Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies [VHS]

wpid-512D34YVYYLSL500.jpgRichard Simmons is the king of motivational exercise, especially if you’re a beginner. This video workout is a dance party simulating a class reunion, with an energizing live band playing lively hits from the ’50s and ’60s, such as “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Dancing in the Streets.” The singers and musicians sometimes come offstage and dance with the exercisers, adding to the energy and festivity. The choreography is very simple, low impact, light intensity, and appropriate for beginners and overweight exercisers. (You may not get your heart rate up if you’re very fit, although you’ll enjoy the music.) Richard doesn’t do much in the way of cueing–he assumes you’ll just follow along. His onscreen class has women and men of all body shapes and sizes, and everyone is having a blast. You will, too. At the end, the exercisers dance down the floor and the screen flashes how many pounds they’ve lost–several have lost more than 100 pounds. (22 minutes of aerobics, total 43 minutes with warm-up, cool down, and stretch.) –Joan Price

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