KENNER, LA (WVLA) — He’s a well known fitness guru from New Orleans and he’s also known for his spunky attitude. Richard Simmons came back at home to the crescent city Monday and got hundreds of seniors up and moving.
Simmons used his personality and his work-out to let seniors know it's never late to get healthy.
"I would eat half a muffalata and 3 fried po-boys and a dozen beignets and this is just our culture here," said Simmons.
Good food is a big part of Louisiana culture and many people know that makes staying healthy a struggle.
"Obesity is a very serous thing and its life or death for a lot of people," said Humana Gulf States Senior Vice President, Jeff Fernandez.
“That’s our weakness you know all the fried seafood,” said senior Ana Chin-Lai.
“Some of you are not taking care of yourself like you should," noted Simmons.
Now, these senior citizens are making a change.
“I am too fat and I wanted to learn a few moves to get myself moving,” said Delores Diceidue.
With the help of fitness expert Richard Simmons, seniors in Kenner are learning a thing or two about getting healthy.
"You have to know you are so much more important than food,” said Simmons. “Food will always be there, but one thing you can’t buy is your health."
These seniors are going home with more than just a smile on their face.
“The message today with Richard is that it doesn’t have to be a chore it can be fun and enjoyable and that’s really what was trying to bring to the community,” said Fernandez.
Of course, with a local celebrity in town, some seniors didn't come for the new dance moves or fitness advice.
“I love Richard Simmons,” said Chin- Lai. ”I got to hug and kiss him. He’s wonderful, we enjoyed it very much.”
Richard says his classes give people hope. Possibly gives hope to those who may have given up.
“I feel like I have a purpose here with so much more work to do."
The event was put on by the Jefferson Council on Aging and Humana. It was held at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, LA.