Published November 18, 2016
Richard Simmons may be officially closing his iconic Beverly Hills, California, exercise studio, Slimmons, on Saturday, but he'll always be proud of the lifelong lessons and friends he's made along the way.
The 68-year-old exercise guru spoke out about Slimmons closing its doors after more than three decades in an exclusive statement to ET, and thanked all of his fans for their love and support. The last day of classes at the studio will take place on Saturday.
"In 1974 I opened Slimmons as a way to help people make positive changes in their lives by having fun while exercising," Simmons explains. "It was a place to make friends, listen to and learn from others, lose weight and gain confidence. These were all the reasons I went to Slimmons too!"
"Over the years thousands came to laugh and sweat with me," he continues. "The world and what we know about nutrition and fitness may have changed a lot since then, but the lessons shared in that little studio still apply. I've dedicated my life to helping others feel better about themselves and they helped me to do the same. Thank you for always supporting and loving me. I will take the time for myself to be the best I can be and so should you. I love you -- always keep sweatin'!"
Simmons' long-time manager, Michael Catalano, also gave a statement to ET on the bittersweet end of an era.
"Slimmons was truly a reflection of all things Richard -- one-of-a-kind, authentic, inspiring," Catalano tells ET. "While the studio is closing, Richard is so happy about the great friendships and lasting memories that were created there over the years."
Last month, Catalono said it was Simmons' idea to close the studio for good. "He just hasn't taught there in over two years," he said.
"Thank you to everyone who has reached out with love and concern after hearing I was in the hospital. I was dehydrated and needed some fluids and now I am feeling great!" he explained. "Big hugs and kisses for caring."