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How Can You Stop Winter Weight Gain?

 Get moving with home exercise equipment
How Can You Stop Winter Weight Gain?

(ARA) - Americans gain weight over the winter for several reasons. Some of the biggest culprits are fewer sunlight hours in which to exercise, a biological urge to eat more to develop an insulating layer of fat, and increased occurrences of winter illnesses, which can drain energy. Additionally, busy schedules can cut into your normal exercise routine and seasonal parties offer numerous opportunities for snacking.

Researchers also report that most people never take off the weight they gain in winter. After several years, even small weight gains can add up to significant amounts, severely increasing the risk of medical problems related to obesity. This year, consider developing a physical fitness routine. An easy way to start is by adding some in-home exercise equipment.

In spite of winter's weighty challenges, there are still some effective ways to keep off the pounds. And it doesn't necessarily mean rushing off to buy a costly health club membership. You can get health-club type results -- and may even exercise more -- by working out in the comfort of your own home.

In spite of winter's weighty challenges, there are still some effective ways to keep off the pounds. And it doesn't necessarily mean rushing off to buy a costly health club membership.

There's No Place Like Home

In fact, your home may be one of the best places to start a fitness program because you don't have to worry about wintry travel hassles or high monthly membership dues. And you don't have to spend a lot on home exercise equipment or workout videotapes.

"For home exercise equipment that gives you a total body workout, you can expect to pay between $150 to $300," says Bill Althoff, senior sporting goods buyer at Fingerhut, a leading general merchandise cataloger. "When you consider that health club membership dues can average between $30 and $50 a month plus initiation fees, the right pieces of equipment can quickly pay for themselves."

Althoff also notes that smaller pieces of equipment that focus on specific areas of the body, such as a set of weights, may be even less expensive, starting as low as $30.

Know What You Need

Before you start shopping, form a general idea of what type of equipment you want. Consider, for example, what types of exercise you most enjoy. You should also:

* Select equipment that meets your fitness goals. "If you're looking to improve overall health, for example, you might want a treadmill that can give your cardiovascular system a workout," Althoff said. "Similarly, if you're looking to build muscle, you might want to consider a weight set."

* Decide where you'll put the equipment. Experts advise setting up a room or designating part of your home as your "workout area" for best results. A home gym designed for a complete and effective workout can fit into a relatively small room if you plan it right.

"Much of today's in-home exercise equipment is fairly compact and easily disassembled," Althoff explained. "So you can stow the equipment in a closet or, in some cases, under a bed when you're not using it."

Design a Program You Can Live With

While staying in shape doesn't mean you have to start an Olympic training regimen, you do have to get moving. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that working out for as little as 15 minutes a day can have beneficial results, help to control weight, develop lean muscle and reduce body fat.

As you start your fitness plan, avoid exercise burnout by setting reasonable fitness goals. And help ensure that you'll be able to stick to your workout plan by finding ways to incorporate exercise into your schedule. Finally, be sure to consult your physician before beginning a rigorous exercise program.

For more information on affordable home exercise equipment options, visit the Fingerhut Web site at

EDITOR'S NOTE: For additional information, contact Chris Bauer at Padilla Speer Beardsley Public Relations, (612) 872-3757, or Ben Sauko at Fingerhut, (952) 932-3529.

Courtesy of ARA Content,  e-mail: 

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