7 Fun Winter Sports that Burn Serious Calories

winter sports
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Resist the urge to hibernate this season and plan a getaway instead to take advantage of winter sports. Whether you prefer the thrills of downhill skiing or the quiet peace of a snowshoe expedition, winter sports offer unique advantage to your fitness journey.

Health Benefits of Winter Sports

  • Most winter sports require continuous cardio, which keeps your heart rate up and helps to burn more calories.
  • Working out in cold weather requires more energy so that your body can stay warm. This also burns more calories.
  • Wearing heavy layers like coats also increases your energy output and calories burned.
  • You’ll sweat less while working out in the cold, which can inspire you to stay out longer.
  • Winter sports feel like playtime, which makes exercising fun!

What’s Your Favorite Winter Sport?

1. Downhill Skiing

Skiing works your core/abs as well as lower body muscles: inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. It also improves your balance and endurance – and the epic views will elevate your mood, too! Calories burned per hour: 273 for a 120-lb woman or 340 for 150-lb woman.

2. Snowboarding

Snowboarding works all the major muscles, and some you didn’t even know you had (just ask a beginner the day after their first lesson). Quads, hamstrings, and calves are used to stay upright on the board – and you’ll also be working out those upper body muscles to get up after a fall. Calories burned per hour: 273 for a 120-lb woman or 340 for 150-lb woman.

3. Cross-Country Skiing

You’ll get a full-body workout with cross-country skiing, which works the upper and lower body. By balancing the stress between muscle groups, cross-country skiing can be enjoyed for hours – making it an excellent aerobic workout for improving cardio-vascular health. Calories burned per hour: 382 for a 120-lb woman or 476 for 150-lb woman.

4. Ice Skating

Ice skating tones your thighs and calves while improving your balance and relieving your stress. Skating is also an easy way to get a great cardio workout without really feeling like you are working out. Calories burned per hour: 327 for a 120-lb woman or 408 for 150-lb woman.

5. Sledding

One of the easiest snow sports to learn, sledding is a full-body workout with a thrilling payoff: the ride down! Climbing up those snow-covered hills will improve your endurance, strength, and core stability. Calories burned per hour: 327 for a 120-lb woman or 408 for 150-lb woman.

6. Snowshoeing

Explore tranquil, snow-covered trails while getting a great lower body workout. Snowshoeing tones up your abs, thighs, and calves. Use poles to exercise your upper body as well. Calories burned per hour: 382 for a 120-lb woman or 476 for 150-lb woman.

7. Ice Hockey

Hockey’s fast-paced action helps blaze the calories and build cardiovascular endurance. The stop-and-start action mimics high-intensity interval training, which can boost your metabolism even after the game is over. You’ll also improve your hand-eye coordination! Calories burned per hour: 436 for a 120-lb woman or 544 for 150-lb woman.

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Shilo Urban

Shilo first became interested in conscious living when she found herself working simultaneously at a mom-and-pop natural food store and a farm for endangered livestock breeds on the coast of Maine. After residing in Austin, New Zealand, Paris, Seattle, and Los Angeles, she now lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she works as a freelance writer. Her passions include international travel and wiener dogs.