Over the next few weeks, people across the country will be gearing up for the annual 'Breaking of the New Year's Resolution' marathon. This of course is the relay engaged in every year in which we set personal improvement goals and see who can hold out the longest before throwing in the towel with a sigh and a proclamation that "there's always next year". Whether it be to quit smoking, be more patient with kids, or to fit in the bikini we've been saving in the back of the dresser drawer since the age of 16 (for some, this is a really, really long time), the majority of people go to the resolution beach party omniscient of their impending failure, but ever hopeful that this will be their year. In fact, research has shown that although 52% of people actually make resolutions, only 12% are successful in keeping them.
Included in the list of the most popular resolutions, is the ever elusive Weight Loss Snipe (surprise, surprise). According to ABC News, 45% of goal setters will take on this mythological raggedy, brown-haired, four-legged monster; but based on the previously mentioned research, only a mere 4.5 out of 100 people will be sporting a new smile and some size 5's come next year. Leading to the same conclusion that only 4.5 out of 100 people won't be using the new treadmill or elliptical in the corner as a coat closet or munching on a McDonald's Big Mac on their way past their 400$ a year membership (on special) at the local gym and fitness club.
Face it, losing weight is just too much work. Counting all those calories and fat grams, staring at the clock as the seconds go by as you wait for dinner time because even though you just had that cup of yogurt 2 minutes ago, you're already starving and somehow that salad you had planned for your next meal just doesn't seem to excite you anymore. Oh, and the exercise, let's not forget about the exercise. Open mouth...insert finger...gag.
Exercise is the crème de la crème of weight loss deal breakers. How many pills are available now, asserting you can lose weight without changing your eating habits and without the hassle of sit ups, power walking, toe touches and butt scrunches. Of course, the tiny writing at the bottom of the TV that states 'results not typical' as you're hypnotized by the whale to minnow body on the screen couldn't possibly be referring to you; because you're not typical either. You don't eat the wrong kinds of food or snack between meals. You have a glandular problem and your metabolism is slower than normal people... It's time to accept facts, exercise is a necessity. Say it aloud. Exercise is a necessity.
The cool thing, but only if you're into video games, is that it doesn't have to be boring. With obesity tipping the scales at more than 300 million people worldwide, over 1 billion being classified as overweight, even the gaming industry has hopped aboard Tony Little's Gazelle in an attempt to help slim down the masses.
Nintendo has created one of the most popular fitness programs available with the Wii Fit. Here is a game, that gets you to exercise, allows you to spend time with your friends and family, have fun, laugh, play, and most importantly, helps you to lose weight. All this for less than a one year membership at the gym you'll probably never have time to go to. The versatility of the Wii Fit provides not only a variety of exercise 'games' but also programs dedicated to other activities that are not generally offered in your aerobics class: Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics and Balance Games. Reader friendly specifics can be found at Wikipedia.
And let's not forget the break-through game of Dance, Dance Revolution, where not only do you benefit from dancing your way to a fit and trim figure, improving your cardio performance and obviously becoming the next John Travolta, you get the added benefit of the special tummy exercise that comes with laughing so hard your sides hurt. This option is only available in the 'group' session of the game and your skills will be judged by those around you. Dance, Dance Revolution is available for the Wii, but also comes if several other flavors including PlayStation, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360, and even PC's. It's like the Baskin Robbins of exercise.
So this year, don't let your Weight Loss Resolution be your downfall. Slip into the gaming groove, then into that hidden, but not forgotten, bikini or 'butt' jeans (step away from the Speedos!). And with the money you save by not buying that gym membership or that fancy new step machine, buy a ticket to the beach, because you've earned it.