Founder of Modern Fitness Movement Dies at 96
Jack LaLanne, founder of the modern fitness movement, died Sunday at his home in Morro Bay, Calif. He was 96. The cause of death was respiratory failure due to pneumonia. LaLanne spent more than 70 years preaching the power of strength training and healthy eating—long before either was popular. In 1936, he opened the nation's first health club, a gym that doubled as both a juice bar and health food store, and became the prototype for future fitness spas. He reached the at-home crowd, too, hosting The Jack LaLanne Show, a TV workout program, from 1951 to 1985. "People thought I was a charlatan and a nut," he once told The New York Times. "The doctors were against me—they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive." When LaLanne was 40, he wanted to prove that he wasn't past his prime, so he swam the nearly 2-mile length of the Golden Gate Bridge without surfacing, breathing with the aid of two air tanks that weighed 140 pounds. At age 60, he swam 1.23 miles from San Francisco's Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf while handcuffed, with his legs shackled, and towing a 1,000-pound boat. Even as he entered his 90s, LaLanne began every day with a two-hour workout: weight lifting, and then swimming against an artificial current or in place, restrained by a belt.
Is Breast-Feeding Always Best for Babies?
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has issued a "call to action" on breast-feeding, urging families, communities, and employers to support women in their efforts to breast-feed. The American Academy of Pediatrics says women should breast-feed exclusively until a baby is six months old. But only 13 percent of women make that target, writes U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute.
Public health experts have pushed breast-feeding as being better for babies because the nutritional balance in breast milk is ideal for infant humans. Breast milk has also been touted for giving newborns immunity from disease, because they ingest antibodies their mothers have produced to fight off germs.
But new research investigating the makeup of human breast milk is uncovering surprises. A mother probably wouldn't say she favors her sons over her daughters, but her body may be doing that from the moment she first holds them to her breast. A mother's body creates different milk for baby boys than it does for baby girls—the boy milk has much more fat and protein, which presumably helps them grow bigger, faster. [Read more: Is Breast-Feeding Always Best for Babies?]
How to Restart a Workout Routine After a Break
Nothing says January like resolving to head back to the gym. But whether you merely paused your fitness regimen or you're committing to regular exercise for the first time in months, it can be tough to get back on track, fitness blogger Chelsea Bush writes for U.S. News.
Don't start spending in the name of fitness, though. Buying fancy fitness gadgets or joining an expensive gym isn't your ticket to a fitter body—at least not initially. A successful fitness program starts with your mind, not your wallet, according to wellness coach Rania Batayneh, who works with clients in San Francisco and Portland. Certain tricks can help get your head in the game, fast.
For example, reshape your behavior. "Everyone sets New Year's resolutions. The problem is most people don't make them realistic enough," says Batayneh. A realistic goal is one that's more about creating a healthier outlook than working your way down a to-do list. If you focus on making behavioral changes before piecing together the details of your workout regimen, Batayneh says you're more likely to achieve your goals. [Read more: How to Restart Your Workout Routine After a Break.]
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