Berkeley YMCA Honors Jack LaLanne

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BERKELEY, CA -- Famed fitness expert Jack LaLanne received the YMCA Impact Award from the Berkeley-Albany (CA) YMCA, a place where LaLanne began his journey in health and fitness nearly 80 years ago.

LaLanne received the award Thursday night at the Berkeley City Club with his wife of 50 years, Elaine, for their contributions in the areas of family fitness and health and wellness, according to the Oakland Tribune. LaLanne opened the first modern health club in the 1930s and later appeared on numerous TV shows, including “The Jack LaLanne Show.”

LaLanne, 94, built a bodybuilding gym in the backyard of his Berkeley home in 1933 for would-be police and firefighters who were having trouble passing their physical fitness tests. Three years later, at the age of 22, LaLanne opened a gym called Jack LaLanne’s Physical Culture Studio in downtown Oakland.

LaLanne, often called “the godfather of fitness,” still does two hours of daily weightlifting, swims 30 minutes a day and runs up hill or up stairs, the newspaper reports. His diet consists of fish, whole grains and vegetables, and it does not include flour or sugar. He and his wife have written 15 books on fitness and lecture all over the world.

“Nowadays, every hotel has a gym,” LaLanne tells the Tribune. “I never miss a workout.”

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