Fitness guru Donna Richardson: Stay fit in 2003

DALLAS (NNPA)—For those of us who could stand to get into shape, video workout queen Donna Richardson offers that elusive combination—fun and exercise—in old school, spiritual y caliente! DALLAS (NNPA)—For those of us who could stand to get into shape, video workout queen Donna Richardson offers that elusive combination—fun and exercise—in old school, spiritual y caliente!

The number one New Year’s resolution of all time has to be “to lose weight.” While an ambitious endeavor, judging from recent statistics that say close to two-thirds, or 64 percent of American adults are overweight or obese, clearly more folks are resolving than actually doing. And children can’t be overlooked, as former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher pointed out in 1998, childhood obesity is an epidemic and the numbers continue to grow in 2003.

Fitness guru Donna Richardson Joyner travels the country and she sees the fattening of America. People talk to her about losing weight all the time and she knows exactly what they need to do.

While she makes it look easy and fun in her more than 25 work-out videos, admittedly getting in shape takes hard work, motivation and discipline.

“Many people lack motivation,” said Richardson recently. “They may be getting in shape for something like a wedding or a reunion but you have to have motivation for yourself.”

Because the motivation is not coming from within, the drive doesn’t last.

“If they are not motivated, they go strong and then drop off,” she said.

Making the experience enjoyable is a great motivator and Richardson says she has come up with a way to “get folks moving.”

“Find a few things to do with the family, like ice skating, roller skating, bicycling, walking, basketball and swimming,” encourages Richardson, who in 1992 became the co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pros Show.

“When I add entertainment to fitness, you totally forget it’s a workout. You feel the music and let it move you.”

The music for Richardson’s latest videos is designed to appeal to the masses. She has partnered with legendary rappers, Sugar Hill Gang, Curtis Pierre and producer Morris “Butch” Stewart to “create original, soul-stirring dance music.”

“This is an opportunity to encourage fun and fitness while doing what we do best,” said Joey Robinson of the Sugar Hill Gang. “Old school music makes people feel good. When people feel good and feel the rhythm, they want to get up and move. It’s a great combination.”

Robinson and other members of the Sugar Hill Gang, Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike, DJ Davey D, Scorpio and Grandmaster Melle Mel, were in town last weekend to shoot the “Old School Dance Party” video with Richardson.

“This video is going to be trend-setting,” continued Robinson. “And we’re known for setting trends.”

Considered pioneers in the rap music industry, it was the Sugar Hill Gang that exploded on the scene with “Rappers Delight,” the first rap song to hit the top 40 charts. It was former R&B singer Sylvia Robinson who formed the Sugar Hill Record Label in early 1979 and in September, Rappers Delight was released, using “Good Times” by R&B group Chic as the baseline.

Group members say they are proud of their work and of subsequent rappers. They also appreciate that their work is still recognized and there is still an audience that appreciates rap music.

“We had to build our own highway,” said Big Bank Hank. “And we’re still going strong.”

Interestingly, the project was not as easy as first envisioned. In order to do the “old school” video, Richardson had to first find artists who owned their music, which is not the case for many.

The Sugar Hill Gang was on the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cruise and she later contacted them about collaborating on the project.

Richardson considers this project her most ambitious to date. In addition to the video featuring rap music, there’s “Sweating in the Spirit,” featuring Stewart’s creation of “soul-stirring dance music intertwined with scripture-b

January 27, 2003
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