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Monday, February 05, 2007

Ohio Bringing In Jack La Lanne, 92, As Fitness Guru

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Before there was an Arnold, there was a Jack. And now Ohio officials have cut a deal with Jack La Lanne -- who bills himself as the Godfather of Fitness and says he invented the "jumping jack" exercise -- to headline a wellness session directed at the state's senior citizens during next month's annual Arnold Fitness EXPO in Columbus.

State officials spell the Godfather's name LaLanne, one word. He spells it La Lanne, two words, and was a bodybuilder in the 1940s.

He's been motivating people to work out since Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House. The Arnold is a huge three-day event for fitness enthusiasts and the bulging biceps set. It is centered on California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who came to prominence as a world-class bodybuilder.

The guv often attends the Arnold, and La Lanne got a lifetime achievement award at the Arnold in 2005. Ohio Department of Aging Director Barbara E. Riley's agency represents the 2 million residents of the state age 60 and over. She said she is encouraging them to lead healthy and active lifestyles.

"At 92, Jack truly is a testament that we can -- and do -- get better with age. He embodies what research has shown: that regular physical activity and healthy diets can help our bodies maintain, repair and improve themselves to an amazing degree," Riley said. The state suggests able-bodied seniors work out at least 15-30 minutes, three times weekly. La Lanne will spread that message while at the Arnold next month.

It's an interesting use of public funds -- bringing in the guru who was a 1950s TV pioneer with an exercise show. La Lanne may be the world's closest living human embodiment of the Energizer Bunny -- just keeps going and going and going.

There is information about the Aging Department's plans for La Lanne HERE. His Web site is HERE , and, yes, he's still hawking juicers and glamour stretchers. He opened his first fitness studio in 1936 and says he looks like he is in his 50s, not his 90s.

If you are interested about The Arnold, click here.


  1. I LOVE Jack! I will never forget the records of exercises my mom had and the blue rubber thing you would pull that had triangular shaped handles on each end. Yeah for Jack.

  2. I can remember watching him, too. Didn't he swim across San Francisco Bay or something years ago? Don't give away your age, Jill.

  3. Not only did he swim the bat, but he was pulling a bunch of boats tied to a harness he was wearing. If I remember right he has done various amazing stunts as he has aged. An incredible man.