In Honor of Jack LaLanne: 5 Fitness Rules to Live By

Jack LaLanneJack LaLanne was a man who knew how to take care of himself and always promoted a healthy and active lifestyle, no matter age, gender or ability.

I feel in his passing we should all take a little something from the example he set by creating a life full of fitness. (Did anyone read in the NY Times how he strapped himself to a boat with 70 people on board, shackled and carrying two air tanks and led them across the Pacific… or some crazy scheme like that? One has to admire his strong mind and physical ability—or his absolutely insane likeness to Houdini.)

Either way, we should all be so inspired by such a man to push ourselves to past our self-imposed limitations and strive to become stronger, both mentally and physically. (I feel it prudent to insert here that I am not asking/telling/recommending anyone strap themselves to a boat and swim from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf, or from one side of their pool to the other. Let’s be sensible here.)

What I am asking for is to read these 5 tips from Jack on how to become healthier and happier!

1)  Eat more fruits and veggies. And fish. (A la the Mediterranean Diet) Simple enough. And don’t be afraid of raw veggies… apparently Jack ate at least 10 raw veggies a day.

2) Don’t skip the cardio. He may be all about touting the benefits of weight lifting, but this man went so far as to make sure his cardio sessions counted by rigging up his pool to create currents that he would swim against (while strapped to a boat possibly ;))

3)  Lose the sugar. It goes right to the belly, creating that nice, soft, pudgy meatiness that your kids like to poke at like you’re the Pillsbury doughboy. (It’s fair to note here that Jack grew up before junk food was even created. Easy for him ;))

4)  Exercise your whole body. Don’t stick with a few exercises that you know and perform them over and over and over. You know what happens. (Do I have to say the word? It starts with a ‘P’ and ends with ‘lateau’).

5)  You’re never too old to start something new. Anyone of any age can benefit from exercise. Remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it!

Simple advice from someone who lived a long and influential life. Thanks Jack for all the inspiration!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo