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How many calories do you burn skiing?

With fitness enthusiasts booking our one-hour Lift Pass on a regular basis, a question we often get asked here at Chill Factore is, just how many calories do you burn skiing for one hour? If we take a person of 75kg (11 stone), they will burn around 350 calories an hour on a light downhill run. Of course, how many calories are burned skiing depends on the type of skiing being done. For example, during intense cross-country skiing, that number is closer to 1300 calories burnt skiing per hour - not bad for an hour’s workout!

Calorie burning workouts: how does skiing compare?

The best way of defining whether an activity is worthwhile for exercise or calorie control is to compare it to your energy usage at a state of rest. This called MET (metabolic equivalent of task). One MET is defined as 1 kcal/kg/hour and is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting quietly. So, a MET 2 activity expends twice the energy used by the body at rest.

Depending on the intensity of the run, downhill skiing has a MET of between 4 for light exertion, or up to 8 for a full effort downhill race. For comparison, running a 12-minute mile has a rating of 8. So, does skiing burn calories? Yes, in terms of calorie burning workouts, skiing is right up there with long-distance running – but, arguably, is a lot more fun! If you really want to challenge yourself, cross-country skiing comes out on top with a MET of between 7 for light effort and 16 for ski walking uphill.

Is skiing good exercise?

Skiing is an aerobic exercise – that is, a cardiovascular workout that requires the pumping of oxygenated blood to muscles. It is well documented that interval training is one of the most effective types of workout. Interval training involves alternating cycles of high-intensity effort and low-intensity aerobic activity; during the recovery phase the body burns fat to produce energy needed for recovery, whereas during the high-intensity phase your body burns carbohydrates. Scientific studies show that skiing may well be among the best interval training workouts.

In terms of calorie burning workouts, skiing is an excellent choice, with even a very low-intensity downhill run averaging at 350 calories burnt skiing an hour. In addition though, when we ask the question is skiing good exercise? we can see that not only does it burn calories, it is classed as an interval training workout; excellent for weight loss and overall health.

If you are looking for calorie burning workouts, look no further than the slopes; where else can you have fun, learn new skills and burn calories? Learn more about insider ski fitness tips and get inspiration on your snow workout with our latest blog from Chill Factore.

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