Monday, January 24, 2011

RIP Jack LaLanne

96 years old - Jack LaLanne, fitness pioneer and guru died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia.

I remember watching his show (in black and white of course) along with my mom - when I was a youngster.

He inspired millions to trim down, eat well and lift some weights, and he was a pioneer in healthy living decades before diet and exercise became a national obsession.

"The only way you can hurt the body is not use it," LaLanne said. "Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."

His workout show was a television staple from the 1950s to the '70s. LaLanne and his dog Happy encouraged kids to wake their mothers and drag them in front of the television set. He developed exercises that used no special equipment, just a chair and a towel.

He also founded a chain of fitness studios that bore his name and in recent years touted the value of raw fruit and vegetables as he helped market a machine called Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer.

When he 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 — handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat. Ten years later, he performed a similar feat in Long Beach harbor.

"I never think of my age, never," LaLanne said in 1990. "I could be 20 or 100. I never think about it, I'm just me.

Jack LaLanne - a fitness icon that will be missed.
"Exercise in Peace" Jack.