Written by Julie Taylor
This man is an inspiration to me. I found his videos here on the internet and quickly realized that here was a man who believed in simplicity of life and the power of the mind.
I am sad to announce that Jack LaLanne, called by some the godfather of modern fitness, died this year on January 23 2011 at his Morro Bay, California home of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. He was 96 – and easily looked 20 or more years younger. He was proof that exercising, working hard interspersed with relaxing and eating well lead to a long and healthy life.
Francois Henri aka Jack was born on September 26, 1914 made many irreverent but uncannily accurate comments and once said: “People work at dying, they don’t work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It’s my tranquilizer. It’s part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what’s kept me going all these years. Living is a pain in the butt. Dying is easy. Life’s like an athletic event. You’ve got to train for it. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve got to exercise. Your health account and your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom.”
He refers to the human bloodstream as a “River of Life, which is “polluted” by “junk foods” loaded with “preservatives, salt, sugar, and artificial flavorings.
In 1936 Jack opened the first health club in the US – his primary goal was to encourage and motivate his clients to improve their overall health. Doctors, however, advised their patients to stay away from his health club, a business totally unheard of at the time, and warned their patients that “LaLanne was an exercise ‘nut,’ whose programs would make them muscle-bound” and cause severe medical problems.
In the 1950s he launched the fitness show that I talk about here on this site, which was aimed at housewives. He also recommended exercise and good nutrition for those suffering from disability and who were in hospital as part of the way they could ReBuild. This is definitely my own experience, as you know.
When exercising, he worked out repetitively with weights until he experienced “muscle fatigue” in whatever muscle groups he was exercising, or when it became impossible for him to go on with a particular routine.
“Training to failure” is now commonplace.
LaLanne moved from exercise to exercise without stopping. To contradict critics who thought this would leave him tightly musclebound and uncoordinated, Jack liked to demonstrate one-handed balancing. His track record speaks volumes to discredit their criticism.
Jack celebrated his 95th birthday with the release of a new book titled, Live Young Forever. In the book, he discussed how he kept healthy and active well into his advanced age. He was also known for his famous feats of strength and endurance, which he started at age 40 to prove he wasn’t ‘over the hill’. He was married to Elaine Doyle LaLanne for over 50 years and had three children: one from his first marriage, Yvonne LaLanne, one from Elaine’s first marriage, Dan Doyle, and one child together Jon LaLanne. Yvonne is a chiropractor in California; Dan and Jon are involved in the family business, BeFit Enterprises, which they and their mother and sister plan to continue.
A blog on his own website aptly said: “Jack has left the world a happy, healthier, more fit place, and his legacy will live on forever” And as he would say himself ‘Anything in Life is Possible, if YOU Make it Happen’
Here are a selection of free Jack Lalanne videos for you to enjoy. This wonderful man lived to 96 years of age with exercise, rest and work and good nutrition and was beautifully fit and healthy right to the end of his life. Exercise is so important. Not just to keep us in shape but to enable us to make the most of every minute of this precious life. One video, on rehabilitation, is quite long and is an excellent daily exercise routine for those who are still bed-bound.
Video #1: Pooped-out-itis – Jack on the subject of fatigue
Video #2: Rehab exercises – do the best you can and breathe… Full set of exercises while you’re in bed. Breathing. Very easy….
Video #3: Contraction – pairs of muscles, youthful tonicity
Video #4: Jack on the hands – when you finish this your hands will tingle
Video #5: Jack and the power of the mind –
Video #6: The effect of bad habits – shopping baskets
Video #7: The slave – free country… Slave to our bodies
Video #8: How to gain weight – in the right spots
Video #8: Jack on health and aging – is there an elixir? Turn back the hands of time.
Video #9: Face exercises 1 – Jack with some brilliant exercises!
Video #10: Face exercises 2 – Great and looking good…
Video #11: Face exercises 3 – Nice one
Video #12: Face exercises 4 – Chin and neck and eyes
Video #13: Face exercises 5 – Mouth, face, chin
Video #14: Face exercises 6 – Chin, neck, face, circulation
Video #15: Another face – and lovely for legs
Video #16: The unhappy man – back to nature?! Full circle…
Video #17: Fingertip pushups –
Video #18: Jack and his theme song!
Video #19: Jack Lalanne and Groucho!
Video #20: Jack’s Power Juicer
There are a couple of books available by Jack on how to rebuild yourself and how to stay healthy:Revitalize Your Life by Jack LaLanne – and one on building sturdy financial health called (appropriately enough) Fiscal Fitness: 8 Steps to Wealth and Health from America’s Leaders of Fitness and Finance. He also has a selection of power juicers – juice has been fundamental to his health. This one is stainless steel but the link will also take you to a cheaper all-plastic model: Jack Lalanne’s JLSS Power Juicer Deluxe Electric Juicer, Stainless/Black. Personally I like the Omega juicer best because it’s good value for $$ and so easy to use and to clean: many juicers are extremely fiddly to clean.
If the proof of the pudding – or rather the fruit and vegetables! – is in the eating, then Jack is proof enough for me: that exercising, working and resting and eating well lead to a better life… A life that is all it can be.