Definitely not a passive activity, skiing involves virtually constant movement, and it targets several key muscle groups in the body. To quickly answer the question posed above, skiing does burn excess calories—or “fat”—by boosting the conversion of what’s consumed into energy. Keep reading to learn more about the fat-burning capabilities of skiing and what you’ll need to keep in mind to benefit most from this form of exercise, brought to you by the snow sports experts at ASO Mammoth—the premier place for gear, equipment repair, and ski rentals in Mammoth.
Calories Burned by Skiing
The exact figure can vary based on factors such as how much you weigh and how fast or slow your metabolism happens to be. However, skiing has the potential to burn anywhere from 380 to 500 calories per hour. Also, the number of calories burned while skiing can be maximized to some extent if you take on more challenging terrain. How long you spend skiing during a typical day will also determine how many calories end up being burned. Studies suggest six hours of skiing burns between 2,500 and 3,000 calories.
Downhill vs. Cross-Country Skiing
Downhill skiing burns 300 to 600 calories per hour of activity—minus any time spent on chairlifts. On average, more calories are burned with cross-country skiing at a moderate level than what’s typical with downhill skiing. Still, you’ll definitely shed some excess calories if you regularly do any type of skiing.
Weight Loss & Skiing
If one of your personal goals is to either lose some weight or keep your weight in check during a period of the year when more time is spent indoors, skiing can help you see noticeable results. Skiing has the potential to help you lose up to five pounds per week. This activity has also been associated with:
• Increasing muscle tone
• Boosting immune system function
• Helping with flexibility and coordination
These are all perks that can play a role in maintaining your weight or shedding unwanted pounds. For instance, if you’re more flexible and coordinated, you may be more motivated to walk and do other things when not skiing that also burn fat. A healthy immune system also makes it easier for the body to burn calories without having to deal with extra burdens.
The Effects of What You Do when Not Skiing
How much fat you burn when skiing will also depend on what you do when you’re not hitting the fresh powder. For example, if you treat yourself to a high-calorie dinner after a day of skiing, you’re not going to reap the full rewards of fat burning from skiing. Fortunately, this is a problem that can be remedied if you make an effort to:
• Watch your calorie intake when not skiing
• Enjoy other forms of exercise in addition to skiing
• Talk to your doctor to get recommendations if you want to incorporate skiing into your weight loss routine
• Explore the many other outdoor activity possibilities at places like Mammoth Mountain throughout the year so you’re consistently burning excess calories
No matter what type of skiing you choose, you’ll get a great workout. If you’re new to skiing, the best way to try out the sport is to rent high-quality equipment and get some beginner tips from experienced pros. When you come to Mammoth, ski rental, boots, poles—everything you need to try the sport—are right here at ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for all the gear and services you need to have a blast on the mountain. Drop by our shop or give us a call at 760-965-3444.