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Indoor workouts to battle Winter weight gain

WATCH: Global News’ Peter Kim explores the world of unique indoor workouts that are perfect for tackling holiday weight gain.

TORONTO – Winter weight gain is a regular occurrence for some who retreat into a more sedentary lifestyle as the cold arrives. Add more layers of concealing clothing and the lure of holiday treats and you have a recipe for an expanding waistline.

But there are several unique, indoor workouts across Toronto that can help you battle the bulge this holiday season.

Scarborough’s Afterburn Fitness offers Toronto’s only dragon boat specific paddling pool that will give your arms and back an intense athlete’s workout.

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“It also works the core because you’re squeezing when you pressing down on the paddle,” said owner Andrew Liew. “I’ve been in the sport [dragon boat] for 8 to 10 years and through my experience, there wasn’t any place we could paddle for dragon boat in the Winter.

“It’s fantastic for upper body strength and core, but may not be as good for lower body strength and for overall cardiovascular and heart strength,” said Greg Wells an assistant professor of kinesiology and physical education at the University of Toronto. “It’s a bit more of a strength workout than an endurance workout.”

For those wanting a more vertical experience, Leaside’s Lift Fitness Studio trains with a specifically designed “Fitwall” that works the body while going easy on the joints.

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“It’s quick, efficient, effective, and great for [joint] decompression. It takes all the pressure off of your joints and you get great decompression when your hands and feet are both on the wall,” according to owner Bonnie Goldmacher.

A 30-minute session burns between 350 and 450 calories. Participants wear chest bands that monitor their heart rate to maximize the fitness benefits.

Those looking for functional training – strengthening muscles to perform common tasks and body movements – can check out Alpha Obstacle Training along Toronto’s waterfront.

The 4000 square foot facility offers an obstacle course that combines cardio with strength and can prepare people for gruelling endurance races like Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race.

“We’re working on our endurance, our strength, our power. It’s all functional movements. We’re lifting stuff, carrying stuff, throwing stuff,” said co-founder Jesse Bruce.

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Professor Wells gave this workout the best grade in terms of overall fitness value but said, “it may have some limitations in your ability to develop strength in some specific muscle groups.”