skiing Jun 23, 2024

does skiing burn calories

how many calories do you burn while skiing

Does Skiing Burn Calories?

Skiing is a popular winter sport, loved by thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Not only is skiing fun and enjoyable, but it also provides a great workout for your body. The question is, does skiing burn calories? The answer is a resounding yes. Skiing is an excellent form of exercise that can help you burn a significant number of calories while having fun on the slopes.

The Science Behind Calories Burned while Skiing

Before we dive into the specifics of how many calories skiing can burn, let`s first understand the science behind calorie burning. Calories are a unit of measurement used to determine the energy value of food and the amount of energy our body needs to function daily. When we engage in physical activities like skiing, our body uses stored energy in the form of calories to perform the movement.

The amount of energy or calories needed depends on various factors, such as the intensity of the activity, duration, and individual`s weight. Skiing involves both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, making it an effective way to burn a significant number of calories.

How Many Calories Do You Burn While Skiing?

The number of calories burned while skiing varies depending on various factors, including body weight, skiing style, and intensity. On average, a person can burn around 400-600 calories per hour while skiing. This number can increase if the skier maintains a high-intensity activity level and has a more significant body weight.

The type of skiing you do also plays a significant role in the number of calories you can burn. For example, downhill skiing or alpine skiing encompassing quick and dynamic movements, can burn more calories than cross-country skiing, which involves long, steady movements. Additionally, off-piste or backcountry skiing involves skiing through unmarked and unpaved areas, requiring more effort and thus burning more calories.

Factors That Affect Calorie Burn while Skiing

As mentioned earlier, several factors can affect the number of calories you burn while skiing. These include:

1. Body Weight - The more body weight you carry, the more calories you burn while skiing. A person weighing 160 pounds can burn between 452-678 calories per hour, while someone weighing 200 pounds can burn between 564-845 calories in the same amount of time.

2. Intensity - The more intense your skiing activity is, the more calories you will burn. For example, skiing at high speeds or taking on challenging slopes will require more effort, resulting in more calories burned.

3. Skiing Style - As mentioned earlier, different skiing styles have different calorie-burning potentials. For example, downhill skiing involves more dynamic movements, whereas cross-country skiing involves steady gliding movements.

4. Duration - The longer you ski, the more calories you will burn. Keep in mind that the total number of calories burned will depend on the intensity and your body weight as well.

5. Weather - Skiing in cold weather can also boost your calorie burn as your body works harder to keep warm. However, extreme weather conditions can make skiing dangerous and should always be done with caution.

Other Benefits of Skiing

Aside from burning calories and providing an excellent cardiovascular workout, skiing has several other benefits for both physical and mental health. It strengthens your lower body, including your legs and glutes, and can improve your balance and coordination. Skiing also releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, promoting a sense of happiness and well-being.

Furthermore, skiing is a social activity that can help you connect with friends and family while enjoying the great outdoors. Being in nature and away from technology can also be a great way to disconnect and distress.


Skiing is a fantastic form of exercise that can help you burn a significant number of calories while having fun on the slopes. The exact number of calories burned will depend on several factors, including body weight, intensity, duration, and skiing style. However, on average, skiing can burn between 400-600 calories per hour. So the next time you hit the slopes, remember that you are not only having a great time but also giving your body an excellent workout.

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