The ever-buoyant LaLanne opened what’s believed to be the country’s first health club in Oakland in 1936. In the ’50s he started a TV exercise show geared toward housewives, and he sold a popular line of exercise equipment, supplements and health food.
By Claudia Luther, Special to The Times
January 23, 2011, 10:18 p.m.
Jack LaLanne, the seemingly eternal master of health and fitness who first popularized the idea that Americans should work out and eat right to retain youthfulness and vigor, died Sunday. He was 96.
LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home in Morro Bay, Calif., his agent Rick Hersh said. He had undergone heart valve surgery in December 2009.
Though LaLanne was for many years dismissed as merely a “muscle man” — a notion fueled to some extent by his amazing feats of strength — he was the spiritual father of the health movement that blossomed into a national craze of weight rooms, exercise classes and fancy sports clubs.
LaLanne opened what is commonly believed to be the nation’s first health club, in Oakland in 1936. In the 1950s, he launched an early-morning televised exercise program keyed to housewives. He designed many now-familiar exercise machines, including leg extension machines and cable-pulley weights. And he proposed the then-radical idea that women, the elderly and even the disabled should work out to retain strength.
I first learned of juicing when I saw Jack in an “Amazing Discoveries” infomercial back when I was in high school. I’ve been juicing ever since. The best advice Jack ever gave us was this quote: “If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.” Sadly, the sheeple continue to eat processed foods with unpronounceable ingredients. If everybody in this country were more like Jack LaLanne, we wouldn’t be in the sorry state that we are currently in; people would be in such tip-top shape that there would be no need for Big Pharma, Monsanto-written food “safety” laws, and insurance industry-written ObamaCare. And believe it or not, Jack LaLanne wasn’t a vegetarian. He was a pescetarian – a person who supplements an otherwise vegetarian diet with fish. (In addition, Jack consumed egg whites.)
RIP Jack. TRUE health and nutrition adovcates will miss you.