How many calories do you really burn skiing?

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  1. #1

    How many calories do you really burn skiing?

    Its a new year and with a new year comes a renewed effort to shed some pounds. I was 183 back in September but the holidays crept me back up to 188. I'd like to shoot for 178 now, so 10 lb.

    I started my strict diet regimen again and my wife said I will probably blow it out with eating and drinking at the summit. To which I replied, at least I'm burning calories skiing. She told me I wasn't. And I used to always say how skiing wasn't all that difficult (cardiovascularly) compared to, say, running or biking. Itnoa anaerobic and you do sweat but then you get frequent 10 - 20 min breaks on the lift.

    I'm sure its also a factor of the terrain you ski, how fast you ski, etc., but in general, how many calories do you think are burned during alpine skiing? Some apps say crazy numbers like 700 calories per hour. That seems high to me... I have to run 5 miles for the same amount.



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  2. #2

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    I have no idea of the actual answer, but I know you burn a ton of calories being active outdoors in really cold weather. I read something to the effect that you need like 4000-5000 calories a day backpacking in the winter.

  3. #3
    Not really versed in how many calories are burned an hour for any exercise, but Id believe the 700 per hour of real skiing time (excluding lifts). Maybe not on groomed terrain, but id say skiing ungroomed/woods all day is as good of a workout as anything.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Its a new year and with a new year comes a renewed effort to shed some pounds. I was 183 back in September but the holidays crept me back up to 188. I'd like to shoot for 178 now, so 10 lb.

    I started my strict diet regimen again and my wife said I will probably blow it out with eating and drinking at the summit. To which I replied, at least I'm burning calories skiing. She told me I wasn't. And I used to always say how skiing wasn't all that difficult (cardiovascularly) compared to, say, running or biking. Itnoa anaerobic and you do sweat but then you get frequent 10 - 20 min breaks on the lift.

    I'm sure its also a factor of the terrain you ski, how fast you ski, etc., but in general, how many calories do you think are burned during alpine skiing? Some apps say crazy numbers like 700 calories per hour. That seems high to me... I have to run 5 miles for the same amount.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    I could see 700 per hour IF one is skiing hard in bumps/trees/deep powder and getting atleast 30 min per hour of that intensity skiing in. Maybe of you're earning your turns too that number could be higher also depending on how much climbing and resting you're doing. But my guess is that the folks who might be burning 700 per hour are by far and away the minority of folks on the hill on any given day. But compared to the CONSISTANT level of exertion that my treadmill or my bike trainer tells me that it takes to burn 700 calories, I know that I rarely have an hour like that when I'm on the hill, let alone an entire day on the hill with that consistant a level of physical output.

    For me, I'm about 99% sure that if I'm doing a bit of apres that my caloric intake for that day will more than likely exceed my caloric output (a few pints of 7-11% beers, which is what I tend to have if i'm going to have a few on that day) add up the calories pretty quick.

    I will say that solid food wise, I've definately gone towards the lighter and healthier and smaller meal choices that tend to be popping up in more and more ski area cafeteria's and restaurants these days. That small cup of turkey chilli or a turkey wrap sandwich is far more likely to be infront of me these days than that cheeseburger and fries. But I'd be dreaming if I thought that day in and day out that my downhill skiing caloric burn ends up with me burning off more than I injest
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  5. #5
    I would also think there would be a wide range based on peoples metabolism rates. Everyone burns different....I have the worst eating habits of anyone I know personally but I tend to burn it off quick...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by soposkier View Post
    Not really versed in how many calories are burned an hour for any exercise, but Id believe the 700 per hour of real skiing time (excluding lifts). Maybe not on groomed terrain, but id say skiing ungroomed/woods all day is as good of a workout as anything.
    This. That is one of the reasons the AlpineReplay app is useful. It automatically calculates your lift time versus your active ski time versus your rest time. Other sports tracking apps perceive that you are active while riding the lift. You probably actively ski ~1/3 of the total time you are out on the hill (+/- how hard you go and not including breaks). That probably puts you closer to ~300kcal/hr ballpark if going hard for all your turns.

    Nordic and AT on the other hand, off the charts! Easily 800kcal/hr when cruising along and >1,200 on climbs.

  7. #7
    i wore a Polar HR monitor one day spring skiing bumps at Sbush.....3800 calories burned
    updownupdownupdownupdown

  8. #8
    Cannonball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKIQUATTRO View Post
    i wore a Polar HR monitor one day spring skiing bumps at Sbush.....3800 calories burned
    How long a day? That sounds pretty reasonable for a full day of going hard.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Its a new year and with a new year comes a renewed effort to shed some pounds. I was 183 back in September but the holidays crept me back up to 188. I'd like to shoot for 178 now, so 10 lb.

    I started my strict diet regimen again and my wife said I will probably blow it out with eating and drinking at the summit. To which I replied, at least I'm burning calories skiing. She told me I wasn't. And I used to always say how skiing wasn't all that difficult (cardiovascularly) compared to, say, running or biking. Itnoa anaerobic and you do sweat but then you get frequent 10 - 20 min breaks on the lift.

    I'm sure its also a factor of the terrain you ski, how fast you ski, etc., but in general, how many calories do you think are burned during alpine skiing? Some apps say crazy numbers like 700 calories per hour. That seems high to me... I have to run 5 miles for the same amount.

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    You burn a good amount being out in the cold and skiing. If you eat a normal diet and reduce the amount of fat and sugar, you will lose weight skiing. I have taken off a couple of pounds skiing the last week, so I must be burning more than I'm eating. I don't like to eat a lot while skiing because it slows me down. I usually just eat a PBJ and a piece of fruit, maybe some corn chips and a cup of coffee. I'll have an energy bar while skiing if I get hungry. Apres ski I'll have a couple of beers and maybe a few chicken wings (they are 200 fat cals each! so don't eat a dozen...share a dozen with a few friends). Have steak, salad and potato for dinner and share a dessert and you'll be fine.

  10. #10
    I don't know about calories burned..

    But I have the metabolism of a jackrabbit. Prior to ski season I was probably around 155lb, due to limited amounts of exercise in the summer.

    Now I'm 167lb and 90% of that new weight is muscle. This is an all time high for me.. never been over 165 before. I was actually shooting for 165lbs but seems like I'm off to a better start than expected so maybe I'll shoot for 175lbs by the end of the season. And try to keep it on by mountain biking more in the summer.
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