Snowsports Calorie Burn

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Need to burn off those extra holiday pounds? Just because the temperature is dipping ground is blanketed with snow, doesn't mean it’s time to give up on outdoor aerobic activities. These are actually the prime elements to get up and get moving. So, grab those skies, snowboards and ice skates –it’s time to burn baby, burn! Take those pounds off as you take to our downhill destinations, Nordic ski trails, and terrain parks.   

Exercising outside in the winter actually helps you burn more calories because your immune system is working extra hard to keep your body warm while maintaining an elevated heart rate consistent with cardiovascular activity.

Cross-country skiing is one of the most complete cardiovascular sports. You basically work every inch of your body. Downhill skiing is probably the most popular and enjoyable winter sport. Not only is it a great way to relieve stress and have fun, but when performed on an intense level, it can also be a great cardiovascular and leg workout.


Check out these stats:

  • Cross-country skiing sheds 472 calories per hour
  • Downhill skiing burns about 354 calories per hour
  • Snowshoeing will burn about 472 calories per hour
  • Ice Skating burns about 419 calories in an hour
  • Nordic walking burns more than 400 calories

When exercising outdoors in winter, it's important to protect your body from exposure. Your feet and head are the most important body parts that need attention to prevent frostbite.

One thick pair of socks, made of natural fibers, will help prevent excessive perspiration. Wearing multiple layers of socks can create discomfort and blisters because sweat can accumulate between the layers and actually cause the perspiration to freeze.



Wearing a hat will keep heat from escaping your body. Since your ears can freeze quickly, it is important that your hat is deep enough to cover most of your head. When it comes to choosing the rest of your attire, such as gloves, coats, and pants, look for clothing that is warm, waterproof, windproof and preferably light-weight. With the appropriate attire and the right frame of mind, you can be a winter warrior this season instead of a couch potato.

For a comprehensive list of Michigan ski facilities and destinations, visit our Ski Michigan resources. For details about skiing discounts, classes, and other offers, visit Michigan Snowsports Industry Association (MSIA). 

So, come play in our backyard--Pure Michigan, the winter wonderland of the Midwest.