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Drop and give me 20 ... dad! A new board game gets families off the couch and brings fitness and health back into the living room.

After more than 10 years in the health and fitness industry, as an AFAA certified personal trainer, group-exercise instructor and fitness director, I stumbled across a new concept in the ever-growing quest to change lives through exercise. "No Sweat ... Go for Gold" is a board game in which you exercise as you play. Don't let the name fool you; after more than 60 push-ups, 28 leg-lifts and 45 crunches I was sweating!

An entrepreneur in Sacramento, California, developed "No Sweat" to bring exercise and fitness education to families. After almost 20 years of mulling over the idea, perfecting the game board, patenting it and establishing the company name, Fun & Fitness LLC, Dan Thompson created a unique and fun way to help families get fit.

How to Play

The objective of the game, secondary to getting fit and having fun, is to earn enough money by exercising and moving along the game board to enter the track-and-field competition at the center of the board.

The game is initiated when players earn $50 by completing their warm-up stretches. Players must raise money for hotel accommodations, airfare and sporting goods.

The first three players to finish win gold, silver and bronze medals. The medals, exercise descriptions, game bucks and rules come nicely packaged in the "No Sweat" game box.

The game includes "calorie cards" showing pictures and indicating calorie counts for different foods. There are also "exercise cards" picturing 18 different exercises.

At the start of the game, players individually select their level of play. Beginners perform the number of repetitions shown on the red exercise die, intermediate players perform double the number and advanced players triple the number.

Young children or those new to exercise should definitely stick to the beginner level.

The underlying success of "No Sweat" is that the whole family can play and it is adaptable to different fitness levels. It is fun to see how children and adults alike can progress while playing the game.

All the Sacramento families who originally tested the game absolutely loved it.

The bottom line is that playing "No Sweat" gets families off the couch and, more importantly, moving.

A Motivational Tool

How does this new board game affect exercise professionals? First of all, we now have a brand new tool to motivate people to get active. A board game is a creative, unconventional method to entice people of all ages to exercise.

Clients can bring it home to their families and soon enough video games and Internet chat won't be as much fun as making mom and dad do push-ups (the player to the left chooses your exercise, so oftentimes a child selects exercise for a parent and vice versa).

Your pre-teen and teenage clientele now have a new game to play with siblings and friends.

Exercise professionals have been trying to encourage people to take exercise out of the gym and into their everyday lives for years.

We all know it is not enough to meet with a trainer one to three times a week, if healthy eating habits and daily recreation are not incorporated. Playing "No Sweat" can encourage families to do just that.

Spread the Joy

The President's Council for Physical Fitness supports the game, school districts and the United States military have purchased the game and home school networks have incorporated it into their physical education programs As trainers, group-exercise instructors, fitness directors and club managers, here are several ways you can participate in the evolution and spread of this game:

* Introduce the game at a staff meeting or event.

* Keep the game in the lobby of your health club, YMCA or community center.

* Utilize the calorie and exercise cards to teach children about the variety of foods and exercises available.

* Play the game in teams as an alternative group-class.

* Use the game as an incentive prize for members or employees.

* Give the game as corporate gifts.

* Design a specialty class around the "No Sweat" theme to introduce it to members.

* Give it as a gift to members who purchase 20 personal training sessions.

* Fun & Fitness encourages you to get creative in introducing this game to your clients, members, families and friends.

For additional information or to order the game, visit

Heidi Bressler, AFAA certified personal trainer and primary exercise instructor, is Fun & Fitness' spokesperson for "No Sweat." She hosts the television show Healthy Mind, Healthy Body and holds a degree in nutritional science from California Polytechnic State University. Contact her at
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Article Details
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Author:Bressler, Heidi
Publication:American Fitness
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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