Like many of us, you may have a laundry list of reasons why you don’t work out. While we may not be able to do anything about your busy schedule or your nightly threesomes with your couch and remote control, if the reason you don’t like to exercise is because you don’t think you can look fabulous doing it, we have two words for you. Richard. Simmons.
Recent trends may be leaning toward things like High Intensity Interval Training and Fitbit activity trackers, but if you’re looking for an at-home workout that lets you shamelessly wear a sequined headband while listening to classic hits from the 50s and 60s (and isn’t that what we really all want out of life, anyway?), Richard Simmons' Sweatin’ to the Oldies series is the obvious answer to your fitness woes.
Let’s travel back in time to the 1980s. You push the power button on your brand new Magnavox VCR, slide your mail-order Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS out of its cardboard case, and slide it into the slot. The excitement builds as you press play, knowing that in mere seconds a forty-year-old fitness guru with an impressive afro and trademark striped short-shorts will sashay onto the screen, look you right in the eye, and say, “Let’s sweat!”
Convinced this should be your new #1 form of exercise yet? You should be. But in case you're not, here are our ten favorite things about the dazzling human firework that is Richard Simmons:
1. His workout videos feature real people like you and me. They’re not trying to look sexy or show off their abs or make you feel bad about yourself for not being there yet, they’re just having fun. FUN. Also, they wear outfits that came right out of your Mom’s closet circa 1988.
2. He has a live band in his videos that includes some pretty awesome 80s hair and a saxophone player that wears dark sunglasses at all times. We may or may not have gotten some inspiration here for next year’s Halloween costume.
3. His routines are easy to follow and don’t require a degree in dance or an athletic background of any kind. We can’t be the only ones who have to hold back a burst of laughter when a yoga teacher wants us to do WHAT?! The steps may not be super advanced, but that doesn’t mean you won’t sweat. A lot. Probably an embarrassing amount at first.
4. Those legs though. He’s got gams for days.
5. His tank tops. They’ve gotten even more bedazzled over the years. As have his sneakers. #fashionicon
6. The way he jumps up and down and claps like a teenage girl at the end of every song because that’s just who he is. He’s a man who’s not afraid to shake it and we love him for it.
7. He genuinely wants people to be healthy and live long, happy lives. He’s all about uplifting, not judging, which is something the world needs more of.
8. He’s more motivational than the most high-profile motivational speakers because his energy and enthusiasm are boundless. When he says, “You can do this!” we believe him!
9. In his personal life he has been known to dress in rhinestones and feathers to go out to lunch. We’ve seen the pictures and we want to be just like him when we grow up.
10. His sense of humor. Sure, he can be goofy and silly and flamboyant, but he also has a wicked wit and doesn’t shy away from a good old fashioned innuendo when he appears on late night TV. He doesn’t take life too seriously and we shouldn’t either.
Feel like signing up with your new personal trainer yet? We’re going to go bedazzle our own matching sweat band and tank top right now.
We haven't confirmed it yet, but we hear that Richard Simmons still teaches classes at Slimmons in Beverly Hills. www.richardsimmons.com