Richard Simmons is encouraging fans of his Slimmons studio to "always keep sweatin'"
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Last month, fitness icon Richard Simmons announced that he would be closing his long-standing exercise studio in Beverly Hills, California, and now he’s speaking out to thank fans for all the support he’s received over the years.

“In 1974 I opened Slimmons as a way to help people make positive changes in their lives by having fun while exercising,” Simmons, 68, says in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “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!”

Simmons goes onto say that while the fitness landscape has changed over the years, the studio remained relevant because of its positive message.

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“Over the years thousands came to laugh and sweat with me,” the statement continues. “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.”

Simmons says he made his decision to close the studio to take more time to take care of himself.

“I will take the time for myself to be the best I can be, and so should you,” Simmons concludes. “I love you. Always keep sweatin’!”