Is Skiing Good Exercise?

Is Skiing Good Exercise? The Honest Truth

Last Updated on August 10, 2021 by James

It’s often easy to forget that skiing is a sport. Sliding down sunbathed slopes with fresh air in your lungs and an epic view to admire feels fantastic, but is skiing good exercise?

Well, that’s a question that can prompt a range of different answers. Skiing is a broad and diverse sport, with many different types of skiing providing a range of physical benefits.

Using hard facts and a wealth of experience, we have put together this guide detailing the physical benefits of skiing. If you were wondering if skiing is really good exercise, this article will provide you with an honest answer.

Is Skiing Good Exercise? Quick Answer!

Skiing can provide a great physical workout. It has a unique technique that can improve many aspects of your fitness.

Skiing provides an excellent cardiovascular workout that will strengthen your heart. It improves your stamina and burns a significant amount of calories.

Skiing is also a great muscular workout. The repetitive ‘squat’ motion required to turn is great for leg strength, while your core muscles are continuously engaged to keep you balanced.

If you’re looking for a well-rounded and low-impact workout, skiing is a fantastic option. In addition, the enjoyment you have on the slopes certainly contribute to it being labelled as ‘good’ exercise.

Skiers exercising
Is skiing good exercise? The simple answer is: Yes!

How Does Skiing Improve Fitness?

Skiing improves many aspects of your physical fitness. In this section, we will assess how it benefits each aspect of your wellbeing.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Skiing can be a great cardio workout. In fact, research has indicated that downhill skiing provides a workout comparable to riding a bike or using a rowing machine.

Ski machines are also starting to gain popularity in gyms. They are a great low-impact option for anyone looking to burn some serious calories.

Many factors can affect the exercise benefits that you gain from a day on the slopes. Leisurely cruising down a blue slope is unlikely to produce the same workout as skiing steep terrain or fresh powder.

Regardless of ability level, skiing is a sure fire way to increase your heart rate and give your lungs a good workout. If you spend plenty of time on the ski slopes, you will inevitably be getting great cardiovascular exercise.

Skiers exercising by skiing down the slope
Spending time on the ski slope is a great way to exercise

Lower-Body Muscular Exercise

Skiing is a sport that requires nonstop flexing of your leg muscles. The correct ski stance requires a slight squat position, which is turned into a lower squat during each turn.

The constant up and down motion performed through your legs is great muscular exercise. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and hips are all working hard while you ski down the slope.

Skiing is performed on varying terrain and requires a wide range of different turn types. From carving to skidding, every ski turn uses a different combination of muscles with varying amounts of force.

This has led to skiing being heralded as a complete lower-body workout. It combines muscular strength and endurance exercise in a way that cannot be replicated in most activities.

Ski turning exercises your leg muscles
Turning on skis involves a squat motion that works your leg muscles

Improves Core Strength and Balance

Keeping your balance while sliding over challenging terrain is a difficult task. It requires a great amount of balance to remain standing, which in turn keeps your core muscles engaged.

Your abdominal, back and muscles around your pelvis are all getting great exercise every time you ski. They will need to work extremely hard to keep you balanced over your skis, which will strengthen them over time.

Strengthening your core muscles can make a big difference to your balance. Skiing is a great way to strengthen your core muscles, which will lead to improved fitness.

Improves Coordination

Coordination is often an overlooked fitness component, but it’s vital for most sports. Skiing is a sport that requires many smooth and accurate movement patterns, so it’s a great way to improve coordination.

Skiing is a sport that involves many moving parts that must work in unison to achieve the desired outcome. Skis, legs, arms and upper body all need to be synchronised in order to produce a flowing ski performance.

The strength and focus required to achieve this level of coordination is great exercise. Moving your muscles with a large amount of control on the slopes will inevitably improve your fitness.

Is Skiing Good For Weight Loss?

Weight loss generally comes down to two key components; diet and exercise. Although your diet is something that skiing cannot affect, it can do a great job of providing the exercise required for weight loss.

Skiing is an exercise that burns plenty of calories. The most conclusive study on calories burned while skiing was conducted by Harvard Medical School.

They created a table detailing the amount of calories burned while performing a variety of sports and tasks. It concluded that a 155 pound person burns 446 calories per hour of skiing.

Skiing is therefore a high calorie-burning exercise that makes it good for weight loss.

It needs to be noted that spending time on the slopes doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss. Although you’re burning a high amount of calories, it’s easy for your hard work to be undone at après ski! Share on X

Skiing is generally associated with holidaymakers. Calorie dense foods, hot chocolate and one two many beers at the après bar are common occurrences for many skiers.

The sport of skiing is good for weight loss, but resort life is often not. If you’re sensible with your diet, you will soon reap the weight loss rewards from your day on the snow.

Ski restaurant
Skiing is good for weight loss, providing you don’t let loose at the restaurant!

Is Skiing Good Exercise For Kids?

Skiing is a sport that requires a wide skillset. It can teach them a vast array of vital skills in a mentally stimulating and enjoyable way.

Skiing has muscular benefits that are vital for the health of any growing child. It is a great way to build core and leg muscles, which can also help to fortify ligaments and tendons.

In addition, a 2010 study found that muscular exercise during childhood can increase bone strength and bone mass density. It also states that physical activity is ‘critical to optimal bone growth’.

Skiing is also a great way for kids to exercise their balance and coordination skills. Learning to use your muscles in a controlled way is vital during your formative years, which will help any child improve their all-round coordination.

Kid getting exercise by skiing
Skiing is great all-round exercise for kids

Is Skiing Good Exercise For Adults?

Skiing can prove a great form of exercise for adults. It gives you a fantastic cardiovascular workout that has numerous health benefits.

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are all health issues that can start to develop during your adult years. Skiing provides a good exercise workout that can help to prevent some of these leading health concerns.

Learning to ski as an adult can be difficult, but it will also challenge your coordination and coordination. It can give you a great physical boost by exercising your ability to control your muscles and improving your overall physical capability.

If you are already an experienced skier, then regular skiing is a great way to maintain your fitness levels and muscle tone. It can be performed in a low-impact way that continues to preserve your cartilage and ligament health throughout your adult years.

Is Skiing Good Exercise For Older Adults?

Research has shown that muscle mass will naturally diminish at an increasing speed as you get older. One of the best ways to slow this decrease in muscle tissue is through exercise.

Skiing is a good way to exercise your leg and core muscles. The tension caused when controlling your skis is also a great way to strengthen the bones, joints and ligaments throughout your lower body.

Another common issue with aging is slips and falls, with balance tending to deteriorate during our advancing years. Skiing is a great way to improve your balance and coordination skills.

Skiing involves repetitive muscle control and strengthening of the core muscles. This leads to improved overall fitness and can vastly improve your ability to perform every-day tasks.

The flowing technique performed during efficient skiing is a great low-impact workout. Unlike many types of exercise, skiing will preserve and increase your joint and bone health; making it a good form of exercise for older adults.

Summing Up

The question of ‘is skiing good exercise’ is an easy one for us to answer: Yes! When practiced in a safe environment and performed with proper technique, skiing can be a great workout.

The wide range of physical benefits obtained from spending time on the slopes is truly unique. It can simultaneously provide cardio, muscular, balance and coordination exercise.

Skiing is often seen as a fun activity, rather than a sport. It’s easy to forget that skiing is a type of exercise, which is testament to the joy this sport can bring.

Our advice is to get out on the slopes as much as possible to build and maintain your fitness. If you’re looking for a good way to exercise, it’s difficult to argue against skiing.


Is skiing good exercise? Whether you think so or not, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and let us know!