KENNER— Fitness guru Richard Simmons is returning to his home state of Louisiana.
The humorous 65-year-old Simmons, known for his enthusiasm and trademark short shorts and sparkly tops when he exercises, is scheduled to lead senior citizens through an exercise routine in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, next week.
The class, followed by a meet-and-greet will be held at The Pontchartrain Center. The event will run from 8 a.m. until noon on Veterans Day, and it is free and open to the public.
Simmons hails from New Orleans and has cultivated a career in health and fitness that spans three decades. According to his website, Simmons has helped millions of overweight Americans lose an estimated collective three million pounds.
Throughout his career, Simmons has talked openly about his struggles with weight. He said he was overweight in high school, and as a teenager would sell pralines on New Orleans street corners for money.
After trying a series of fad diets, he eventually lost weight by adopting a lifestyle that included healthy, moderate eating and exercise.
Simmons moved to Los Angeles, where his over-the-top enthusiasm for health and fitness landed him a nationally syndicated television series, “The Richard Simmons Show,” which ran for four years and garnered several Emmy awards.
Simmons launched the Deal-A-Meal and Food Mover programs to help people keep track of calories and portion sizes. His 65 fitness videos include lively music and routines accented by Simmons’ humorous banter. Some 20 million copies of the videos have been sold worldwide. They include “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” and “Dance Your Pants Off.”
Simmons has written nine books, including three cookbooks and the New York Times Best Seller, “Never Say Diet.” He released his autobiography, “Still Hungry-After All These Years,” in 1998.