A multi-talented aerobics instructor, author, newspaper columnist, television personality and host of a phenomenally successful series of home-video workouts, Denise Austin instantly established herself in the '80s and '90s as one of America's premier fitness experts and an American icon. Austin propagates an unusual -- and now infamous -- physiological regimen, which she herself follows on a regular basis: she limits her daily workouts to half an hour and eats three square meals per day. This doable, no-nonsense approach to personal health and fitness continues to win Austin legions of fans around the world.
Born February 13, 1957, Denise Katrich came of age in the Southern California community of San Pedro, and trained as a gymnast during adolescence. She attended the University of Arizona on an athletic scholarship in the late '70s, and graduated in 1979 with a degree in exercise physiology. In 1981, Denise began to teach aerobics classes in the City of Angels, and headlined a popular exercise program on a local L.A. television station not long after. In 1983, Denise married attorney Jeff Austin, with whom she had two daughters, Kelly (in 1990) and Katie (in 1993). The Austins subsequently moved to Washington, D.C., where Jeff accepted a position with a sports marketing firm.
Throughout the late '80s and '90s, Denise Austin continued to appear regularly on television in such series as Denise Austin: Fit & Lite and Denise Austin's Daily Workout (both on Lifetime), and parlayed her success in that venue into dozens of workout videos that sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. These titles include Denise Austin: Low Impact Aerobics (1987), Denise Austin: Step Workout (1992), Denise Austin: Yoga Essentials (1994), Denise Austin: Totally Firm (1997), and Denise Austin: Power Kickboxing (1999). Austin's success stretched without end into the first decade of the new millennium, when she continued to issue her fitness programs on DVD.
Austin has authored a series of nine best-selling books, including Tone Your Tummy Type: Flatten Your Belly and Shrink Your Waist in 4 Weeks, Shrink Your Female Fat Zones: Lose Pounds and Inches -- Fast! -- From Your Belly, Hips, Thighs and More, and Lose those Last 10 Pounds: The 28-Day Foolproof Plan to a Healthy Body. She also writes a regular workout advice column, "Body Work by Denise Austin," in Prevention magazine.
In 2006, George W. Bush appointed Denise to serve on the board of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS), a nonprofit organization that attempts to spread sports awareness and physical activity (and encourage fitness) among Americans of every age bracket. Her role involves traveling to schools in a number of regions across the country, with the long-term goal of visiting all 50 states. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi