The Passing of an American Icon: Timeless Wisdom From Fitness Guru Lack LaLanne

publication date: Jan 24, 2011

Update January 24, 2011: Sad news from California that fitness advocate Jack LaLanne has died at the age of 96 from respiratory failure due to pneumonia. I wrote the article below about him during the summer of 2009. LaLanne brought fitness and better nutrition to the masses and never lost his passion to educate and motivate.

According to AP, "He said his own daily routine usually consisted of two hours of weightlifting and an hour in the swimming pool." While that makes me tired just thinking about it, I know in my own life how much better I feel and healthier I am if I'm able to exercise at least several days a week.

I love his line, "I can't afford to die. It would wreck my image," from the article! But, hey, he lived to age 96, didn't suffer from any long-term disease and exercised daily - we should all be so fortunate.

Jack LaLanne launched a television fitness show in the 1950s and stayed on the air for more than three decades. Now in his 90s, LaLanne is still going strong and continuing to practice what he preaches.

Check out this vintage video with LaLanne's 10-point plan for improving your health (and see the list of "LaLanneisms" below). Pretty good advice that has stood the test of time!

Popular LaLanneisms:

  • "Anything 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"
  • "First we inspire them, then we perspire them"
  • "You eat every day, you sleep every day, 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"
  • "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 a hundred?"
  • "It's not what you do some of the time that counts, it's what you do all the time that counts"
  • "Make haste slowly"
  • "Eat right and you can't go wrong"


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Eric Tyson is the only best-selling personal finance author who has an extensive background as an hourly-based financial advisor and who does not accept speaking fees, endorsement deals or fees of any type from companies in the financial services industry or product or service providers recommended in his articles, books and his publications.