Marc Saltzman, Special For USA TODAY
Cut up your gym membership card, fire your personal trainer and cancel that Jenny Craig food order. If you want to get lean and mean in 2013, perhaps you should start with some high-tech help.
If your New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, a number of fitness-themed games, gadgets and apps could get you more excited than Richard Simmons at a short-shorts sale.
Here's a sampling of what's available.
Designed for Nintendo's new Wii U system, Ubisoft's Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013($49.99) includes 125 different workouts and 215 moves to master. Alternatively, you can create a personalized four-week exercise program based on your fitness priorities. If you need a little extra motivation, connect online with friends to compete and collaborate.
A few workouts are included from Men's Health magazine (e.g. "The Ultimate Men's Health Fat-Loss Workout") and Women's Health magazine ("The Perfect Legs and Butt Workout" or "The Skinny Jeans Workout").
If you own an Xbox 360, last year's Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 ($29.99) works with the hands-free Kinect peripheral.
Another game, Nintendo's Wii Fit U ($59.99), works with the Wii Balance Board (resembling a white bathroom scale), Wii U GamePad (with 6.2-inch touchscreen) and the small Fit Meter (included), which tracks your daily activity. Tackle more than 20 different activities, including yoga and strength exercises.
For guys who want something a little more, er, manly, THQ's UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System ($29.99) provides a rigorous program designed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and leading MMA (mixed martial arts) training experts. Build strength and burn calories as you master moves from disciplines such as wrestling, kickboxing and Muay Thai.
A fun way to stay motivated, Striiv Play ($69.99) is a tiny but smart pedometer that not only counts steps, stairs and calories burned, but when paired wirelessly with a free iPhone app, it lets you spend earned gold to use in a fantasy game. To earn gold and points, you'll complete daily missions - walk for a mile or climb 50 stairs, for instance. And you can track your progress on the app or via a personal computer (USB cable included).
Other wearable Bluetooth-enabled devices to help you stay fit include the Nike+ FuelBand ($149) and Jawbone Up Wristband ($129.99).
When you get home, step onto the Withings WS-30($129.95), an Internet-connected body scale. Sure, you can just step on and read your weight and BMI (body mass index) on its bright screen. But additionally, all of this information is immediately uploaded to a password-protected website or free app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. This scale is ideal for those who want to chart their weight loss, which can be posted to Facebook if you're daring enough, or for those training for an event.
Smartphone and tablet apps can also help you get fit and stay motivated.
iFitness Pro ($0.99 cents; for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch) is a full-featured workout companion that includes hundreds of exercises to master, each with clear text instructions, illustrations, photos and videos. Exercises are divided by body region (arms, abdominals, legs, etc.), primary target areas (e.g. biceps, quadriceps, glutes, and so on) and equipment needed (such as dumbbells, kettlebells, bands, machines or none).
Add your own exercise or create a custom routine in the "My Workouts" area, add photos and notes, and then share your exercise with others.
Another great app to help you in 2013 is Lose It! (free, for iPhone and Android). Set a goal for yourself - lose 10 pounds in two months, perhaps - and then the program will calculate what should be your caloric intake each day. Pull out your smartphone at meals and snacks to type in what you're consuming. You can do that by food, such as "one small salad with light vinaigrette dressing," or even by brand, like two "Butterball turkey dogs." The app will calculate the calories for you. The app can also calculate your fat, sodium and sugar intake.
Exercise is also factored into your daily routine, allowing you to consume more calories if you've been working out. Your info can be also synced to the LoseIt.com website.
Finally, for something a little more visceral, Zombies, Run! ($7.99) is a clever role-playing app that scares you into getting fit. While walking, jogging or running with your smartphone, you'll hear a terrifying tale in your headphones about a zombie-infested future. Available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone devices, you play as a "runner" who must keep away from the flesh-eating undead and collect ammo and medicine for other human survivors. After you've amassed items throughout your narrated exercise, you can choose what to do with your items, what part of this fictional city to help first and unlock additional content.
Sure, there are many other good running apps (check out mapmyfitness.com), but this creepy one features include more than 30 missions, the ability to run with your own music and optional synchronization with a password-protected website to track your progress on a map.