Snowboarding is an effective way to keep active during the winter months.
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Learning how to snowboard, as is the case with any sport, requires patience as you develop your fundamentals. With enough practice, however, you can graduate from the beginner hills to more challenging runs and begin to incorporate tricks. As you learn the winter sport, your body is constantly burning calories. The caloric burn isn't as high as some winter sports, but snowboarding on a consistent basis can contribute to better physical health.
Burn Hundreds of Calories, Even as a Beginner
According to "Glamour" magazine, a 160-pound person burns about 381 calories in 60 minutes of light snowboarding. When snowboarding at a moderate or vigorous level for 60 minutes, the same person burns about 457 or 610 calories, respectively. Although your level of experience in a sport won't necessarily influence the rate at which you burn calories, a beginner is likely to snowboard at a light intensity due to her frequent starts, stops and falls as she learns the sport.
Cross-Country Skiing Burns More
Burning about 381 calories in 60 minutes of snowboarding provides a slower caloric burn than some other forms of winter exercise. A 160-pound person burns about 533 calories in an hour of slow-paced cross-country skiing and about 419 calories in 60 minutes of light ice skating. The caloric burn from light snowboarding is equivalent to that of light downhill skiing.
Stronger Muscles and Better Balance
A day spent snowboarding can easily help you burn more than 1,000 calories which, combined with a reduction in your caloric intake, can lead to weight loss. But snowboarding isn't just a way to potentially lose weight. This activity is suitable for your overall fitness because it strengthens a number of muscles throughout your body, especially those in your core and lower body. Snowboarding can also improve your balance, and being active can lead to emotional well-being benefits, such as reduced stress.
If you're a beginner to the world of snowboarding, you'll likely spend considerable time on your backside after falling. Even the best of boarders fall, so don't get discouraged. To lessen the risk of injury during a fall, ensure you wear the correct protective gear -- even when you're learning on a beginner hill. This gear includes a helmet, goggles and pads for your wrists, elbows and knees. A snowboard leash is also important, as it keeps your board tethered to you and prevents it escaping during a fall. The right gear helps you recover quickly from falls and get back to boarding -- and burning calories.