Fitness lion Jack LaLanne still roaring in winter

Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:07pm EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At 94, fitness pioneer and TV icon Jack LaLanne is not concerned about resting on his laurels, easing into old age, or contemplating his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

What is upper most in his mind, and has always been, is getting people fit.

"Life's a pain in the butt. You've got to be in shape for it," LaLanne said in an interview, urging the same message he's been hammering home for over half a century.

"And the hell with the good old days. The most important thing is now," he declared after a weightlifting session at his California ranch. "What are you this moment? You set an example."

The so-called "Godfather of Fitness," has been setting that example for a very long time.

His groundbreaking TV show introduced the concept of fitness programing. Today's workout offerings like "Biggest Loser" and FitTV began with his vision.

But The Jack LaLanne Show, which aired from 1951 to 1985, transformed the fitness industry even as it blazed a trail through the infant medium of television.

"Yeah, everybody though I was a nut," he said, recalling his early critics. "In those days weightlifting was only for strong men."   Continued...

<p>Jack LaLanne working out at ranch in Moro Bay, CA, 2004. REUTERS/BeFit Enterprises/Handout</p>