Jack LaLanne, a forefather of health and fitness, passed away yesterday at his home in Morro Bay, California. He was 96 years of age.
As I think of the impact that he has made over the years, I think of a two words: LEGEND and LEGACY. He was legendary in embracing the idea that Americans should work out and eat right to retain their youthfulness and energy. Jack LaLanne found ways to motivate Americans to get off their couches and into the gym way before it was cool. And he was still pumping iron and pushing fruits and vegetables decades after most people retire.
Mr. LaLanne believed that eating well and exercise were the two absolutes to feeling great and looking young — and he made it his mission to help people attain that lifestyle.
According to the LA Times LaLanne was the spiritual father of the current health movement, opening what is commonly believed to be the nation’s first health club, in Oakland in 1936. This blossomed into a national craze of weight rooms, exercise classes and sports clubs creating a positive environment for health.
In the 1950s, he launched an early-morning televised exercise program tailored to housewives. He and his dog happy encouraged kids to go get their moms out of bed and exercise in front of the TV. He proposed the then-radical idea that women, the elderly, and even the disabled should work out to retain strength.
Full of passion and exuberance LaLanne saw himself as a cheerleader, motivator and in some cases a life saver when it came to helping people be healthy, feel younger, and live longer.
What a man! We will miss his strength and enthusiasm. He leaves each of us a legacy of health to carry on in an age where obesity is winning the fight.
In spite of big shoes to fill and the challenges before us, I’ll be the first to say count me in! The question is: Who will join me in my quest in helping people be FIT FOREVER one day at a time? If not you, then who? If not now, then when?