s legacy.
What was the Jack Lalanne Legacy?
1. There is no excuse for not exercising. Long before Nike told everyone to “just do it,” LaLanne was relentless in his pitches, using a drill sergeant’s bark and cadence. “Jack inspired the world with his no-nonsense approach to exercise,” says Maureen Hagan, fitness instructor and VP of operations at GoodLife Fitness Canada. “Many of us will recall Jack showing his TV viewers how to exercise in the kitchen, using a chair and lifting soup cans as dumbbells. His ‘no excuse, just do it’ attitude inspired the world to at least try exercise.”
2. Weight training is a key component of a fitness regimen. “He popularized the whole notion of fitness before we recognized it as a crisis situation,” says Christa Costas-Bradstreet, physical activity specialist at ParticipAction, the national not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting active living. When LaLanne first began recommending weights in the 1930s, he said that physicians opposed his advice, warning it would cause heart attacks and lower sex drives. “People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” LaLanne said in a posting on his website. “Time has proven that what I was doing was scientifically correct — starting with a healthy diet followed by systematic exercise, and today everyone knows it.”
3. Fitness is for everyone. “He taught that physical activity was something for all ages, irrespective of socio-economic status and ability,” Costas-Bradstreet says. LaLanne invited women into his health clubs, and also encouraged the elderly and the disabled to exercise. “I share the great passion for bringing women into the gym environment that Jack LaLanne pioneered,” says Craig Ramsay, author of Anatomy of Exercise and trainer on Bravo’s Thintervention.
4. Practise what you preach. When LaLanne was 42, he did a record 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes. When he was 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf — while handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat. Late in life, he continued to rise at 4 or 5 a.m. for two-hour workouts. “He himself was a role model,” Costas-Bradstreet says. “Only 7% of Canadian children and youth are meeting Canada’s physical activity guidelines and 15% of adults. We absolutely need role models, particularly for kids.”
To me Jack Lalanne has always been the old guy that has lived what he preached. He sold Juicers to make sure people stayed healthy, he espoused healthy and fit lifestyle choices and most importantly Jack Lalanne made sure that we knew that growing old did not mean we had to live and act that way.