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Live Young Forever: 12 Steps to Optimum Health, Fitness and Longevity Paperback – September 16, 2009
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It's all here, the wisdom of 95 years from a fitness enthusiast who is as enthusiastic as ever. Why don't people listen? Actually, they do. LaLanne's influence reaches back for six, seven, maybe even eight decades. As Robert Kennedy says in the foreword, the term "jacked-up" for someone who is super-fit, and the common use of "jumping jack" (which goes by various names across the world) both are attributable to LaLanne. He invented many weight devices, including the popular Smith machine, long before resistance weight training was universally recommended for people of all ages.
You will not find anything in this book strange or mysterious; no talk of muscle-confusion or how to shed 20 pounds in a few short weeks. LaLanne tells you how to change YOUR life for YOUR benefit. And he keeps on and on, writing about YOU over and over until, he hopes, YOU realize that these truths also apply to YOU. Clearly this person sincerely cares about his fellow human beings.
The man is a national treasure, and this book is filled with his characteristic humor and honesty. One gets the impression the writer is not only obsessed with his own physical conditioning (yes, even at 95), he REALLY wants YOU to get on the bandwagon as well.
You were given a body at birth and IT is the only one you're going to get. Treat it as you would that car.
Jack's book is wonderful. He takes the same approach to his body, soul/mind, and spirit as in this example. You will want to read this book over and over again. Guaranteed!
I remember watching the Jack LaLanne exercise show on TV when I was a teenager. Back then the paperboy used to pick on me all the time, so I got with my best buddy, Bill, to join a gym. Before long I had built up a set of beefy biceps. The next time the paperboy gave me a hard time, I took a deep breath, flexed my muscles, and stood him down in the aisle of the high school bus. After that he never picked on me again, and everybody started calling me Herc. It was great.
I was saddened to learn that Jack LaLanne died January 23, 2011. He has been a tremendous inspiration throughout my life---first as a teenager, then in middle age. At age 50, I felt over the hill; my motto was `coasting towards the crypt.' Seeing the photo of an elderly weightlifter with a young man's physique motivated me to get back to the gym. I went from being a 265-pound couch potato to a fit-and-trim 190-pound participant in the Hotter'N Hell 100 bicycle race at age 56. My motto now is `age well for the health of it.' All us baby boomers need to follow Jack LaLanne's methods; his life speaks for itself.
LaLanne told a reporter that he got motivated to take good care of his health because his grandfather died from heart disease when he was 50, and he wanted to prove "your genetics [don't] control your longevity" but rather "you control your life." Jack LaLanne's vibrant health and longevity are proof that the real life fountain of youth is vigorous exercise, nutritious diet and healthy living. He was 96 years young when he died! He once joked with reporters, "I can't afford to die--it will wreck my image!" He was also in the habit of saying, "I don't care how old I live; I just want to be LIVING while I am living!" May we all follow his lead so we can live long and prosper.
Richard Kownacki, Ph.D. Author of
Do Not Go Gentle: Successful Aging for Baby Boomers and All Generations