Dr Bret Wilson

The Godfather of Fitness

The Godfather of Fitness
By Bret Wilson

We lost a pioneer recently, a man who has had a positive influence on our health and the health of the world.  Perhaps the younger of us may only recognize him as the star of an infomercial selling juicers.  Jack LaLanne’s television show implored and entertained housewives to exercise and become healthier.  He is credited with bringing the concept of fitness and exercise to the masses.  He opened a national chain of health clubs.  He was a chiropractor that taught millions how to heal themselves with diet and exercise.  Jack LaLanne did it all with enthusiasm, humor and humility.  He told people “I can’t afford to die, it will ruin my image”.  He passed away at 96, “I don’t care how old I live, I just want to be living while I am living”, and left us with an image of how we can get the most out of our lives by taking better care of our health.

Jack Lalanne

image bing.com

Exercise Helps You to Live Longer and Healthier.

To many this seems like an obvious idea.  However, Jack was able to recognize this simple truth early on.  More importantly, he recognized the need for America to put the principle into practice.  We needed to be more active and exercise regularly to truly be healthy and alive.

“I’ll tell you one thing, you don’t always have to be on the go. I sit around a lot, I read a lot, and I do watch television. But I also work out for two hours every day of my life, even when I’m on the road. “

He even recognized very early the problems with jobs and leisure time spent sitting in front of a computer and video games.  “I have spoken to a whole group of millionaires, head executives at Microsoft. Boy did I chew those guys out.”

He also knew that most of the common conditions that interfere with living our lives could be removed with exercise.  “Many people have arthritis and rheumatism; they get bum knees, a bum back. A lot of guys get a little pain in the toe or knee and then they won’t exercise. Well gee, you have 640 muscles in your body. There may be a few exercises you can’t do, but there are hundreds you can do!”   Exercise stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms.

The Importance of Diet

Jack also knew the importance of eating the right foods in the right amounts, along with proper exercise to maintain a healthy body.  Today many people pay lip service to this idea, but when Jack was first introducing it to the masses, it was revolutionary, even controversial.  “Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don’t realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating.”  Jack knew the importance of staying hydrated and an emphasis in the diet of raw vegetables and fruit.  The Godfather of fitness stated, “I drink six or seven glasses of water a day.  I also drink vegetable juice.  And I have at least five or six pieces of fruit everyday and ten raw vegetables.”

A Healthy Lifestyle Includes Exercise

Exercise is to be part of your daily routine. Jack said, “I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.”  He emphasized exercise for all ages, men and women, all levels of fitness.  “So many older people, they just sit around all day long and they don’t get any exercise. Their muscles atrophy, and they lose their strength, their energy and vitality by inactivity.”  He knew that it would have appositive effect on all phases of your life. “Yes, exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation. And how do you increase circulation?”- Jack LaLanne.  The answer is exercise and diet, the two keys to health.  Rest in peace Jack.
Jack LaLanne 1914-2011