Board Game Motivates Budget Conscience Exercisers

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Vicki Sorensen, a self-proclaimed "Wannabe Exerciser," wanted to shed some pounds and get in shape for her wedding. With her big day fast approaching, she and her fiancé needed some major motivation to get moving. But their budget wouldn't allow for an expensive gym membership, let alone for a personal trainer. So Sorensen came up a new twist on a traditional board game.

Today, I'm in the best shape of my life

Vicki Sorensen, a self-proclaimed "Wannabe Exerciser," wanted to shed some pounds and get in shape for her wedding. With her big day fast approaching, she and her fiancé needed some major motivation to get moving. But their budget wouldn't allow for an expensive gym membership, let alone for a personal trainer. So Sorensen came up a new twist on a traditional board game. She challenged her fiancé to an eight-week exercise competition complete with a scorecard, rewards and a unique bonus point system that kicked in when they exercised at least three times each week.

Her game worked and Sorensen was down to a size 6 on her wedding day and her fiancé lost 20 pounds. A few years later and after the birth of her second child, Sorensen weighed in at 200 pounds. Again, needing motivation, the budget-conscience Sorensen turned to her game. She played it over and over in eight-week periods with friends and family and in nine months was back down to her wedding size.

Seeing her own weight loss success, Sorensen knew her game could motivate other wannabe exercisers. She named her game "The Fitness Challenge®" and with her mother as her business partner, brought it to market. At about half the cost of a single personal training session, The Fitness Challenge has helped thousands of players start and stick to a regular exercise program. Sorensen is now on a mission to help people exercise through these difficult economic times.

"We all know that physical fitness is a necessity for keeping the pounds off and maintaining our overall health and well-being," says Sorensen. "With the uncertainties facing us today, people are stressed out and need to exercise more than ever. It's unfortunate that due to the economy, people are opting out of their gym memberships and personal trainers at a time when they need them the most. It's been my experience that one of the main reasons people hire personal trainers is for motivation - someone to hold them accountable. The Fitness Challenge works because of the buddy system. You have a partner to hold you accountable. It's like a personal trainer in a box."

Everything players need to create their own fun exercise competition comes packaged in the game. Spouses, friends, co-workers or kids of any fitness level can all participate. Players don't have to exercise together - they can live in the same household or across the country. Players select from a set of award coupons they'd really like to win--think a manicure, gift certificate, or make him empty the dishwasher all month. A scoreboard that hangs in daily view lets players see how they're doing against their competition. Plus it's reusable - players can play again and again.

Sorensen has continued to reap the rewards of the program she designed. "Today, I'm in the best shape of my life," she says.

The Fitness Challenge® is available nationally at all Border's Bookstores and online at Amazon.com, drugstore.com, and Target.com. One dollar from the sale of every game goes to The Fitness Challenge Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote health and wellness, medical research, and family and child welfare. To learn more about The Fitness Challenge, visit http://www.fitnesschallenge.com.

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Stephanie Rhodes

Vicki Sorensen
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