Snowboarding is an incredible physical activity. It also strengthens your bones, tones muscles, and increases your cardiovascular health.
Sounds pretty good right?
So how many calories does snowboarding burn?
You will burn an average of 350 to 700 calories per hour snowboarding. This does however exclude the time you’ll spend waiting in line or sitting on the chairlift. Moreover, the number of calories you burn depends on your weight, age, and gender, among other things.
The rest of this article will look at calculating the calories burned in snowboarding and the factors affecting these numbers. So, read to the end to get the insights!
How to Calculate the Number of Calories Burned Snowboarding
Unless you’re a pro gliding effortlessly around the mountain, snowboarding can be pretty darn vigorous.
Consequenrlty, you’ve probably been wondering how many calories you burn when snowboarding.
Luckily, I’ve got the answer!
But… it’s gonna take a little math (sorry).
The Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) allows you to determine the number of calories burning in snowboarding.
The MET values for snowboarding are 4.3 (light effort) and 5.3 (moderate effort). You can even go up to 8.0 for super vigorous effort. But be honest with yourself!
Here’s my formula for calculating the calories burned during snowboarding:
MET value x body weight (in kgs) x time or duration (in hours)
So, to calculate how many calories a snowboarder weighing 200 lbs will burn in 30 minutes (0.5 hours) at moderate effort, proceed as follows:
(200 lbs/2.20462*) x 5.3 x 0.5 = 240.4 kcal.
* To convert lbs to kg we divide the number by 2.20462.
Factors Affecting Calories Burned Snowboarding
Now some of you will burn calories easier than I do (you lucky devils!).
There are a number of reasons for this.
Some of them are modifiable, others… not so much.
Here are factors causing the variation in calories burned during snowboarding:
1. The Purpose of Snowboarding
An adult snowboarder involved in recreational snowboarding will burn fewer calories than someone of similar weight who engages in rigorous or competitive snowboarding for the same period.
According to Winter Feels Good Target Educators, a person weighing 110-200 lbs (49-90 kg) will burn 250-630 calories per hour in recreational snowboarding and 700-1260 calories in rigorous snowboarding, respectively.
The moral of the story?
2. Your Body Weight
The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn while snowboarding.
Calories measure the energy spent during activity. So, your body will clearly consume more energy during snowboarding if you weigh more.
This basically means if you snowboard every day… you’ll gradually burn fewer and fewer calories.
But, this doesn’t necessarily matter. You’ll be in amazing shape by then anyway (diet permitting)!
3. Your Gender
Generally, men will burn more calories than women, whether at rest or when snowboarding (sorry ladies).
That’s because generally speaking, a man is larger in size and has greater muscle mass than a woman of the same age and weight.
However, women can increase their muscle mass through intense activities like snowboarding. You’ll then be burning more calories whilst riding. Win, Win.
4. Your Skill Level
This one maybe goes without saying.
Beginner snowboarders expend HUGE amounts of energy getting up from the ground, clinging onto to lifts and tensing every muscle in their (anxious) body.
We’ve all been there!
As you get better, you’re able to take mellow cruises around the mountain… expending very few calories.
However, with skill also comes the ability to ride hard. Speeding down a bumpy steep mogul field will still take it out of you!
Overall, I still think a beginner-intermediate is likely to push themselves harder than a chilled out pro.
You can calculate your snowboarding skill level here.
5. Your Age
People lose muscle mass as they age.
It’s an inevitable fact of life. Thanks ageing!
Muscle mass directly affects the rate of metabolism. Therefore, the older you grow, the fewer calories you burn snowboarding.
Arguably though, those who continue snowboarding are much more likely to maintain their muscle… thus maintaining a higher metabolic rate.
The Health Benefits Of Snowboarding
It’s not all about the calories!
Aerobic exercise can reduce your risk of chronic diseases, regulate blood pressure, and help you to maintain overall good health.
Not to mention the positive effects snowboarding can have on your mental health!
Remember, snowboarding became popular because it’s so darn fun, not because it burns calories.
In summary, snowboarding burns a hell of a lot of calories!
But… that’s just a hidden bonus.
Yes it gives you permission to hit the bar after riding or enjoy that juicy burger at lunch. But, it shouldn’t be your primary focus.
Speaking of snowboarding and good food… have you ever thought about snowboarding in Japan? Take a look!