NPTI Blog Home

by Liz Bowen

Get Yourself Out of the Gym with These Calorie-Burning Outdoor Winter Activities

Working out in the gym day after day, week after week, can become monotonous. It might make you dread going to the gym not because you don’t like working out, but because you’re lacking variety in your daily routine. Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor winter activities that burn calories like a gym session would.

The numbers of calories burned for each activity are averages. The amount of calories you will burn depends on several factors, such as your sex, weight, and body composition, as well as the intensity with which you perform an activity.


Downhill skiing can burn somewhere between 270 and 470 calories per hour. It’s possible to burn more if you’re maintaining a high level of intensity on the slopes.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing will help you burn about twice as many calories per hour as downhill skiing will. You’re looking at somewhere between 400 and 800 calories per hour, depending on your speed.


If you’ve got kids who love to go sledding – or even a dog that enjoys it – an hour of sledding has the potential to burn over 400 calories. You wouldn’t think you could burn so many calories sledding, but you do have to repeatedly walk uphill carrying your sled or toboggan.


Depending on your speed, ice-skating can burn 300 to 900 calories per hour. But, you’re unlikely to exceed 700 calories per hour unless you’re skating at competitive speeds. However, the nice thing about ice-skating is that it’s a low-impact activity, so it won’t stress your knees or ankles as much.

Ice Hockey

If you’re a fan of ice hockey, playing a game for an hour can burn 400 to 600 calories. This winter activity is a great way to work your legs outside of the gym. It also gets your cardio in for the day.


Snowshoeing can burn 400 to 600 calories per hour or more. Your calorie burn depends on the terrain (relatively flat to mountainous) and your speed. This is also a really good activity to work your legs and get your heart rate going.

Aletsch Glacier Ewigschneefeld

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t go hiking. A hike can burn somewhere between 430 to 650 calories per hour. If you’re in an area where a 4-hour hike is possible, you’re looking at 1,720 to 2,600 calories. Since it takes burning 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat, finishing off your week with a Saturday morning hike could be just what you need to mix up your routine and meet your weekly weight loss goal.

Shoveling Snow

So okay, shoveling snow certainly isn’t as fun as skiing or ice-skating, but it will give you a bit of a calorie-burning boost. If you’re willing to forego the use of your snow blower, you can burn more than 200 calories per hour. If you live in an area that gets snow frequently, shoveling your driveway could give you a bit of an edge on meeting those weight loss goals. Just make sure that you’re shoveling safely so you don’t hurt your back.

Leave a Reply

Get More Information