How Many Calories Does Skiing Burn?

Skiing is not only for leisure and sightseeing in winter. It’s a great form of exercise that helps you burn calories and lose weight and is excellent for maintaining your health. 

Plenty of people are becoming self-aware and weight conscious. However, extensive exercise and dieting make people believe it is impossible. Nothing can be better if you adopt a hobby that helps you lose weight! So, how many calories does skiing burn?

Skiing is an excellent cardio exercise because it relies on your lower body moving you forward. Skiing activates the large muscle groups in the lower area of your body and therefore is a great way to burn calories and lose weight while also having fun.

The amount of calories you can burn during skiing depends on various factors. It includes your weight, age, terrain, the intensity of skiing, and the duration of your skiing time. Therefore, calculating an accurate calorie number for a single person is difficult.

Related: How Much Does It Cost To Rent Ski Equipment?

Is Skiing A Good Way To Lose Weight?

It is possible to lose weight while skiing. However, it is essential to remember that skiing alone cannot promise weight loss. To lose weight, you need to have a balanced and clean diet, measure your calorie intake, and increase your physical activity.

Apart from these factors, having a good night’s sleep and adequate water intake also improves the effectiveness of skiing to lose weight. Drinking sufficient water is crucial because it helps to regulate your body temperature. In addition, you can find water to drink at the mountain resorts, so you don’t have to worry about carrying water.

Is Skiing Good Exercise?

Skiing is a cardiovascular workout that requires pumping oxygenated blood to muscles. Such type of exercise is one of the most influential. In interval training, you have cycles of high-intensity effort and low-intensity activity.

During the low-activity phase, the body burns fat to produce the energy needed for recovery, and during the high-intensity phase, your body burns carbohydrates. Studies show that skiing is among the best interval training workouts.

Your abdominal muscles get a good workout whenever you ski. To have good posture, having a solid core can help. It will also help prevent any skiing-related back pain. In addition, skiing strengthens all the muscles in the legs as well. In this way, skiing is good for your health also.

How To Measure Burned Calories?

The number burned per hour varies because it relies on different factors. Most people burn around 500 calories per hour of skiing. This figure varies based on the skier’s body size, type of skiing, and effort level. It also depends on the intensity of the turns in the terrain. 

A 155-pound person burns about 430 calories in 30 minutes of downhill skiing at a moderate speed. That same person would burn roughly 860 calories after one hour of downhill skiing.

American Council on Exercise (ACE) posit that a person can burn between 5 to 9 calories per pound of body weight. It means that a 155-pound person could burn up to 1,395 calories after one hour of skiing and as low as 885 calories in an hour. 

According to Harvard Medical School, an individual with 185 pounds burns 266 calories in 30 minutes of downhill skiing. 

How Many Calories Do 6 Hours Of Skiing Burn?

An average might run between 300-500 per hour. According to studies on this topic, skiing 6 hours a day can burn 2,500-3,000 calories, apart from calories that burn through daily activities.

How many Calories Do You Burn A Day From Skiing?

That all depends on the details. For example, the duration of the day and the intensity of the skiing play a vital role in burning calories. Some people use up 7000+ calories on a full day of cross-country skiing and about 4000 on a full day of downhill skiing.

Skiing vs. Snowboarding: Which Is Better At Burning Calories?

Skiing vs. Snowboarding for Weight Loss
On soft and mushy snowRequires more effortOn relatively flat snowInduces exertion

Beginners at both skiing and snowboarding to burn a lot of calories. The type of terrain is a factor that determines the number of calories burned. If the terrain is relatively flat and the skill between both sports is similar, you will burn more calories through snowboarding.

If the snow is soft and mushy, skiing may burn more calories because there may be better flotation with a board.

All activities that get you equally tired of the same duration burn almost the same number of calories. 

How Many Calories Does Downhill Skiing Burn?

Weight Loss of An Average 150 Pounds Person
Skiing TypeCalories Burned (per hour)
Light skiing250-300 cal
Moderate skiing340-400 cal
Intense skiing475-600 cal

Downhill skiing means skiing a hill covered in snow on skis with fixed-heel bindings. It’s the type of skiing usually offered at ski resorts and involves catching a lift to go up to the mountain and skiing down. 

Downhill skiing and snowboarding burn 300 to 600 calories per hour on average. It excludes the time and calories spent on the chairlift.

On average, an adult weighs 150 pounds, and they can potentially burn the following calories while skiing:

  • Light intensity burns 250 – 300 calories per hour
  • Moderate intensity burns 340 – 400 calories per hour
  • Intense effort or racing burns 475 – 600 calories per hour

The lighter your body weight is, the lesser calories you will burn.

How Many Calories Does Cross-Country Skiing Burn?

Cross-country skiing is when skiers use their power to ski across various terrains. They don’t use any transport. As a result, cross-country skiing burns more calories than downhill skiing. 

It has to do with the fact that cross-country relies entirely on your body’s effort, unlike downhill skiing, where chair lifts help you go against gravity over the mountain.

Cross-country burns between 400 and 875 per hour without the usage of chairlifts.

Factors That Affect Calories Burned When Skiing

Multiple factors can affect the number of calories someone burns during physical activity. So it’s crucial to be aware of these factors when you’re trying to calculate calories burned skiing.

Fitness Level

Individuals who are physically fit have greater endurance and can ski more. Hence they can lose more calories. If you start with a lower fitness level, you’ll burn fewer calories initially, but slowly the number will increase. 

Height And Weight

Skiers with larger body frames with more muscle burn more calories than individuals with a lower weight.


The older an individual is in age, the fewer calories they burn. It is because young people have a higher metabolism, and their body burns more calories.

Level Of Effort

You will lose many more calories if you exert high pressure during turns. Keep your core engaged and tight while moving and balancing.

Final Word

Skiing is a good sport as it is fun and helps you lose calories and be physically fit. In addition, skiing is a scientifically proven cardiovascular workout. You can lose around 300 to 500 calories per hour. 

However, the amount of calories you lose depends on several factors, like age, weight, height, and the pace of skiing. Cross-country skiing helps you to lose more calories than downhill skiing. If you want to have a good time while also burning calories and taking care of your fitness and health, then skiing is an excellent sport to try. Happy skiing!

Mitchelle Lynn