Long winter months can turn even the most physically active people into hibernating homebodies. Despite the cold weather, it is possible for us to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and even get some exercising in! Sledding is a fun activity that will burn some of those winter calories away and help you to stay in shape.
The average person burns around 400 calories per hour of sledding. This number can differ depending on a variety of factors such as the intensity of physical activity of the sledding session as well as gender, body weight, and body composition.
If you want a more accurate estimate of the number of calories you have the potential to burn while sledding, there are various websites with specialized caloric calculators.
How to Get a More Accurate Estimate of Calories Burned
These calculators often have you input your weight, the activity you will be doing (in this case sledding), and how much time you plan on doing this activity for.
Once all of these variables are put in, the calculator will work its magic and give you an average amount of calories you can burn.
Below you will find a more detailed table that shows various estimates of calories one could burn while sledding for one hour. This chart was created by using an online caloric calculator found on a site called Spark People.
Potential Calories Burnt from Sledding
|Weight (lbs)||Minutes Spent||Estimate of Calories Burned|
Basically, the bigger you are, the more calories you are likely to burn for a good sledding session. Plus, if you spend more time out in the snow, you’ll burn even more calories.
This explains why sledding can make you so hungry.
How Does Sledding Burn Calories?
It’s amazing how enjoyable zipping down a snow-covered hill can be and oftentimes we are having so much fun that we don’t even recognize how much exercise we are actually getting.
For many, the main goal of sledding is to find the biggest and most intense hill to go down. A sledders unspoken motto is, “the bigger the hill, the more fun it is” when really it should be, “the bigger the hill, the more effort it takes to get back up”.
For this very reason, sledding is a great aerobic exercise and can get our heart rate up which in turn helps us burn calories.
Even the initial fear of going down a hill can get our hearts pumping and when we finally commit to sliding down our hearts beat faster from the rush of adrenaline.
Sliding down the hill is just one part of the calorie burning equation, walking back up the hill the other. In fact, walking up a hill after sledding down it, accounts for the majority of exercise we get from sledding.
Reasons Why Sledding Burns So Many Calories
Sledding is such a healthy activity that assists us in living healthier and more active lifestyles in the winter. It not only allows us to fun while exercise but also burns calories while we are doing it.
Apart from the actual physical activity involved in sledding, there are many other factors that help us burn calories. Below are three factors that explain why we burn so many calories through sledding.
1. Walking in the Snow is a Lot Harder Than Walking on Solid Ground
Walking back up a sledding hill can be a pretty strenuous activity. The reason for this is the extra resistance that is added by the snow.
Hiking up a snow-covered hill is comparable to walking on the sand at a beach or sand dunes. This extra resistance causes our bodies to exert a lot more energy to get up a hill than they normally would.
Plus, the deeper the snow, the hard it is to walk in, thus causing our bodies to burn more calories.
Since you are trudging up a steep hill, you really have to put a lot of effort into climbing
2. The Added Weight of Winter Clothes
In addition to the added resistance of the snow, it is also important to factor in the added weight and resistance of the heavy we winter clothes we wear when sledding.
The clothes we wear keep us warm, but they also add a lot more weight to our bodies thus making us work harder when performing physical activities, such as sledding.
Winter clothes may also make you sweat more during strenuous activities which assist in the burning of calories and even weight loss.
Simply being out in a cold environment further causes our bodies to burn more calories than normal. Your body has to use more energy to stay warm, thus it burns more calories trying to keep us warm than it would in a more comfortable climate.
3. Sledding Strengthens Muscles
Sledding is not solely a cardio-based form of exercise. It can also help us strengthen our muscles. You may even notice that you are a little bit sore after a long day of sledding, which is totally normal.
Sledding burns calories as we use our glutes and leg muscles to hike back up the snowy hills that we are sledding down. Repeated actions like these burn a lot of calories.
Upper body strength is also increased as we use our chest, arm, and back muscles to steer as we go down the hill and as we pull or carry our sleds back up the hill.
Ways to Maximize the Number of Calories Burnt Through Sledding
As mentioned earlier, 400 calories are essentially the estimated amount of calories we burn through an hour of sledding. This number is definitely not the minimum or maximum amount of calories we can burn.
If you are looking to take your sledding up a notch on the calorie burning scale, try a few of these ideas. Build Jumps
Building jumps is hard work! It requires you to shovel and cart snow from one area to another and can absolutely raise your heart rate and build some muscle.
Plus, building a jump make sledding a lot more epic.
Choose a Steeper Hill
Choosing as steeper hill not only elevates the speed at which you fly down a hill at, but it also requires us to exert much more work to hike back up.
Like I mentioned earlier, “the bigger the hill, the more effort it takes to get back up”.
Offer to Carry Someone’s Sled Up the Hill for Them
It may not seem like a lot of extra effort, but pulling a sled all the way up the hill takes a bit more strength and power, so it burns more calories.
Not only will this method make you more friends, but it will also help you burn more calories as you cart more weight up the hill with you.
Sledding Calories Compared to Other Winter Activities
Sledding is just one of few winter activities that can keep you in shape. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone sledding and started an impromptu snowball fight or built a snowman afterward.
Below is a list of other snow activities and the potential amount that one can burn from doing them.
- Cross-country Skiing: 340 calories every 30 minutes
- Downhill Skiing: 340 calories every 30 minutes
- Ice Skating: 240 calories every 30 minutes
- Snowshoeing: 270 calories every 30 minutes
Note: The information used in this list was taken from a site called alliance and is based on data for people who weigh 150 pounds.
A lot of these activities burn even more calories than sledding!
These other “snow playing” activities are also good for burning calories. Once again, it all depends on the type of activity you are doing and how strenuous this activity is. Surprisingly, playing in the snow can burn around 400-800 calories.
Tubing is another activity that is essentially the same as sledding. It offers great opportunities for a cardio-based workout as you walk up and down the hill with your inflated inner tube. It is estimated that you burn as much as 200-300 calories every 30 minutes of tubing. That is around 400-600 calories for an hour!
Surprisingly, building snowman burns as much as 142 calories for every 30 minutes you spend doing it. Who knew that the act of rolling up the different snowballs and selecting various accessories for your snowman could be so healthy?
Other wintertime favorites such as making snow angels and starting snowball fights also burn calories.
It is estimated that you burn 107 calories when you spend 30 minutes making snow angels and as much as 160 calories from through snowballs at others for 30 minutes.
Sledding is an awesome work out, plus you can include other fun snow activities that also help improve your health all in the same trip.