Richard Simmons Emerges From Isolation, Returns to Spotlight With Quarantine Workouts

Richard Simmons is emerging from a non-coronavirus-related isolation and stepping into the spotlight for the first time in years to offer at-home workouts for those stuck in quarantine amid the pandemic. The fitness icon, who has been out of the public eye since February 2014, has been posting YouTube videos in recent weeks, starting around the time Americans were ordered to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Although the actual material is not new and consists of old "Signature Moves," workouts and motivational messages from the legendary fitness mogul, the revival of sorts has fans hoping Simmons, 71, will return to lead them through exercises once again. TMZ reports that sources close to Simmons told the outlet that the recent emergence of Simmons' videos "is due to fans clamoring for him to return." Sources also told the outlet that Simmons' team is working on a new line of licensed products to be released later this year. While it's unclear what the line will consist of, it's possible it could be similar to a calendar and classic exercise gear he released in 2018.

Simmons has not been physically seen in public in years, with the only recent glimpse coming in April 2017 when he returned home from the hospital. He reportedly has not decided when or if he will make an official return to the spotlight, although fans are certainly hoping as much.

Videos recently published to Simmons' YouTube channel include a series of 10-minute workouts, healthy snacking tips, day-by-day motivational clips and even tutorials on how to do Simmons' signature moves. The first — titled "Day By Day Motivational Stories (Episode 1)" — came on March 11, nearly six years after Simmons had posted last.

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Simmons fans' concern for him peaked with the 2017 podcast, Missing Richard Simmons, that purported that he'd been "missing" for over 1,0000 days. The host, Dan Taberski, presented several possible explanations as to why Simmons was spending time out of the public eye, the most intriguing theory proposing that Simmons was essentially being held captive by his live-in housekeeper. In the end, several people close to him came to his defense, making statements explaining that he simply wanted a break from the limelight. Simmons himself even came out of reclusion to set the record straight, writing on social media that he was "not 'missing', just a little under the weather."

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