By Shelby Graves
If you love snow, you will be sure to love skiing and snowboarding. On top of the sport, you will have a great chance of getting fit while doing so. The activity will improve your strength, flexibility and balance. It also helps to build on your coordination, which is used in many day-to-day hobbies. You may like one sport more than the other but, have you ever asked yourself which one would give you a better workout?
For starters, journalist Amanda MacMillan wrote in an Outside.com article, “Which Is a Better Workout: Skiing or Snowboarding,” that “alpine skiing burns approximately 500 calories an hour while snowboarding lags slightly behind at 450.” That information goes to show that when skiing you can burn up to 50 more calories than when you are snowboarding. Those numbers will eventually add up quickly depending on how many hours you plan on skiing.
When it comes to a long flat section during a run, snowboarders can’t go fast during this time because they do not have poles. They can only push off of one foot (if they even decide to take it out of their binding). However, if you are skiing, you have the option to skate.
As MacMillan wrote, “Skiers tend to propel themselves along flat terrain or uphill with their poles, getting a bit of that upper-body workout, and working their core and legs with a cross-country motion.”
When you are skating on skis, you work your whole body, plus you are building your endurance.
Skiing is usually easier to learn to do than snowboarding is. As Kevin Jordan, a ski and snowboard instructor at Aspen Snowmass in Colorado said, “When it comes to beginners, skiers generally catch on easier and fall less, so they expend less energy getting up over and over again.” But, depending on how long you stay on the ground, you are catching your breath and resting.
Because skiing is easier to get the hang of, you are not falling as often which means that you are on your feet for a longer period of time. This is ultimately building your endurance and your leg muscles because you are using them for a constant era. When you are skiing, your core is always engaged, which means you are working it during the time you are on your run. When you have a strong core, it is easier to have overall strength throughout your whole body.
When Alpine skiers are training, they have to put a lot of effort in to make each gate, which takes up much of their energy. They are having to work across the hill to get around the gates. During one of their training runs, they are having to move forward in between each gate so they can get to their new downhill ski in time to roll it over and begin their new turn. When they put a lot of energy into their skis and their skiing, it can be quite tiring and they find themselves out of breath at the end of the run. With every training run that a skier takes, they are building endurance.
When you are a park snowboarder you don’t get that effect as much. Snowboarders go straight on their boards for a little while, and then they scrub some speed, and all of the sudden they are in the air. I am sure it is much more complicated than that, but that is the general aspect of what they do. When they do this all day, they can’t be using many muscles, and they won’t really get out of breath from what they do while training.
I myself am an Alpine ski racer. You may think that because I am a skier that I am siding with skiing to be the better workout choice, but that is not the case. I am simply using facts and tools that I have to get the knowledge that skiing is the better workout between snowboarding and skiing.
I hope that this made you think about which is the better one to help you become fit. Get out there and have fun getting a great workout in doing either one!