Margaret Richard

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Qualifications: Studied ballet. Has been teaching strength training since 1979.

Personal History: I introduced the Body Electric program to a group of friends in 1979. We were women and men of all shapes and sizes, sporting bathing suits, shorts, leotards and bare feet. We met in a ballet studio on a balmy North Florida evening, and emerged an hour later having shared an experience that would ultimately have an immense impact on our lives. I know it changed mine. Each exercise routine combined a thorough muscle-toning workout, using light resistance, with the artistic elements of dance. It was aesthetic and athletic. My students were delighted with their resulting muscle definition and increased energy, accompanied by the requisite muscle soreness! We subsequently learned that there was a more vital benefit to be gained from resistance-type exercises: The entire population could benefit from stronger muscles and bones, especially post-menopausal women at greater risk for the fractures associated with osteoporosis.

Workout Philosophy: Whether a person is forty or eighty, strength and muscle mass can be increased and remains highly responsive to training. With regular, moderate exercise we have the power to redefine aging as a continuum of growing stronger.

Success Story: Here's a note from Brigitta, in Foresthill, CA "I discovered your show back when I weighed over 242 pounds, and  being healthy and fit seemed nearly impossible.  I exercised to your show on-and-off throughout the years, dreaming, but never quite believing, that I would someday attain a level of fitness that I saw modeled by you and the Body Electric Dancers.    Now, at 48 and Fabulous, I am experiencing excellent health and fitness! In the last two years, I have been on a transformative journey that has lead to a 100-pound weight loss, amazing energy, and a whole new sense of joy and purpose in my life.  I recently moved to a remote area and became unemployed, too. For now, getting to the gym is a challenge, as I am pinching pennies. As I was constructing an alternate plan for maintaining my fitness, I remembered you and Body Electric! I found an old VCR tape with episodes recorded from PBS over a decade ago. I popped it in the tape player (yes, still have one!) and joined you in a workout. The workout was amazing!  I remembered why I had loved Body Electric: the inspiration of seeing an incredibly fit woman; your calm, clear instruction on good form; the music; and my muscles telling me they've been thoroughly worked during the workout AND the next day! I'm excited to have Body Electric in my life again. You and your shows, plus regular walking/hiking, and good nutrition are keeping me fit.

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