Monday, January 26, 2009

Jack LaLanne and Change

As I was thumbing through the paper this morning on the way to the comics I spotted a headline that said, "Fitness buff LaLanne still strong at 94."

He still exercises twice a day in his home gym and swims 30 minutes daily. He says that people should exercise a half hour 3 times a week. And don't take a rest. He changes his routine every 30 days to avoid monotony.

I exercise most days from 20-30 minutes a day and I don't rest. So we're on the same page on that part. 

The article said he eats only at 10 a.m and 7 p.m. with no snacking in between. That flies in the face of all the gurus these days that advocate 6 small meals a day. I'm in agreement with Jack on this one. I don't eat at set times like he does but I do generally eat 2-3 meals a day and I don't snack. It's a lot better on your internal parts to allow one meal to fully digest before eating another, something that can't happen on 6 small meals a day.

One thing I found interesting is that it said he ate a daily breakfast of 4 egg whites with 3 pieces of fruit. Several years ago I read an article in which he said he consumed a soy protein shake every morning. It seems he's off the soy and now doing egg whites.

But Jack has a history of changing diet. He was vegan for a long time. Then he added fish back into his diet. In the same article about the soy shake he said that he had a salad with at least 10 different vegetables every night with a 3 ounce piece of broiled fish. He doesn't eat dairy or red meat.

I don't know why he jettisoned soy for egg whites or why he went from vegan to fish but apparently Jack isn't afraid of change and we shouldn't be either. If something's not working for you, instead of doing the same old thing and hoping you get better results, you need to be adaptable. You need to change.

Whether it's you diet or your exercise routine, if it's not producing for you, or not working as well as it once did, try something different. Change your workouts a little. Tweak your diet. Or maybe both need a major overhaul.

Of course if what you're doing is serving you well, by all means keep it up. But if the results start falling behind, you just might need a change.

Jack LaLanne is a MAN and a true fitness icon. I have no idea why he's changed his diet over the years but change he has. And it has worked. There are no doubt many people 50, 60, 70 years his junior that can't keep up with him. What he's doing works for him.

As a side note, I once read that he used to drink a quart of cow's blood every day. Besides being disgusting, I don't know if it's true as I never bothered to try to verify it. I have my doubts.


  1. It's always fun to read an update about Jack LaLanne. I remember watching his exercise program on the family B&W television as a kid growing up.

    My Dad met Jack LaLanne in Oakland, California in the early 1950s.

    Thanks for the fun read. Have a great day!

  2. I don't know much about him but what he has done and is doing is impressive. I have read about folks who were way into their 90's and did not exercise, ate 2 scrambled eggs with cup of coffee every morning and had better cholesterol than most health nuts in their prime. Makes you wonder!

  3. Wow, Ed. Jack LaLanne, Tommy Kono, and you personally know the mighty Shen. I can't get much better than that.

    Wally, those types of stories abound. "My great Uncle Ed smoked 3 packs a day, ate bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning and his favorite part of a steak was the fat. He was never sick a day in his life, never went to the doctor, and dropped dead finally at 103 while plowing the north 40 by hand." Some may be true. Most are probably exaggerated to some extent. If they are true, I think they would be the exception rather than the rule. And the people in those stories generally led very active lives and didn't need any extra exercise. Lastly, it has been proven that eggs in and of themselves do not increase blood cholesterol levels. But you're right. It does make you think.


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