Forever young, health fitness wonder Jack LaLanne (1914-2011) was born on this day in San Francisco, California to French immigrants. He grew up a sickly child and his overweight father died of a heart attack at age 50.
"Simple exercise helps us remain active and appear far younger and more vibrant than previous generations," LaLanne once said.
With a diet of vegetables, fruits, fish and vitamins, he opened America's first fitness center, Jack LaLanne's Physical Culture Studio, in Oakland in 1936. Mostly self-taught, he memorized Gray's Anatomy to better understand how the body worked.
"Get off your seat, on your feet," he said, recommending hard 30-minute daily exercises, three-four times a week.
In 1951, the muscled guru made his television debut on the The Jack LaLanne Show. The series aired for an amazing 34 years. (The old shows were rebroadcast in 2004 on ESPN Classic.)
"I love inspiring people to be healthy, happy, stronger," said the flamboyant man who maintained a sugar-free vegetarian diet for most of his life.
LaLanne was a celebration of strength, hard work, and determination. When he turned 40, he conquered the torrential tides of San Francisco Bay and swam the 6.5 mile length of the Golden Gate Bridge. At 60, he swam and pulled a boat to and from Alcatraz Island. At 70, he towed 70 boats with 70 people for 1.5 miles in Long Beach Harbor.
"Thereís not a day when I donít exercise," he admitted. Often called "The Godfather of Fitness," he became an inspiration to senior citizens throughout the world.
"I can't die," he said. "It would ruin my image."
Keep things in natural balance.