Simmons Richard 1948 Selfproclaimed fitness expert and central fitness icon of the 1980s

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Simmons, himself, was once obese, but after losing weight, he became a "motivator" and revolutionized the modern fitness movement to include those not already in shape. In 1974, he opened one of the first aerobic studios in the country called Slimmons in Beverly Hills. According to his own website, he consulted with doctors and nutritionists in order to ensure that the weight-loss program he created was safe for all potential clients (people of various ages, weights, and physical health). In addition to his studio, Simmons produced numerous weight-loss videos, in which he displays his notorious enthusiasm about losing weight and exercising. Following the success of these videos, Simmons had his own Emmy Award-winning talk show, which was nationally syndicated between 1980 and 1984. Additionally, Simmons has written books and has even created his own meal plan program (which includes food) to help people shed pounds. He is known for preaching in his classes and videos that people must "love themselves" before they can find themselves worthy of being healthy and losing weight.

SLG/Jessica Elyse Rissman

References and Further Reading

Anon. "A Biography of Richard Simmons,"

Richardsimmons.com, available online at <http:// www.richardsimmons.com/bio.php> (accessed March 3, 2007).

Carney, Kat (2003) "Simmons still 'Sweatin' to the Oldies'," CNN Headline News, January 3, available online at <http://edition.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/ diet.fitness/i0/i0/hln.bio.richard.simmons> (accessed March 3, 2007).

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