For some time now I have been aware of a disturbing trend. I see advancing disease and a rise in autoimmune conditions at an alarming rate. What is even more unnerving is an almost general acceptance that sickness is a normal effect of aging. It isn’t.
Does anyone remember “The Father of Fitness,” Jack LaLanne? He was a tremendous advocate for natural health maintenance through the use of proper diet and exercise. What many people did not know was that Jack LaLanne was in fact a doctor of chiropractic medicine. He practiced what he preached and as a result, enjoyed a lifetime of good health. On his seventieth birthday, Dr. LaLanne, while shackled and chained, swam while towing seventy, yes I said seventy, boats over one mile. The year was 1984, I remember it well. It was amazing.
Dr. LaLanne’s life’s passion was health and wellness. He clearly practiced what he preached. So did his wife. Dr. LaLanne changed our vision of what our bodies could look like and what we could feel like. I can only imagine what he would think if he saw all the sickness that plagues our country today. I will make a bold statement that he would assert that disease was caused by: 1. Poor, fake food choices devoid of nutrients that our bodies need to thrive. 2. Lack of exercise. 3. Chronic and relentless stress on many levels. 4. Poor sleep. Who would argue differently?
Since Jack LaLanne arrived on the scene, there have been many “wannabe” health gurus. None can ever touch the persona of Jack LaLanne. His 34 years on television is startling enough, yet add to that his numerous books, videos, contests, health gyms (he opened the first health and fitness center in the country in 1936 in California) and even his very own juicer. Dr. LaLanne was inspirational on many levels.
I find myself writing about Dr. LaLanne as I see his message is timeless. What was a simple truth “back then” is still a simple truth today. His ideals are worthy of bringing back to the surface. Where did our country go wrong? Why aren’t we healthier as a nation than we were decades ago?
Americans take more prescription drugs than ever before in our history. Are we truly better off for it? We may live longer yet are we full of vigor and vitality, or essentially relegated to a chair? Does anyone feel healthy enough to chain themselves to seventy boats and swim them with people on board, over a mile?
Finding a person over the age of fifty who isn’t on one of the “big three” drugs (cholesterol, blood pressure or diabetic medications) is a rarity these days. Drug free over the age of seventy is now an anomaly. The drug free individuals are out there. I take care of a bunch, yet it isn’t that way without effort.
My personal mentor is Dr. Joseph Napoli, a fantastic person and an incredible doctor of chiropractic now retired. Speaking with his son just the other day he stated, “Can you believe my dad is 87, lives by himself, is extremely active, and still doesn’t take any prescription drugs?” Now that’s an accomplishment.