Denise Austin is a pioneer in the fitness industry who has sold more than 24 million exercise videos and DVDs, authored 12 books on fitness, and starred in the longest running fitness show in the history of television. Denise's trademark zest for life, positive outlook, and can-do attitude have endeared her to millions of fans across the country — and around the world — and earned her the reputation as "America's favorite fitness expert." A top-selling author and highly sought-after speaker and TV personality, Denise has a unique ability to make people feel that she's right there with them, cheering them on, inspiring the millions who watch her on television, read her books, or follow her videos and DVDs.
A native of San Pedro, Calif., Denise started gymnastics at the age of 12 and earned an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Arizona. In 1979, she graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education with an emphasis on exercise physiology. She began her career teaching aerobic exercise classes in the Los Angeles area and went on to cohost The Jack LaLanne Show in 1981. (Denise considers the late Jack LaLanne one of her role models and remained great friends with the fitness icon until his death in 2011.) In 1982, she earned her own television program on KABC in Los Angeles and released her first two workout videos, Rock Aerobics and Rock Hard Abs. From 1984 to 1988, she was the fitness expert on NBC's Today Show.
A True Fitness Legend
During more than 30 years promoting health and fitness, Denise has created 100 workout videos or DVDs. Her enormous number of sales led to her 2003 induction into the Video Hall of Fame. Her latest workout DVDs include 2012's Shrink Your Belly Fat, Fit in a Flash, and Shrink Your 5 Fat Zones (Lionsgate), and her newest book, Side Effect Skinny: Denise Austin’s Fat-Blasting Diet, was released in December 2012 (Bird Street Books). On television, Denise has created a loyal audience with her two major television shows: Getting Fit, which ran for 10 years on ESPN and continued on under the new name Denise Austin's Daily Workout when it moved to the Lifetime Television Network. Denise appeared in Daily Workout and a second show, Fit & Lite, for 14 years on Lifetime.
In addition to her role as a popular spokeswoman for such major brands as Idaho Potatoes, Nature Made, and Skechers, Denise has championed the benefits of heart health and good nutrition throughout her career. A 2008 recipient of the American Heart Association and Woman’s Day magazine’s Red Dress Award, she has served two terms on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and helped launch the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid guidance system. In 2012, she launched her exercise equipment line Forever Fit, a collection of 33 fitness products made exclusively for Rite Aid and sold at 4,600 Rite Aid stores nationwide.
Denise has been married for 29 years to Jeff Austin, a sports attorney and brother of tennis champ Tracy Austin. They have two daughters, Kelly and Katie.