Pioneering fitness enthusiast and icon Jack LaLanne celebrated his 95th birthday on the 26th of September, stating one of his famous mottos: “I can’t die, it would ruin my image.”  Jack contributes his longevity to both his exercise schedule, he still lifts weights for 90 minutes a day and swims for a half-hour, and his eating habits, which predominantly consist of raw fresh fruits and vegetables.  

With no plans to slow down, and with all this vigor and enthusiasm Jack honored his birthday with both a party and the publication of his 11th book, Live Young Forever in which he describes how he has kept fit and well through the years.

Jack LaLanne became a household name with his innovative television show, which ran for 34 years.  On the show Jack would educate viewers that he fondly referred to as “students” on health, fitness and exercise long before it was really popular.

Jack continued coming into our homes through his successful infomercial marketing — including his famous juicer.  Ron, my husband, got one of these for us a couple of years ago and we use it frequently.  Fresh juice is ever so yummy and nutritious.  We even take the pulpy fiber that is left over after juicing and sometimes use it to make flax crackers in our dehydrator.

Jack is also known for his incredible demonstrations of strength, which is interesting since Jack started off in life as a rather sickly child.  He had a major addiction for sweeties and all things sugary and had intense headaches, frequently causing him to miss a great deal of school.  However, all this began to change when at age 15, Jack attended a lecture on nutrition by fitness advocate Paul Bragg.  It was this transformation that eventually prompted Jack to open a health club in Oakland, California and to invent what are considered to be the first modern weight machines. 

Then there are Jack LaLanne’s almost Evel Knievel-ish type publicity stunts that he engaged in when he turned 40, 60 and 70.  At 40, he towed a 2,000-pound cabin cruiser while he swam the Golden Gate Channel.  At 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf while towing a half-ton boat and being shackled in handcuffs.  At 70, he swam a portion of the Long Beach harbor with 70 people in 70 boats tied to his back.

Jack LaLanne has been married for 50 years to the love of his life, Elaine.  Jack and Elaine are a great team. He states: “Elaine’s the power beneath my muscle, we’re partners and friends and lovers, everything. She was the Girl Friday over at KGO and I was doing a special there with one of my buddies.  I looked at her and was completely blown away. I ended up doing pushups for her all show.”

95 years young, still going strong and still in great shape, Happy Birthday Jack Lalanne!

Here are a couple of wonderfully inspiring clips from his TV show.   Enjoy and be fit!