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The average American woman gains 4.5 pounds during the winter. Here’s how to take it off.

The average woman in the U.S. gains 4.5 pounds during the winter months. This can be attributed, at least in part, to a tendency for people to skip workouts and eat high-calorie comfort foods in response to colder, darker days. Any damage done by holiday indulgences also contributes to winter weight gain.

But you don’t have to let the weather and other external factors get the best of you. If you get up and get moving you can avoid gaining weight or can get rid of those pesky pounds that creep up on you.

The trick at this time of year is to find a winter workout that works with your mood and your schedule. Whether it’s too cold to head out to the gym, you’re short on time or you simply need some new motivation, here are a few ways to stay active so you don’t let winter weight gain get the best of you:

  • Try a new sport. Winter is a great time to try something new like ice-skating, skiing or snowshoeing. If you want to give volleyball, basketball or racquetball a go, now is a great time to get involved in an indoor league.
  • Join a mall-walking club. If the weather outside is too frightful to take a walk, it’s always warm and cozy inside the mall. Many shopping malls have walking clubs where you can walk in safety with others while window-shopping and socializing.
  • Join a new class. Finding your usual routine at the gym boring (or don’t have a usual routine at the gym)?  Look into classes that pique your interest such as boxing, aerial yoga or pole dancing.
  • Purchase or rent exercise DVDs. Or get them on-demand. You can do just about any type of workout by following along, right in your own home.
  • Buy new exercise equipment. Holiday gift money is best spent on something that makes you happy and healthy. So use some of your holiday cash to buy a set of kettlebells, a pair of new sneakers to run in or even a treadmill.

Of course, before starting any new exercise program, you should always talk to your doctor.

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Date Last Reviewed: November 29, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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