For more than two dozen years, Leslie Sansone has been helping people become more physically active through walking. She developed the Walk at Home program and has made more than 40 walking DVDs and videos. Sansone also has written several fitness books and owns her own gym in Pennsylvania. Her fitness program was valued at $180 million in 2009.
How Did Leslie Sansone Become Interested in Exercise?
Leslie Sansone became interested in fitness in the early 1980s when she was looking to find ways to pay for college. Her cousin asked her to join a weekend workshop for group exercise instructors. Sansone discovered she loved moving to music and soon became an exercise instructor for local churches.
How Did She Get Started with Her DVDs?
While teaching a walking class, Leslie Sansone was asked if a student could videotape the workout. In an interview with LIFE Today, Sansone said she was surprised when all of her students wanted a copy of the video. Since her entire class was interested in a workout video, Sansone thought others would be too. She contacted a video distributor in New York and signed a contract to produce her walking videos. She released her first video in the late 1980s.
Why Does She Focus on Walking?
Leslie Sansone actively sought walkers to come to her gym as a way to get them out of the cold. She posted flyers in the neighborhood about her walking aerobics class, which became so popular she had to offer 40 walking aerobics classes a week. In an interview with LIFE Today, Sansone said people were attracted by the word “walk,” which made exercise seem less threatening.
Where Has Her Fitness Expertised Been Featured?
Leslie Sansone holds six fitness certifications and has organized health programs for public schools and weight-loss clinics. She has coordinated walks for the American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Cancer Society and Multiple Sclerosis. According to her bio on WalkAtHome.com, she has provided her fitness input to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, the PA Governor’s Council, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Take Off the Pounds Sensibly. She also has contributed to such magazines as "Health", "Woman’s World", "Prevention" and "Woman’s Day Magazine".
What About Her Personal Life?
Leslie Sansone was born Feb. 14, 1962, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, where she still lives. Sansone is married to Joseph Bullano, and the couple have two children, Marie Ellena and Andrew. Sansone also has a son Joseph from a previous marriage.