Monday, December 3, 2012

Fit the Old-Fashioned Way

Admit it. You’ve thought about it. Maybe you even fell for it. So you can say it out loud. Did you buy the pills that were going to help you lose weight without dieting? Did you order them as you sat on the couch, eating corn chips and watching late night infomercials? Did Suzanne Somers really convince you that the ThighMaster would make you have the same figure as she did?

Don’t feel bad; most of us have tried one or two of these “miracles.” And we have all, at least deep down in our hearts, known better.

According to Lindsey Unterberger in Glamour magazine, women in the 1940s were discouraged from exercising for fear that such stress could damage the uterus. By the 1950s, however, Jack LaLanne had begun his 32-year run on television as a nutritional, fitness, and motivational expert geared toward women. Long before Dr. Oz, he explained the benefits of good diets to women in layman’s terms. Before Richard Simmons, he led women in exercise programs that were more ballet that frenzied jumping. Before Dr. Phil, he encouraged and gently chided women of all ages to make their bodies stronger and “more lovely.”

Yes, LaLanne did promote supplements, but nothing he endorsed contained nonorganic materials. His famous rule—“If man made it, don’t eat it”—was offered almost daily on his television show. And he did invent some exercise equipment. However, it is not gathering dust in your closet or serving as a coat rack in your family room. If you want to see the machines he invented, you will find them at your gym. Many of the pulley-based machines used in gyms today were based on his designs.

So if you really want a fit body, you probably need to do what Jack did. Eat properly. Exercise daily. Copy the man that at 54 beat Arnold Schwarzenegger, then 21, in a strength contest.

And maybe try the other thing LaLanne promoted too. Look in the mirror every day and remind yourself that you are a lovely person, no matter how you look!

Have you tried fitness fads? Let me know about your fitness habits and what works best for you. 

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