A famous exercise champion of the last century celebrated his 70th birthday by attaching himself to a string of 70 boats carrying 70 people and towing them 1.5 miles through Long Beach Harbor over a two hour period. He told the cheering crowd, just before entering the water, “The only way you can hurt your body is if you sit on your rear end and do nothing.”
That was Jack LaLanne. He is not with us now, but that’s not surprising since he was born in 1914. He lived to age 96, and died not from any degenerative disease, but from a sudden bout of pneumonia. He did his daily exercise routine the day before his death. He died at home, refusing medical treatment. The year before his death he published his latest book Live Young Forever. By the way, his wife, Elaine, who shares her husband’s fervor for exercise and nutrition, is still alive at age 97. She still maintains her daily exercise routine. It’s interesting to note that they both managed to greatly outlive the average life expectancy. Coincidence?
LaLanne said many things about exercise and nutrition, such as “If man made it, don’t eat it”, “Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you”, “Exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation” and he referred to physical culture and nutrition as “the salvation of America.”
Jack LaLanne was converted from a troubled teenager addicted to sugar and junk food to a nutrition and exercise evangelist after hearing a talk given by health food pioneer Paul Bragg about “the evils of milk and sugar.” He opened the first American health and fitness club in Oakland, CA in 1936, and could be considered as the reason such clubs caught on across the country. He hosted a television show that ran regularly for over three decades, coaching exercise and promoting diet.
Most of us would be happy with living to age 96 with a tenth of LaLanne’s strength. We’d be happy to be free of chronic diseases into our old age. LaLanne exhibited aging well. He certainly aged, but not prematurely. He could not stop the advance of natural age, but he showed us that it is possible to make that advance almost irrelevant to lifestyle and activity. He exhibited that the marriage of nutrition and exercise can provide true and enjoyable longevity, something that we all would like to have. He showed that such longevity does not come without a cost.
Time to resist
There are two major classes of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic generally engages may muscle groups and causes a sustained high elevation in circulation and breathing. Anaerobic exercise is aerobic in the sense that it does increase these somewhat as well, but generally focuses on just certain muscles where those muscles cannot get oxygen fast enough to keep pace with the exercise. Anaerobic exercise is often done by resistance training, where muscles pull against a force that resists the pull, whether that resistance comes from gravity on a heavy object, friction on a turning wheel, stretching an elastic band, or even a motor working in opposition to the exertion. The idea is to get certain muscles working heavily to load them quickly and push them into temporary exhaustion. This prompts the body to recognize that more strength is needed, and it attempts to build back the muscle stronger than before.
Musculoskeletal exercise refers to the fact that muscles work by being anchored to bone, which is immoveable and provides leverage to the muscle. Bone, joints, and muscle work together for movement. As explained in a research publication by the Committee on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine: muscle strength, endurance, and power are the main measures of musculoskeletal fitness. Strength refers to the level of force provided, endurance is the ability of the muscle to perform repeated contractions against a constant resistance, and power measures the work produced by the exertion (how fast force is supplied, or velocity times force). Power requires the cooperation of bone, joint, and muscle, especially when making sudden movements like standing after sitting, jumping, or throwing a ball, and it tends to diminish most rapidly with age. The Committee concludes with this statement: “…the growing evidence in youth and stronger evidence in adults is suggestive of a fundamental relationship between musculoskeletal fitness and health outcomes across the life span.” Exercise results in quality of life for a lifetime.
They all agree
All studies done on the lifespan-increasing value of exercise show some advantage. The consensus is that it adds anywhere from 2.8 to 8 years on average, and that combined with nutrition can have much greater impact. They also agree that exercise staves off many degenerative conditions that can make older life miserable. If you are young, adding these years may not seem all that important, but at some point they will be very important to you. Do you admire those who are fit into late life, not hunched over and barely able to make it through the grocery store? Take a good look at your old age role models. You won’t be like them if you don’t do what they are doing to achieve that graceful aging.
Don’t show your age
Without good musculoskeletal fitness, back problems, arthritis, and joint breakdown are more likely in older age. As muscle power diminishes for the elderly, just getting out of bed can become a slow, cautious process. Avoiding this outcome in your life requires that you achieve and maintain a level of fitness to resist the decline that comes with age.
Published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases(, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York reviewed health and musculoskeletal exercise data, concluding that lack of exercise, especially in older years, results in the following:
- Decline in cognitive function
- Decline in psychological well-being
- Increase in excess of body weight
- Age related increases in low level inflammation
- Decline in peak oxygen capacity
- Decrease in arterial compliance
- Increase in endothelial dysfunction
- Increased risk type two diabetes
These factors lead to multiple diseases: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer. The researchers noted the difference between “primary aging”, which is the normal and inevitable decline in cellular structure and biological functions, and “secondary aging”, which compounds the problems of primary aging. People appear to age at different rates, and often we are seeing the effects of secondary aging on those who appear old before their time. Or they are afflicted with the diseases just mentioned, which are often considered as age-related diseases.
