Snowboarding is an incredibly thrilling activity and a popular winter sport. When the temperature drops, most people hibernate at their homes but once the skateboarding season is over, I love to go out and hit the slopes.
Snowboarding provides full-body exercise and helps you burn calories, lose weight, and increase your endurance. It is a great cardiovascular exercise that can strengthen lower body muscles, improve flexibility, boost your mood, and build core muscles.
Cardiovascular exercises lower the risk of chronic diseases and lower blood pressure. Moreover, it also helps in maintaining a healthy body weight.
You don’t have to be an advanced snowboarder to burn calories. Snowboarding is fun and is a great exercise for everyone, whether you’re a beginner, advanced, or pro. Let’s take a look at why snowboarding is a such a great sport.
Is Snowboarding a Good Workout?
Snowboarding is a great workout! It is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that helps in burning calories and losing weight.
According to Harvard Medical School’s research, an individual who is 185 pounds burns 266 calories in 30 minutes of downhill snowboarding. However, the ultimate number of calories burned while snowboarding is based on your experience, skill, and body weight.
If you are a beginner, you can get an extra calorie burn by walking up the slope. And for a professional snowboarder, the steeper slopes burn more calories because the body has to work harder to keep balanced.
Most people think that winter doesn’t contribute to burning calories, but trust me, winter season is best to burn all those calories of the summer before because the body is forced to work harder to raise its temperature when the temperature drops.
Snowboarding is a great way to be outdoors, have fun, get some fresh air, and workout in winters. When snowboarding, you will be using your calves and muscles in your feet, legs, and ankles to maneuver the board. Snowboarding also requires the right balance, so you will also develop stronger core muscles.
While snowboarding, rapid changes in pace and direction need to be made. Due to this, snowboarding also requires you to pay attention to the terrain you are riding. So, we can say that snowboarding is an excellent workout in many ways.
Is Snowboarding Good for Weight Loss?
Snowboarding helps in losing weight. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced snowboarder, you can burn a fair amount of calories in a day spent on a snowy mountain slope.
According to a non-profit trade organization Snow Sports Industries America, snowboarding burns approximately 450 calories an hour.
If we look at the relationship between burning calories and losing weight, to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Snowboarding is a higher intensity winter sport involving several exercises that burn calories and ultimately help you lose weight.
Snowboarding can be challenging because of cold mountain air, icy wind, or freezing snow. But the bright side is that your body, when it is at rest, will burn more calories than when you are in warmer temperatures, and it will be working double to keep you warm.
This will help in burning calories and losing weight faster, not counting the parties and drinks after a good session but a hike in the morning should compensate for that.
How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Day of Snowboarding?
Let’s compare snowboarding with other exercises like skiing and mountain biking. Snowboarding burns fewer calories than the other outdoor activities, but still, snowboarding is an excellent exercise, as discussed above. Harvard Medical School created a table of calories to know how many calories an individual burns while snowboarding.
The result showed that a 125-pound person burns 360 calories an hour for downhill skiing, a 155-pound person burns 446 calories per hour, and a 185-pound person will burn 532 calories per hour.
However, the exact amount of calories burnt depends upon different variables such as gender, metabolism, muscle content, professionalism on the board, muscle content, and intensity levels.
For instance, freestyling tricks will burn a lot more calories than practicing carving on the nursery slopes. Although anybody who’s learned snowboarding as an adult will be able to confirm you burn a lot of calories every time you have to pick yourself up off the ground!
In an hour-long session, snowboarding can burn between 300 and 600 calories. Snowboarding helps burning calories and making your abs, butt, and thighs stronger.
Which Muscles Does Snowboarding Work?
A day spent on a snowy mountain helps you burn calories and lose weight, while it also reduces the caloric intake. But snowboarding is not only useful in losing weight or burning calories. This winter sport activity is essential for overall fitness because it strengthens several muscles throughout the body, especially the core and lower body muscles.
Besides the core, other muscles are used as well when snowboarding. Like quadriceps and hamstrings are used to get the board moving, and your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps are all used to make turns and guide the board. While other muscles that engage in snowboarding are:
While snowboarding, you mostly spend your time in a partially squatted position. The angle of the binding and boots ensures that the calf muscles are always working, which is why you can get cramps in your calves, which is, of course, very annoying.
