Is Snowboarding Cardio?

Snowboarding can be cardio, but it’s not strictly a cardio activity. You also use a lot of strength in your lower body and core. And the amount of cardio benefits you see from riding will depend on how hard you push yourself on the mountain. 

I’m a lifelong snowboarder with an endless passion for the sport. One of the reasons I enjoy it so much is because it’s a great form of exercise. I know through years of experience how snowboarding can be good cardio. 

In this post, I’ll take a look at whether snowboarding is cardio. I’ll explain how you can ride to increase cardio and provide you with some other tips to help you get in some exercise when out on the slopes. 

Let’s get after it.

Snowboarding and Cardio

Snowboarding is a pretty great form of exercise, and it happens to be one of my favorite ways to stay active. It can be a form of cardio, but this all depends on how hard you push yourself when riding. 

If you are a beginner and can’t ride that long or fast, you will not get that much of a cardio workout from snowboarding. You’ll still be able to build strength and balance, but you won’t see cardio benefits because you can’t push yourself that much. 

If you are a more experienced rider who can snowboard all day long and really push yourself to the limit, you will get a much better cardio workout out of it. Expert riders stay in pretty good shape by snowboarding often. 

The high elevations typically involved in snowboarding also help to increase the cardio. There is less oxygen at higher elevations, so your body has to work harder to get blood to all of your muscles. If you stay at elevation and exercise for long periods, you will see improvements. 

Snowboarding isn’t as good of cardio as other high-intensity activities like running or swimming. You aren’t using your entire body, and you usually have gravity on your side, which means you won’t be working as hard. 

Snowboarding as Exercise

If you want to turn your snowboarding experience into a form of exercise, you need to learn how to push yourself out of your comfort zone. This means you need to know what you’re comfortable with and then get comfortable with going past it. 

It can take some time to learn how to do this. But the more you ride, the better you will become at pushing your limits. You will get stronger and in better cardio shape as you do. Stay patient and stick with it, and you’ll start to see results. 

Proper recovery is also important with any type of exercise, snowboarding included. If you are extremely tired or sore, you aren’t going to be able to perform as well or push yourself. Rest up and bit, and then try again.   


Here are a few short answers to some commonly asked questions relating to whether snowboarding is good cardio. 

Is snowboarding enough exercise? 

Snowboarding on its own is probably not enough exercise for most people. But if you ride nearly every day and go pretty hard when you’re out there, it might be enough. It all depends on how hard you push yourself and your ability levels. 

Can you lose weight from snowboarding? 

You can lose weight from snowboarding because it is a steady form of exercise that will burn calories and build strength. But it typically doesn’t burn as many calories as other forms of cardio exercise like running or swimming. 

Is snowboarding good for running? 

Snowboarding and running can be complementary activities. They will both help you build lower body strength and endurance. I think that running is better for snowboarding than snowboarding is for running, but there are benefits either way. 

Which is a better workout skiing or snowboarding? 

Both skiing and snowboarding are pretty good workouts. They are very similar in the amount of calories burned and muscles involved. One is not necessarily better than the other in terms of being a better workout.


Snowboarding is a pretty good form of cardio if you know how to push yourself. Beginners won’t get as many cardio benefits as experienced riders. But if you go hard and get out of your comfort zone, you’ll start to enjoy increased benefits.  

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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