Snowboard is a very popular winter sport. A question is how many calories are burned when snowboarding at a variety of intensities.
At first, gliding down a snowy mountain on a board does not sound that intense. However, once you give it a try, it becomes clear that snowboarding can help you burn a nice number of calories.
The average person can expect to burn around 313 – 538+ calories per hour of snowboarding at a moderate intensity. This number will vary from individual to individual due to a variety of factors.
For example, a 125-pound (56 kg) individual will burn around 313 calories during one hour of snowboarding at a moderate intensity.
On the other hand, a 215-pound (97 kg) individual will burn around 538 calories during one hour of snowboarding at the same intensity.
This article will also show you a more detailed chart that takes multiple factors into account, calories burned while snowboarding at different intensities, how this activity compares to skiing, and more.
Biggest influences on calories burned
A fact that many people find annoying is that the number of calories you burn while doing something like snowboarding is hard to predict and measure correctly.
This fact can make things like weight loss feel like a guessing game when you are trying to balance these numbers with the calories in food.
Even so, good estimations for the number of calories burned while snowboarding can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate.
Some of the biggest factors that influence how many calories you burn while snowboarding include:
- Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy your body needs to fuel its movements.
- Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
- Slope angle: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of snowboarding this can vary a lot on a gentle slope vs a steep slope. The steeper the slope, the more you will have to make intense turns to control your speed.
- Temperature: Your body temperature is another factor that influences the number of calories you burn. Both the weather and what clothing you wear influence this.
Hidden calorie burning from snowboarding
There are many other aspects that make it even harder to put how many calories you burn while snowboarding into an exact number. This includes the fact that the calorie-burning effects of snowboarding are not limited to during the workout.
As mentioned, how much you weigh plays a relatively big role in how many calories you burn. This doesn’t just apply to your workout, this is also the case during everyday activities.
Some people also build or preserve some muscle mass by snowboarding. This amount of muscle mass will definitely not be as much as something like weight lifting but it does help you burn more calories day in, day out.
It is however extremely hard to put this amount into a number since this muscle mass will be so different from person to person. Individuals more experienced with resistance training may not build any muscle by snowboarding.
Next, doing an activity at high intensities can also cause something called “afterburn”. This is basically having an increased metabolism for a while after you stop doing the exercise.
Lastly, by moving more you influence the levels of certain hormones that in turn can benefit your metabolism.
Estimations for calories burned while snowboarding usually don’t take these effects into account.
Estimations calories burned snowboarding
The exact number of calories burned while snowboarding depends on a lot of factors but there are tools to make rough estimations. To calculate calories burned during certain exercises you can use a formula with MET values.
A MET value is an exercise-specific value to indicate how intense a specific type of workout is. This number represents how many times more intense the activity is compared to sitting still.
You can use this in the following formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
Estimations for METs while snowboarding depend on the intensity and vary from 4.3 at light effort snowboarding to 5.3 at moderate effort snowboarding (1).
The source does not describe vigorous effort snowboarding specifically but downhill skiing at a vigorous effort gets a MET estimation of 8. Since the other effort levels of skiing get the same MET estimation as the snowboarding equivalent this MET will also be used for vigorous effort snowboarding.
You can look at the number of calories burned while snowboarding from different perspectives. The first table will show the calories burned with the MET estimation of snowboarding at moderate intensity for different body weights and time intervals.
After that, you can find charts comparing the number of calories burned for different effort levels and how snowboarding compares to other activities like skiing, and how many calories you burn in a day of snowboarding.
Again keep in mind that these are estimations. This formula doesn’t take into account certain important factors that do influence the number of calories burned while snowboarding.
To put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (2).
Calories burned while snowboarding
One of the most convenient ways to see how many calories you burned while snowboarding is by looking at how much time you spent doing it.