Abdominal or Core Muscles
Snowboarding requires frequent changing of sides from heel to toe while you’re turning, traversing, and stopping/starting. Even just moving forward requires good control and balance of your core muscles and abdominal muscles.
Snowboarding requires strong knees and thighs. You will never see a professional snowboarder going down the mountain while standing fully upright. While a slight bend in the knees is essential to keep the balance, it is also crucial in minimizing the impact on the knees and the rest of your body.
Balance in Snowboarding
Balance is a huge part of snowboarding, so for the right balance, you need to work your core muscles and your muscles in the feet and ankles to stay upright and maintain the often delicate balance required.
While snowboarding, most people don’t even feel that they’re working their these muscles at that moment until the following day. These muscles can be sore the day after your first snowboarding ride. You can train your core by doing an exercise called “The Plank”.
“Planking” is done by lying on the floor, placing your forearms on the floor, stretch out your body, lift your belly from the floor and lean your whole body weight on your forearms, elbows, and toes. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Start with, for example, 30 seconds and prolong this time each time you do this exercise. This is a great way to train your core and helps you get an even better balance while snowboarding.
Is Skiing or Snowboarding a Better Workout?
Snowboarding and skiing are great, thrilling activities in winter, but there is a long debate for many years: is skiing or snowboarding a better workout? Which of these activities is more effective in losing weight and burning calories?
Several factors have to be look at before declaring which snow sport is a better workout. Some research says that skiing burns approximately 500 calories, while snowboarding burns about 450 calories.
These are only rough numbers. However, Compendium of Physical activities that measure energy expenditure of physical activities declares that these two snow sports are equal when it comes to calorie burn.
Snowboarding and skiing both received metabolic equivalent (MET) ratings of 4.3 for “light effort” and 5.3 for “moderate effort,” which means that a 150-pound person would burn between 293 and 361 calories an hour doing either.
For an easy answer, snowboarding and skiing are both excellent workout exercises, but there are some differences. For instance, snowboarding is better for core and abdominal muscles, while skiing is effective for quads, hamstrings, calves, and ankle muscles.
Snowboarders mostly unstrap and walk through piste flat areas, while skiers can cross ski easily that provides an excellent upper body exercise. Skiers rely on the lower leg’s lateral muscles, and they are used whenever they put their skies on the edges. Hamstrings are also essential as they control the knees bend.
On the other hand, snowboarders don’t use quadriceps and hamstrings to control movement, but the lower down you can hold yourself, the better your balance will be on the slopes.
So there is a minimal difference between snowboarding and skiing when it comes to which sport is a better workout, but skiing is the winner in the debate discussed above.
Snowboarding is a great exercise, here are 13 reasons why:
13 Reasons Why Snowboarding is a Great Exercise
There are many benefits to snowboarding. It’s not only a great and fun workout, there are lots of mental and social benefits.
1. Mental Benefits of Snowboarding
Snowboarding, like any other exercise, provides mental benefits as well as physical benefits. One thing to love about snowboarding is the clean and fresh air beneficial for both our body and mind. It is one of the best escape from a busy routine. Clean air and being in the outdoors helps you clear your mind and feeling fresh, positive, and full of energy.
2. Snowboarding Releases a Neurochemical – Endorphin
Studies have found that when you snowboard, your body releases more hormones that affect the feeling of happiness. Snowboarding releases a neurochemical called Endorphin that is responsible for a sense of joy and well-being.
This winter sport leads to elevate your mood by reducing anxiety. So, if you are having a bad day at work, go snowboarding this weekend! Snowboarding will help you kill all the negative vibes and soak positive energy from the cold breeze of snowy mountains.
3. Snowboarding Helps With Dealing With Stress and Anxiety
Snowboarding helps to clear your mind. While being in nature, performing your favorite snow sport, you won’t think about work, problems, school, or other stuff that causes stress. Snowboarding really does have a positive impact on your mental health.
4. Snowboarding Helps in Enhancing the Ability to Concentrate
When you are snowboarding, you’ll have to be in the moment. You’ll need to focus on your speed, think about the hill’s steepness, when to bend, etc. In the end, you will be working on an excellent mental workout that is helpful for your concentration and overall mental health.
