Fitness guru Jack Lalanne’s “My Daily Dozen” pamphlet offers a short glimpse into the broad appeal of LaLanne’s early productions.
LaLanne’s popular television show is often thought of as being aimed at mid-twentieth century American suburban housewives who wanted to lose weight. But the charismatic LaLanne had a way of reaching out to a broad audience, including children. Published first in 1962 and revised in 1968, “My Daily Dozen” was an attempt to interest kids in exercise and healthy living. The simple booklet contains cartoon images and rhymes meant to make fitness fun and to encourage youth to move, eat well, and get rest. The back of “My Daily Dozen” contained a chart that allowed users to mark their fitness and hygienic activities on a daily basis.
It is unclear how many copies of the pamphlet were ever sold or distributed by LaLanne or for how long. It would also be interesting to know what the original 1962 version of “My Daily Dozen” contained. Despite this, the publication offers a unique insight into the breadth of LaLanne’s cultural reach and how children’s fitness was closely associated with the well-being of women and mothers during the 1960s.
Enjoy these sample images from “My Daily Dozen” taken during a recent trip to the California State Library’s Jack LaLanne collection. Special thanks to Ryan Wong for the photographs.
Richard Ravalli is Associate Professor of History at William Jessup University.