February 19, 2014

Which winter Olympic sports burn the most calories?

Daily Briefing

During every day of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, athletes are pushing their bodies to extremes and burning huge amounts of calories in the process. But how many calories depend on the sport, according to CNN Health's Sarah Gleim.

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Gleim estimated the energy expended by competitors in some of the Games' most-popular sports:

  • Downhill skiing. This sport requires a great deal of lower back and leg strength. It burns about 300 to 450 calories an hour.

  • Figure skating. The competitors may make it look effortless, but figure skating at an Olympic level burns about 500 calories an hour.

  • Biathlon.  Shooting requires few calories, but hauling a rifle while cross country skiing burns some serious energy—about 500 to 700 calories per hour.

  • Speed Skating. The muscle and leg power required for speed skating burns about 600 calories per hour.

  • Ice hockey. Carrying around pounds of pads while sprinting around the rink makes ice hockey players burn 450 to 750 calories per hour (Gleim, CNN, 2/18).

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