5. Snowboarding Gives a Greater Sense of Self-confidence
After many practice rounds, over and over again, and you finally master the techniques of snowboarding, you will get such a confidence boost and give you such a high! This will definitely enhance your overall self-confidence.
6. Snowboarding Boosts Your Mood
Just like other sports, snowboarding helps you in maintaining both your physical and mental health. It releases endorphins and adrenaline that are responsible for feeling awesome. These hormones are released in the body that improves mental health and helps in boosting your mood.
Snowboarding is a sport that can only be performed outside the house in beautiful snowy condition and on impressive white mountains that makes you feel good and boosts your mood. It has been researched that being out in nature reduces stress and anxiety and generally improves your mood.
7. Stress Hormone – Cortisol
Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced by the human body. It is proved that the release of cortisol can be reduced by spending time outside in nature.
So, when you want to take a break from your busy daily routine, just go to your favorite trail and reduce your stress level. Taking a ride up to your favorite track helps you balance the stress level, boost your mood, and boost your immune system.
8. Snowboarding Improves Cardiovascular Endurance
As I have discussed above that snowboarding is an effective workout – physically and mentally. Just like training, snowboarding increases your endurance.
When going down multiple runs, you can be snowboarding for over 20 minutes without a break, and it is a full-body workout, which increases your heart rate and gets that blood pumping.
For every half an hour of snowboarding, around 450 calories can be burned. Which can be better than the gym though it’s a bad comparison.
9. Snowboarding Helps in Building More Meaningful Connections With People
When you are out on the slopes, you always have an opportunity to meet new people around you. Just like other sports, snowboarding helps in building more meaningful connections with people. It is an excellent bonding activity that helps in boosting self-esteem. This also allows you to look more confident when you interact with new people on the slope.
10. Snowboarding Helps in Loosening up the Joints
Winter is a season when most people are inactive or less active and confined to their homes. This causes the joints to become a lot more restricted. Snowboarding helps in loosening up the joints as it requires frequent changing of direction.
11. Snowboarding Improves Flexibility
Snowboarding maybe not anyone’s obvious choice, but it is very effective in improving your flexibility. It requires many techniques and skills to rapidly change positions and directions when you are on a trail. For this, your body has to change positions quickly, and your muscles and joints need to be flexible to adapt to that sudden change.
Snowboarding is one of the best winter sports that force your body to frequently change directions and adapting to the slope and other obstacles on the ground. It automatically improves your flexibility.
You will also find that a snowboarder bends down to put on boots and strap board on multiple times in a day, plus picking him back up every time he falls! This makes his muscle more flexible and versatile.
Tip: Do a quick warm-up session before jumping on your board to warm up your muscles.
12. Snowboarding Helps in Muscle Training
Snowboarding requires all the muscles to work in your body, even the smaller ones in your feet or ankles. Snowboarders use their quads, hamstrings, and calves to ride the snowboard.
The muscles in the ankles and feet help in steering the snowboard. Snowboarding even works the muscles of the arms and shoulders, which are used for balance and pick yourself up when you fall.
13. Snowboarding Incorporates Strength Training
We all think that snowboarding only requires strong legs. Yes, it is physically a demanding snow sport, but your strength training should incorporate with the physical training to perform at your peak. Building your strength is far more important.
However, muscles act as a support system that helps you to jump higher and to balance correctly. Building strength is important to avoid injuries. Here are some exercises that can help you in building your strength:
Squats are essential for snowboarders because they will strengthen quads, hamstrings, hips, core, and glutes. This helps snowboarders in multiple ways, from getting off the chairlift to riding throughout the day and building strength.
Lunges also focus on quads, hamstrings, hips, core, and glutes. However, there is an increased focus on inner thighs and balance, which also strengthens the knees. There are several lunges formations that snowboarders try, like forwards, backward, sideways, weighted.
Deadlifts prepare your back for any hits, jumps, or injuries. This exercise works your hamstrings, which are the main stabilizers for your ACLs, a super important training for any snowboard. To further test your balance, do single-leg deadlifts if you can keep good form.
Plank is one of the most effective exercises for building strength.
Like other sports, snowboarding is also a great exercise that benefits physically as well as mentally. It provides a full-body workout as well as stress-free hours from the daily busy routine. I feel great and exhausted after a day of snowboarding, sure my feet may hurt from snowboarding but you’ll recover quickly if you’re in reasonable shape.