This 96-Year-Old Still Works Out Every Day—In Memory of Her Husband "The Godfather of Fitness"

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Jack LaLanne was known as "the godfather of fitness", now, at 96, his wife Elaine is continuing on his legacy to inspire others to live a healthy life. 

"Jack was known as the godfather of fitness, which makes me the first lady, I guess," Elaine says. "I was on television in San Francisco on KGO-TV, and I was producing this hour-and-a-half show. I got this call from Oakland, California, and the gal said, "I got this guy who can do pushups through your whole show," and I said, "Ooh, that's a great idea. We'll just pan over to him." That's what we did. He didn't even say boo on the show. That's how I first met Jack," she says.  

"In 1951, they offered Jack his own show on health and fitness, and it was the first kind of a show like that," she adds.  

"In the 1950s, people were not into health and fitness, but Jack was so dynamic that people would listen to him, and the audience became larger and larger and larger. I think Jack's contribution to the world was all the things that he invented. If you use a stretch band today, guess where it came from? Jack LaLanne. If you eat one of those nutrition bars, Jack LaLanne. Have you heard of the Smith machine? It came from Jack LaLanne's head. You couldn't be around Jack without being inspired. You just couldn't," Elaine explains. 

"After Jack passed, I wanted to continue inspiring and motivating people at any age. I'm 96 going on 97, and I still work out every day. I have a formula for staying fit and healthy, and it's called ARCH. A for attitude. A positive attitude, you get stuff done. A negative attitude, you don't get anything done. R for resistance...C for consistency, and the H from your ARCH would be harmony. So if you have all these things, it equals harmony," she says.  

"I think the legacy of Jack LaLanne is the inspiration that he has given all the people. In my book [Pride & Discipline: The Legacy of Jack LaLanne] you've got Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denise Austin, Mark Wahlberg, and we want to give this inspiration to the young people that are coming up. They don't know where it all began, and [the book] gives you an insight. I believe that Jack has made the world a healthier and better place," she adds. 

Pride & Discipline: The Legacy of Jack LaLanne

Pride & Discipline: The Legacy of Jack LaLanne


And as far as Elaine's goals? At 96, she still has many. "My goal is continuing of course to keep moving, and I want to always have a project. I always have. Now, my next project would be I want to get Pride & Discipline out there because for the younger generation, they don't know who Jack LaLanne is," Elaine says.  

"And it's inspirational. I read and reread, and it's all his writings. I mean, all through those writings it has to do about the mind too. It weaves it through, and it tells the story of the selves. You can look into yourself by reading this book, but I just feel that I have to get this message out there to the younger generations because they need inspiration, and if you want inspiration, I get inspired every time I look at it," she says.  

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