How Many Calories Do You Burn While Skiing?

Thousands of skiers hit the slopes every day for an adventure-packed ride. The snow-covered hills and the rushing wind on your face as you tread downhill are just some of the reasons people grab their poles. Not only is skiing a ticket to a good time, but it also has some health benefits.

Based on the adrenaline rush and the marketing of skiing as entertainment, you may be thinking that skiing has only leisurely effects. In reality, it is a great way to boost physical activity. Snowboarding is no different. Both activities are excellent sources for raising your heart rate and increasing your calorie count.

Skiing Workout

woman burning calories skiing

Many people treat skiing as exercise. Although seemingly effortless, downhill skiing increases the number of calories burned per hour and acts as a test of endurance and resistance. However, is skiing worth your time?

How Many Calories Do You Burn Skiing?

Exercise skiing is a fantastic cardiovascular workout that promotes lower-body conditioning with increased calories burned per hour. The number of calories burned per hour depends significantly on the activities you take part in while downhill skiing, as well as your weight and skill level.

On average, though, a 185-pound person can burn about 500 calories an hour while downhill skiing. Of course, you can burn more calories by skipping the lift and walking up the hill yourself. The amount of calories burned is also affected by your skill level. The more successful the carves, jumps, and skids, the more efficient is your calorie burn.

Therefore, Is Skiing a Good Workout?

In short, yes! Skiing is a good workout because it promotes so many different kinds of workout skills. Endurance, resistance, and balance are just some of the techniques tested while downhill skiing. Plus, the calories burned downhill skiing help promote a healthy lifestyle through physical activity.

Skiing is also a good form of interval training. Health experts find that this form of exercise can improve your fitness and could potentially prolong your life. As if the activity could not get any better, skiing also strengthens your lower body muscles, meaning your time spent skiing is one less leg day at the gym.

Can Skiing Help Weight Loss?

Exercise for skiing can actually support weight loss. To lose weight, experts say you must burn more calories than you intake per day. So, skiing is a great way to boost the number of calories you burn per day, promoting physical activity and healthy weight loss.

Skiing is not a cure-all, though, for people looking to lose weight. Combined with a healthy diet, skiing is great to incorporate for a healthier and more active lifestyle.

What About Cross Country Skiing?

Cross country skiing is a physical activity where skiers rely solely on their own bodies to move. There are no devices for assistance, such as ski lifts. The only thing this activity requires is a body, some skis, boot, bindings, and poles.

When cross country skiing, a 200-pound person can burn about 600 calories per hour. Meanwhile, a 150-pound person burns about 500 calories per hour. Cross country skiing burns more calories per hour since the skier is doing most if not all the work for moving.

Snowboarding Calories Burned

man burning calories snowboarding

Like skiing, snowboarding is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that can speed up your heart rate and increase the number of calories you burn per hour. It also focuses on the lower body, so you can get some lower-body muscle conditioning while enjoying the rush of downhill snowboarding.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Snowboarding?

The number of calories burned snowboarding, again, depends greatly on your activity, skill set, and weight. Someone weighing about 130 pounds can burn about 300 calories per hour when snowboarding. Of course, this can only increase based on the level and amount of tricks you do.

Is Snowboarding Effective for Weight Loss?

Snowboarding, when combined with a healthy diet, can support weight loss. It acts as the physical activity needed to burn calories, which promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Not only does it reinforce weight loss, but it also serves as time spent on strengthening your lower body and core muscles—the hip and leg movements needed to keep balance conditions those muscles to be stronger. Plus, your core is a crucial part of your body to maintain balance. So, you can work multiple parts of your body simply by snowboarding.

Are There Other Winter Activities That Burn Many Calories?

Most winter activities have a physical aspect that burns calories. However, are there winter activities that can burn calories just as effectively as skiing or snowboarding?

If you want to trade in the skis or snowboards for something else, here are some other options:

  • Ski touring
  • Ice skating
  • Sledding

Surprisingly, many winter activities burn calories and promote a healthy lifestyle. Next time it snows, do not fret that you cannot hit the gym or go for your run. Instead, make the most of the weather and try something new!

Which Burns More Calories: Skiing or Snowboarding?

Both activities are winter sports that offer fun ways to work out and boost your physical activity. While both are effective activities for weight loss and fitness, one comes out superior when it comes to burning calories.

In the end, skiing burns more calories per hour than snowboarding, but only slightly. This could, however, reverse if a snowboarder performs more tricks or chooses to walk up the hill rather than take the lift. Picking yourself up after a fall also has its contributions to the calorie count.

When it comes down to it, it does not matter which winter activity you choose. Both are effective in burning calories and promoting a healthy lifestyle while keeping things fun. If you are about to hit the slopes and are debating over the skis or snowboard, pick whatever is going to make you excited to hit the slopes. In the long run, it does not matter which activity burns more calories. Both are effective ways of pumping up your heart rate and burning off some energy.


Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.