These estimations are for the number of calories burned during snowboarding at a moderate intensity.
|1 Minute||30 Minutes||60 Minutes||3 Hours||6 Hours|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||5 calories||157 calories||313 calories||1418 calories||2835 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||6 calories||194 calories||388 calories||1758 calories||3515 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||8 calories||232 calories||463 calories||2098 calories||4196 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||9 calories||269 calories||538 calories||2438 calories||4876 calories|
Calories burned snowboarding at different intensities
Next, there is the chart for calories burned while snowboarding at different intensities. These numbers represent sessions of 1 hour. As you can see, intensity plays a big role.
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||254 calories||313 calories||437 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||315 calories||388 calories||586 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||376 calories||463 calories||699 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||437 calories||538 calories||813 calories|
Calories burned snowboarding vs skiing
Next, snowboarding is not the only winter sports option. Another popular option is skiing. The numbers in the table below are again for 1 hour.
Estimations vary from source to source but in the one used in this article, snowboarding and skiing are considered to be equally intense and in turn equal when it comes to the number of calories burned.
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||313 calories||313 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||388 calories||388 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||463 calories||463 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||538 calories||538 calories|
Calories burned in a day of snowboarding
Lastly, something to keep in mind is that the above estimations for calories burned are for the actual time you spend snowboarding. Not the other activities that are part of a day of snowboarding.
Below you can find the numbers of calories burned during 1 hour of snowboarding, sitting (on a ski lift), snowshoeing (to the best powder areas), and standing, talking and eating (the après ski).
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||313 calories||106 calories||313 calories||118 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||388 calories||132 calories||388 calories||146 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||463 calories||157 calories||463 calories||175 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||538 calories||183 calories||538 calories||203 calories|
How to burn more calories while snowboarding
The number of calories burned while snowboarding is certainly not something set in stone. There are a few ways you can increase this amount per time interval.
The challenge for most people is fitting in activities in their busy schedules. They want to burn as many calories in the least amount of time, which means burning more calories per minute of snowboarding.
If you do have more time, spending more time snowboarding will generally burn more calories although at some point overtraining may cause the reverse.
An obvious way to burn more calories while snowboarding is doing this activity at higher intensities. Mainly in terms of choosing more challenging slopes (as long as they are in your skill range). At some intensity point, you also get the added afterburn effect.
The second way to burn more calories with snowboarding is by making the weight you have to control heavier.
In theory, you could do this by intentionally wearing a heavy backpack. A more realistic method for an activity like snowboarding is building some extra muscle mass with other exercises.
Can you lose weight by snowboarding?
One pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories). How long it takes to see weight loss results from snowboarding will also depend on the number of calories in your diet.
One person might eat more than the other. This might make it so they need to exercise longer or more intensely to see the same weight loss results. You can even lose weight without exercising so there are many factors that influence it.
10 sessions of 1 hour of snowboarding could help you burn an extra 3880 calories which is about 1.11 pounds of body fat. 30 sessions 11640 calories (= +- 3.33 pounds of body fat) and so on…
Keep in mind that losing weight too fast can be suboptimal. In general, a 500 calorie deficit per day is considered to be a healthy weight loss rate.
Muscles worked snowboarding
Snowboarding mainly works muscles like your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, abs, obliques, lower back, and hip flexors.
If you are relatively inexperienced when it comes to resistance training, snowboarding could help you grow and strengthen these muscles a small amount.
For individuals more experienced with resistance training, snowboarding is likely not enough to build a lot of muscle mass.
Both groups of people generally benefit from giving their bodies enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow their muscles after a session of snowboarding.
Should you do snowboarding to burn calories?
As you can see, snowboarding is a good workout that can burn a lot of calories. That being said, there are definitely plenty of exercise options that can be even more effective in this area too.
Whether you should choose snowboarding as your main form of workout also depends on factors like personal preference.
If calorie burning is your main goal, implementing some exercises in your schedule specifically for building muscle can be helpful.
The extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out, including during your snowboarding sessions. On top of that, this can improve the quality of your snowboarding sessions.
Also keep in mind that the things you eat stay important no matter what movement routine you’re following. It’s hard to out-exercise a bad diet.