San Francisco News

Fitness guru celebrates 95th birthday

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

In the 50's, TV viewers tuned in to ABC7 to workout with Jack LaLanne. The fitness pioneer was back in San Francisco Wednesday to celebrate his 95th birthday.

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Fitness instructors offered up jumping jacks and pushups for the health king. LaLanne proved he can still flex with the best of them.

"I'm an inspiration, I'm perspiration, I practice what I preach, I work out two hours a day," LaLanne said.

One personal trainer calls LaLanne an inspiration.

"One point in my life things were not going so well, I weighed 368 pounds and now I do ironman triathlons," Mark Davis said.

When Lalanne launched his exercise show on ABC7, critics said it would not last.

"They thought he was eccentric, you know, people would say, 'Haha, your father eats carrots, haha,' and he certainly proved them wrong, hasn't he," daughter Yvonne LaLanne said.

"We have the old shows, 1,000 of them or more and we're starting to put them on video now," wife Elaine LaLanne said.

The party at John's Grill featured the Jack LaLanne Salad. The salad of crab, shrimp, tomatoes, mushrooms and greens is their number one seller.

LaLanne is a San Francisco institution. When he was 40, he swam from Alcatraz to shore handcuffed. Twenty years later, he towed a boat loaded with weights.

Today, nothing has changed.

"I hope you help the most important person on this earth -- you," LaLanne said.

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