Every four years, the world watches the best winter athletes as they compete for gold on the ice, snow and slopes. Want to feel like an Olympian during the Sochi Games? Try some of these Olympic sports that burn the most calories.
The Olympic schedule is full of downhill events like the slalom and Super-G, while on the cross-country side, athletes ski up to 50km in grueling tests of stamina and strength. You’d think cross-country skiing would be a better workout, but the strength and balance needed to stay on your feet during downhill skiing burns a lot of calories. One hour of downhill or cross-country skiing can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories depending on your weight and intensity.
The Olympics are full of speed skating events – sprints, like the 500m and long distance races that go for 5,000m. Skating is a great way to build strong legs and core muscles and an hour of moderately intense skating usually burns between 500-600 calories.
Ice hockey combines sprint skating with slightly longer distances, but also includes stick work and quick agility that both require a ton of core strength and stamina. Some of the best hockey players in the world are on the ice for more than 24 minutes each game. Playing a moderately intense game of hockey burns around 700 calories.
Similar to downhill skiing, snowboarding is an amazing workout for your legs and abs – and before you know it, you’ll burn off a ton of calories just by having fun. A typical afternoon on the slopes can burn around 600 calories in just one hour! Be sure to drink a lot of water and take a break for a snack every few runs.
A four-person bobsled weighs nearly 500 pounds and hits speeds up to 118mph, but to get those sleds moving, they need a team of highly trained athletes who are strong and fast. The bobsled team pushes their sled down the track for 228 feet before jumping in and riding to the finish. It takes athletes who are as strong as weight lifters but as fast as sprinters to win the gold. Sprinting 30 seconds burns close to 50 calories, while pushing a heavy sled is the equivalent of a vigorous set of weight training. For each brief run down the track, these athletes burn around 75 calories in seconds.
Curious about how many calories different activities burn? Check out the Calorie Burn Rate Calculator to find out.