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Most winter sports involve a considerable cardiovascular effort that keeps the metabolism high even when the activity is finished, helping to burn calories while enjoying the snow. That’s quite an added value, especially if you’re looking to get rid of all the weight you’ve put on over the festive season.

Here are seven winter sports with their average energy expenditure based on the weight of women.

ALPINE SKIING

This discipline works the so-called “core”, that is the abdominals and the stabilising muscles of the back. But it also obviously engages the lower limbs: the inside and outside of the thighs, the calves, quadriceps and glutes. It improves balance, endurance and mood. Calories burnt per hour: 273 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 340 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

Enables a total workout of both the upper and the lower body. Since it correctly balances the tension between the various muscle groups cross-country skiing can be performed for many hours, making it an excellent aerobic workout to improve cardiovascular health. Calories burnt per hour: 382 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 476 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

SNOWBOARDING

In snowboarding nearly all of the muscles are at work, and you’ll even discover some that you’d never noticed because staying balanced on the board is extremely demanding. The quadriceps, the rear thigh muscles and the glutes work hard to help you stay on the board, while the upper body muscles kick in to lift you up after a fall. Calories burnt per hour: 273 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 340 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

ICE SKATING

Tones the thighs and calves, improving balance and easing stress. Skating is also an easy way to get a great cardio workout without feeling tired: because it’s fun. Calories burnt per hour: 327 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 408 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

TOGOGGANING

Although not regarded as a real sports activity, even tobogganing puts all muscles in the body to work while giving you the fun of plummeting downhill. Climbing and coming down the snow-covered hills improves basic endurance, strength and stability. Calories burnt per hour: 327 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 408 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

SNOWSHOES

Calmly exploring the snow-covered paths gives you a complete lower-body workout. Movement becomes more tiring because of the bulkiness of the racket on your feet, which forces you to walk with a bigger stride; the fresh snow also tends to grip the racket and to exert pressure whenever you lift your feet. This is a cardiovascular workout that strengthens the legs and arms and increases the body’s oxygenation process. Calories burnt per hour: 382 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 476 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

ICE HOCKEY

Ice hockey players have to be able to execute rapid movements and must possess good balance on the skates, all while supporting the weight of the equipment worn. The continual “stopping and starting” in this sport makes it a form of high-intensity interval training that raises the metabolism even when the match is finished. Calories burnt per hour: 436 for a woman weighing 55 kg or 544 for a woman weighing 65-68 kg .

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