Jack LaLanne was prodding Americans to get off their couches and into the gym decades before it was cool. And he was still pumping iron and pushing fruits and vegetables decades past most Americans' retirement age.
The fitness fanatic ate well and exercised — and made it his mission to make sure everyone did the same — right up to the end at age 96. LaLanne died Sunday at his home in Morro Bay on California's central coast.
I remember as a kid when I was about 8 in the mid-1960's, my best friend and I would look into the kitchen and laugh at my mom as she worked out to Jack LaLanne in front of the old black and white TV set. Turns out Jack (and my mom) knew something about exercise and vegetables.
Jack was an incredibly inspiring and motivating person, ahead of his time in many ways. And he had an amazing way with words. Here are some of my favorite Jack LaLanne-isms:
** LaLanneisms **
Your health account is your wealth account
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
I can't die, it would ruin my image
Do - don't stew.
People don't die of old age, they die of inactivity.
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 today and you don't have to die tomorrow.
If man makes it, don't eat it.
If it tastes good, spit it out.
Your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.
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.
* * *
What a beautiful man, what a beautiful life. Here's to you, Jack.