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Gerald Gifford {at Forum #1}

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Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96

I recently posted a blog about Physical Fitness, Psychology & Wholeness where the subject was good physical health and what affects it has on our psychological health. I had mentioned Jack Lalanne as an early pioneer of physical fitness and as an example of how an older person could live a healthy lifestyle. Jack passed away yesterday at the age of 96 {this number could easily represent the spirit overcoming the physical where as 69 would be a uniting of the spirit and physical}. Lalanne was a true icon for physical and mental fitness and was active up until his death. I remember at an early age seeing his TV show which started in the late 1950s and ran its course in the mid-1980s but had a second life in reruns on ESPN Classic.
Here is the NY Times article on his death.

Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96

As a tribute to his longevity and inspiration here is the link to his website which itself is an inspiration. On the main page you can see an early version of his TV show, in black and white, and him promoting good health as well as the symbolic values of the American flag. Iconic!
Jack Lalanne

Jerry

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Re: Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96



I took a moment to once again visit Jack Lalanne's website. Jack was the first person who actively promoted a healthy lifestyle by exercising, way back in 1951. His taped message on the first page {the actual taping from the original show done in black and white shown on a small tv screen as in the top photo on the left} was of him promoting good health as the remedy for an America that had become {we are worse off today} flabby and lazy. It was to be another 3 decades, in the early 80s, that physical fitness would become a fad, and a lifestyle, for millions. The Boomer generation was the first generation to actively engage in physical fitness and those who did make it a lifestyle are examples of just how better life, physically and mentally, can be. We are the 'genie pigs', the lab rats, that compose the research that verifies this as fact. Jack Lalanne is the epitome, the archetypal image for the healthy lifestyle, the original. We owe much to his original thinking, telling us physical fitness would make us live longer when the medical community's message was that such physical activity would harm the body. He was ahead of his time.

While I have your attention to this post let me remind all that being physically fit also promotes better mental health. Everything we do in life becomes psychological. Having seen the physical condition of my former high school classmates at our 40th reunion in 2008 it is clear that the greatest majority were terribly out of shape. Almost all had some type of physical health issues that required long term if not multiple medication. Way too many were overweight to the point it did affect their health. 20 members have already died. The Boomer generation was also the first generation to be introduced to a fast food as a lifestyle and it was readily apparent overeating won out over proper health and exercise. I went to the gym again this morning and I the way I feel is not that of someone who is 60 years old. Participating in a regular physical fitness routine WILL make a huge difference in your health, the way you feel, even the way you think. And it doesn't require you to run marathons or pump iron to be healthy. But it does take discipline.

OMG!!!! That dirty word again surfaces. DISCIPLINE!!!!

And think of attaining a good spiritual 'posture'. Did not Jesus and the Buddha did a lot of walking. Miles and miles and miles of walking? They were fit, physically, psychologically and spiritually. They were great examples of how to live a proper life.
And good examples of how to get into proper physical shape. Walking. A regiment of walking 4-5 times a week along with a proper diet {Lalanne was also a pioneer in vitamins and nutrition} will let you loose weight, and be healthier.

Pay me now or pay me later. For us Boomers later has arrived. And for all generations afterwards, there is still time to change.

Jack Lalanne

Making the transition at the age of 96


Jerry


A photo of me at the age of 54 click here ^^^^

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Re: Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96

One more article from CNN I wish to provide about Jack Lalanne's influence on physical fitness over the years. If it seems I am trying to push physical fitness on you....well, I am.



(CNN) By Mark Lachs -- It was the 1950s, and we were getting fatter, lazier and puffing away on cigarettes (often as the coda to a meal filled with saturated fats). Then along comes this lone, indefatigable voice telling us -- with great kindness -- to cut it out.

I'm not exactly sure why Jack LaLanne's message resonated so well way back then. Maybe it was because he looked like your gym teacher but was way nicer. Maybe it was his "American" sensibility -- the can-do attitude, the upbeat affability, even his fun sense of entrepreneurism. Whatever the recipe, I would argue that every modern-day advance in exercise and nutrition is somehow derivative of this pioneer's work and vision.

But as an internist who specializes in geriatric medicine, I believe that one of the great values of LaLanne's later life and message is that he embodied many important attributes of healthy aging. LaLanne was a force of nature till his death on Sunday at 96.

Back when LaLanne began his TV exercise show, older adults with and without disabilities (which in that epoch, started around 50) were told by their doctors to slow down and stop exercising. Of course, he would have none of it.

Five decades later, hundreds of studies demonstrate the positive benefits of exercise and mobility on everything from depression to fall prevention. He was the original "use it or lose it" guy, correctly preaching to us that things in motion tend to stay in motion, and things (and people) that don't will stop, or worse.

LaLanne was essentially telling us to maintain what gerontologists call "physiologic reserve," making sure that the extra capacity we're given at birth is available to support our unprecedented longevity, which is a very recent development.

What else did LaLanne demonstrate? A sense of purpose and adaptive social integration.

The arc of the Jack LaLanne story was consistent over his lifetime; for him it was getting us fit. It gave his life meaning and purpose.

I see this repeatedly in my older patients -- one or two interests that continues to "turn their gears" as one of my 98-year-olds likes to say. It really doesn't matter what that "it" is as long as there's something.

And the adaptive social integration? While social networks shrink with aging for many, his seemed to grow as he transformed his message for a changing world.

Sure, his TV show in the 1950s was revolutionary, but so were his juicing infomercials and many of his other ventures that continued to connect us to him and vice versa. How many 96-year-olds do you know with a Facebook page? (Today, it features an avalanche of tributes from adoring fans.)

In an age of cynicism for celebrities, he was the rare exception who didn't seem to have a hypocritical bone (or muscle) in his body. He was the lifelong friend who, quite literally, "walked the walk" for nearly a century. An American original.

Jerry

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Re: Jack LaLanne, Founder of Modern Fitness Movement, Dies at 96

Thank you Jerry for the wonderful message about Jack LaLane...he was a great example for every man and
woman on this planet. May he R.I.P.

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