Exactly How Many Calories Do You Burn Skiing?


You will probably take for granted that you'll be losing weight as you're skiing, but as with all sports it all depends on how hard you ski.


The Facts for Skiing

On average, downhill skiing or boarding can burn between 300-600 calories per hour. In addition the cold weather can help us lose weight as our bodies have to work harder to keep us warm. So add a further 100 calories per hour to that figure!

However, losing the calories isn’t as easy as simply standing on the slopes and gliding down. You'll need to be working hard on those turns, jumps and your "rise and fall".

If losing weight is important to you, then consider some of the followng for your Winter holiday.

Ditch The Downhill And Get Cross Country Skiing

You will lose more weight cross country skiing than normal downhill skiing.

On average cross country skiers burn 400-875 calories per hour and remember you don’t get any rest time on a chairlift! The amount of calories that you burn does depend on your body weight, skiing speed and terrain. If you do want to burn even more calories then you may want to try skate skiing and mountaineering.

A 150lb/70kg adult can burn up to 700 calories per hour just skate skiing on flat terrain. This is because skating is usually more vigorous than classic skiing. Mountaineering, which involves breaking trails through snow and climbing, can burn up to 1,100 calories per hour.

Ski Hard

You won’t burn loads of calories if you are only ski a few hours each day and then just do a few cruisy blues.

To really lose weight you need to work that core and get your heart rate up on steeper, longer trails. That said, always work within your ability level, skiing on trails that you are not ready for may help you lose weight but may also cause injury and loss of confidence.

An average size adult weighing 70kg (or 150 pounds) can burn between 250-300 calories per hour on what we could call light effort whilst the same adult, either racing or skiing really rigorously, will burn between 475-600 calories per hour, so you can see that the way you ski really impacts on the calories you lose.

It should also be noted that whilst you burn similar calories either skiing or boarding you will burn more calories whilst learning to snowboard. This is due to the upper body workout you get whilst constantly getting up every time you fall

Watch The Food & Après-ski

The problem with skiing is that you can work really hard on the slopes then pile all the calories back on by eating chips in a mountain restaurant. Then you hit the bars on the après ski and knock back the beers, again piling the calories on. So if weight loss is important to you watch the mountain food and alcohol consumption!

Start the day with porridge and fresh fruit. Snack on almonds, walnuts and fruit as opposed to chocolate bars and try to eat protein and small portions of complex carbohydrates for lunch and dinner.

In addition, when you are skiing ensure that you engage the core, work out those thighs, keep the turns tight and try to avoid lengthy stops. Keep the heart rate up. That said always ski within your ability to ensure your safety.


By Will Smith