A Life Writer Favorite: Jack LaLane | The Life Writer

A Life Writer Favorite: Jack LaLane


In case some of you did not know, a Presidential election has been going on. :)

And during the campaign, the ages of the candidates have come up repeatedly.

One of the candidates even began calling the other: "Sleepy Joe" because of his age, which insinuates that he is too old to fulfill the job.

I found that to be interesting - and a little funny - so I Googled a few well-known politicians to determine their age.

Here is What I Found:

Donald Trump is: 74 

Joe Biden is: 77

Mitch McConnell is: 78

Bernie Sanders is: 79

Chuck Grassley is: 87

Diane Feinstein is: 87

It is amazing those folks are that old and still working!

I am getting up there myself (I'm over 60 now) and I thought my "Twilight Years" were approaching fast.

Not according to the people above - which is a good thing!

... One person I have always admired is Jack LaLanne.

Who is that?

Let's Let Wikipedia Answer  (content below from Wikipedia):

Francois Henri "JackLaLanne (26 September 1914 – 23 January 2011) was an American fitness and nutrition guru and motivational speaker. He described himself as being a "sugarholic" and a "junk food junkie" until he was age 15. He also had behavioral problems, but "turned his life around" after listening to a public lecture about the benefits of good nutrition by health food pioneer Paul Bragg.  During his career, he came to believe that the country's overall health depended on the health of its population, and referred to physical culture and nutrition as "the salvation of America".

Decades before health and fitness began being promoted by celebrities like Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, LaLanne was already widely recognized for publicly preaching the health benefits of regular exercise and a good diet. 

He published numerous books on fitness and hosted the fitness television program The Jack LaLanne Show  from 1951 to 1985.

As early as 1936, at age 21, he opened one of the nation's first fitness gyms in Oakland, California, which became a prototype for dozens of similar gyms bearing his name.

One of his 1950s television exercise programs was aimed toward women, whom he also encouraged to join his health clubs.

He invented a number of exercise machines, including the pulley and leg extension devices and the Smith Machine.

Besides producing his own series of videos, he coached the elderly and disabled not to forgo exercise, believing it would enable them to enhance their strength.

LaLanne also gained recognition for his success as a bodybuilder,  as well as for his prodigious feats of strength. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger once exclaimed "That Jack LaLanne's an animal!" after a 54-year-old LaLanne beat then 21-year-old Schwarzenegger in an informal contest. On the occasion of LaLanne's death, Schwarzenegger credited LaLanne for being "an apostle for fitness" by inspiring "billions all over the world to live healthier lives," and, as governor of California, had earlier placed him on his Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. Steve Reeves credited LaLanne as his inspiration to build his muscular physique while keeping a slim waist.

LaLanne was inducted into the California Hall of Fame  and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

LaLanne's Feats:

  • 954 (age 40) – Swam the entire 8,981-foot (1.7 mi; 2.7 km) length of the Golden Gate in San Francisco, under water,  with 140 lb (64 kg; 10 st) of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body; a world record.
  • 1955 (age 41) – Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. 
  • 1956 (age 42) – Set what was claimed as a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It,  a television program hosted by Art Baker.
  • 1957 (age 43) – Swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500 lb (1,130 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km).
  • 1958 (age 44) – Maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours.
  • 1959 (age 45) – Did 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes, to promote The Jack LaLanne  Show going nationwide. LaLanne said this was the most difficult of his stunts, but only because the skin on his hands started ripping off during the chin-ups. He felt he couldn't stop, because it would be seen as a public failure.
  • 1974 (age 60) – For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000 lb (450 kg; 71 st) boat, according to his obituary in Los Angeles Times in 2011 and his website. 
  • 1975 (age 61) – Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000 lb (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
  • 1976 (age 62) – To commemorate the "Spirit of '76",  U.S. Bicentennial,  he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 (age 65) – Towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 lb (2,950 kg; 460 st) of wood pulp.
  • 1980 (age 66) – Towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
  • 1984 (age 70) – He towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen's Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the  Queen Mary, 1 mile.

Here are Some Jack LaLane Words of Wisdom - from his website (link below / bold emphasis is mine): 

  • Anything in life is possible if you make it happen.
  • Anything in life is possible and you can make it happen.
  • Your waistline is your lifeline.
  • Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.
  • Don’t exceed the feed limit.
  • The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.
  • Ten seconds on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.
  • Better to wear out than rust out.
  • Do – don’t stew.
  • People don’t die of old age, they die of inactivity (my favorite quote) 
  • First we inspire them, then we perspire them.
  • You eat everyday, you sleep everyday, and your body was made to  exercise everyday.
  • Work at living and you don’t have to die tomorrow.
  • I can’t die, it would ruin my image.
  • If man makes it, don’t eat it.
  • If it tastes good, spit it out.
  • What’s it doing for me?
  • Your health account is like your bank account:  The more you put in, the more you can take out.
  • If one apple is good, you wouldn’t eat 100.
  • It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all of the time that counts.
  • Make haste slowly.
  • Eat right and you can’t go wrong.



- - - Doing 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in less than 90 minutes IS VERY impressive.

As is the fact that Jack could swim in the cold waters that surround Alcatraz Island, much less tow boats while doing it!

But, the most impressive thing about Jack LaLanne - to me - is the fact that he was one of the very first people to  understand how important fitness and nutrition are, and especially as you get older.

And Jack LaLanne did a great job communicating that.  

He was a TRUE VISIONARY and PIONEER - which is why he is A Life Writer Favorite.

Why don't YOU write and share your life story with your family?

(You don't have to do any jumping jacks, chin-ups, or pull-ups).

Try out The Life Write App today for free:   https://www.thelifewriter.com/user/register

Here is a link to Jack LaLanne's great website: 






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