Richard Simmons, Fitness Guru of the 80s, Retires

Richard Simmons, the “Sweating to the Oldies” guru, made the heartbreaking decision to close his Hollywood studio after 40 decades.

The exercise studio, “Slimmons,” came to a close last Saturday. The 68-year-old fitness instructor made the decision last month to close the club for good. He had not taught there in two years.

He made a heartfelt post to fans on Facebook, citing his health, and that after more than 40 years in the fitness industry, he was going to take his own advice and put his health first. He will also be focusing on the things that he wants to do.

Nearly 60 people, ranging in age from 25 to 94, attended the final class on Saturday. Some traveled from as far away as Toronto or San Diego to be a part of the studio’s final event.

Simmons was not present for the final class. Instead, his manager read his note to the room.

Before selling millions of fitness videos, Simmons got his start at a Los Angeles health club in 1974.

Simmons was not always the thin celebrity people remember him as today. Growing up in the French Quarter of New Orleans, he was surrounded by fried oyster po’ boys and jambalaya. By the time he graduated high school, he weighed 268 pounds.

Despite a career where he spent more than 300 days on the road, Simmons’ last public appearance was more than 2 years ago, leading to much media speculation. Simmons put the speculation to rest by claiming that he just wanted to be a bit of a loner for awhile.

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