A native of San Pedro, California, Denise started gymnastics at the age of 12 and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona, graduating in 1979 with an exercise physiology degree. She began her career teaching aerobic exercise classes in the Los Angeles area and went on to cohost the The Jack LaLanne Show, in 1981. (Denise considers Jack LaLanne one of her role models, and she is delighted to still speak regularly with the 95-year-old fitness legend.)
During more than 25 years promoting health and fitness, Denise has created 82 workout videos or DVDs. Her enormous number of sales led to her 2003 induction into the Video Hall of Fame.
Denise has been married for 25 years to Jeff Austin, a sports attorney and brother of tennis champ Tracy Austin. They share a home with their two teenage daughters, Kelly and Katie.