The researchers noted that the rate of decline without strength training is on average 3 – 8 % per year, which accelerates after age 60. This leads to more fat infiltration into the muscles. Ever heard of someone’s muscles turning to fat? It literally happens. Fat infiltration reduces muscle performance and effectiveness.
It’s time to exercise
Jack’s show ran for 34 years, and he showed people how to exercise wherever they were — even chair exercises when sitting. He was practicing epigenetic conditioning before science told us that our cells would change their genetic expression in response to the environment. He demonstrated “body sculpting”, where anyone could literally change their shape and appearance through exercise. He said that you don’t get fat because your parents were fat, you get fat because you ate the food they taught you to eat and you took on their bad habits, not their genes.
Jack started the fitness center revolution, and if a facility helps you to exercise, then it’s worth doing. Whatever it takes — just get and stay moving.Your older self will thank you for your efforts!
Dr. Nemec’s Review
If you don’t move, you die. If you don’t move, you lose everything: cells break down prematurely and die prematurely. This is called premature aging.
The three most important factors in your health are these:
- Mental-emotional stress factors. We call these subconscious and conscious stress programs.
- Diet, primarily eating anti-inflammatory foods that contain not only vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but more importantly, enzymes and biophotons, or the energy of life within the food.
- Exercise, meaning movement broken down into these categories:
- Cellular exercise
- Lymphatic exercise
- Endothelial exercise
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Cerebrospinal exercise
- Musculoskeletal exercise
- Musculotendenous stretching
- Fascial stretching
- Energetic exercise
Most people in this world do not value the importance of exercise. Most see it as an accessory option, not as mandatory for health, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just keep saying this phrase.
“ if I don’t exercise in all 9 categories, I age and die prematurely!”
Let’s begin our discussion on exercise with Jack LaLanne’s cardinal rule:
“Exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation”
So what do you have to circulate? Many fluids, including blood, lymph, and cerebrospinal fluid.
We will start with blood. Blood carries the oxygen of life to the cells, and also removes the waste products of carbon dioxide, which, if not removed would make the body highly acidic and you would die very quickly. Next, blood brings all the nutrients to the cells and eliminates waste products. This is so important to understand. If everyone received this concept they would exercise daily, because they would understand exercise is as important as breathing to your health. What does breathing do? It brings oxygen into your blood, but that’s not enough: you have to move your blood to all of the glands, organs, tissues, and cells of your body. The only way this is achieved is when your blood moves faster — and what makes the blood move faster? Cardiovascular exercise. The more your heart pumps, the more often your heart beats, and the more your blood moves, you get more oxygen and nutrients into the cells, and more carbon dioxide and waste products out of the cells. This is basic cellular physiology 101 — we don’t have to go any further than this. This is what Jack LaLanne was saying when he said exercise is the catalyst — meaning it is the stimulus — it makes everything happen. Without exercise blood does not move. If blood does not move, the oxygen you breathe doesn’t circulate to the hundred trillion cells in your body, and the food you eat doesn’t circulate to the hundred trillion cells in your body!
Are you starting to understand that your life depends on your exercise? There’s no option here. There’s no maybe, there’s no I’ll do it someday. For every day you don’t exercise sufficiently — which is at least 45 minutes to an hour of all combined exercises — you suffocate, and you starve at the cellular level. This just means you die at the cellular level.
Your response might be, “well I feel OK, I don’t feel like I’m dying”
You have 100 trillion cells, and when you don’t exercise, millions of those die prematurely each day. You don’t necessarily feel it right away because you have 100 trillion cells, but if you’re losing millions every day, you will eventually start breaking down and notice it simply in your health, activities of daily living, memory, brain fog, and even mental-emotional issues, including anxiety and depression.
Your cells do not like to be deprived of oxygen and food and to sit in waste products and carbon dioxide. It makes them die prematurely, and the more cells that die the quicker you age or develop a disease — it’s a simple as that.
So take advice from Jack LaLanne, whose system obviously worked, demonstrated not by only himself but also by his wife. Start exercising now right now — not tomorrow, not next week, not next month.
Where do you start? It depends on what your level of health is. Generally most start with some type of cardiovascular exercise — for some people, just walking 45 minutes a day is a great start. Then you can progressively add other exercises, like resistive exercises, body weight exercises, stretching exercises, and cellular and lymphatic exercises — but just start moving today. You’ll feel better about yourself, your body will definitely feel better, and you will have overcome the greatest enemy to achievement: procrastination.
We’ve specialized in health and exercise protocols for the last 40 years at Revolution New Medicine. We take the science of exercise very seriously and address cellular physiology, cellular biology, biochemistry, and epigenetics, along with developing a genetically customized diet matching your lifestyle protocol.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.