The passing of Jack LaLanne should remind all of us of the importance of exercising, eating well and staying fit. Few people personified the saying, “Age is just a number” better than LaLanne, who died on Sunday at the age of 96. The fitness guru is credited with starting the health club movement, opening his first club in 1936 in Oakland, California. LaLanne was a vocal proponent of eating right and getting plenty of exercise. He welcomed women into his health clubs, which was unheard of at the time, and encouraged seniors to not let age and physical limitations prevent them from exercising.
LaLanne’s life is an excellent example of how important it is to stay fit. Today, many health clubs have programs catering to older members, and there are plenty of good exercise regimens you can do at home. The National Institutes of Health has an excellent section of their web site dedicated to exercises for seniors and we frequently post information about exercising on this blog.
But LaLanne’s example isn’t just for seniors. In a recent blog post, Get Up, Get Out, Skip the Chips, Think of Jack, Caring.com’s Paula Spencer offers an important reminder to caregivers that they need to focus on their own health as well. “If you get sick, who will care for your loved one? Who will have to step in to care for you? …But we can try harder to live by the amazing knowledge out there about how to amplify good health and reduce risks.”
If caring for your loved one makes you feel like you’re singlehandidly dragging 13 boats filled with passengers through the water (as LaLanne did at age 62), then it’s time to get in shape. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?