It’s ice skating time! Whether it’s outdoor skating with the Christmas Tree at world famous Rockefeller Center in NYC (this year in tee shirts given the weird, warm weather) or indoor rinks because it’s just too darn cold to be outside or too warm to actually keep ice frozen on the ground, tis the season to ice skate. Hey, at University of Wisconsin – Madison, the Edgewater Hotel has even turned their outdoor plaza into a skating rink (because everyone wants to skate outside in 0 degree weather with the wind whipping off Lake Mendota, right?).
So, never one to miss a fitness trend, we asked our fitness guru, Ximena, to check it out. Let’s see what she thought:
Here in South Florida, our winters consist of 80-degree weather, sunny days and flip flops. No shoveling snow for us. The most winter one could possibly come in contact with would be the ice and chill of the indoor ice rink!
Workouts should occasionally be challenging and out of your comfort zone. And that’s exactly why I went ice skating one morning.
Ice Skating burns about 385-630 calories per hour, but you’re going to have to be skating pretty fast in order to burn more calories! You also
“… use[s] a lot of small stabilizer muscles that don’t get a workout in day-to-day life, in particular those around your hips, knees and ankles.” –K. Kunze (Certified Skating Coach/Programs coordinator of kinesiology at the University of Calgary).
o Increase joint flexibility— If your leg joints creak every time you rise from your bed in the morning, ice skating could offer a real solution. With its emphasis on quick foot movements and supple knees, your leg joints will receive a great workout and hopefully feel more flexible in no time.
o Building leg muscle— Your legs may currently resemble knobbly-kneed, trembling twigs, but ice skating exercise could really change all that. Focusing on lower-body movement, ice skating offers fine exercise for the leg muscles, building them up over time.
o Boosting the cardiovascular system— Ice skating may not seem like your everyday cardio. But an intensive session could really work out your heart and lungs, feeding muscles with oxygen more efficiently.
o Keeping mentally fit— Ice skating is useful for improving mental fitness. It requires high concentration, strong memory skills and spatial awareness. So your mind will literally be developing while you are on the ice!
o Improving balance — If you normally topple over at the drop of a hat, ice skating could really help you improve your balance through fun and positive exercise. Travelling across an incredibly slippery surface trains you to stay on your feet. (http://goo.gl/IQuPpq).
I May not be Michelle Kwan or Kristi Yamaguchi, but once I got a hang of the ice my confidence soared faster than I could skate. Check out my friend Taylor and I messing around at Glacier Ice one morning! (That’s us in the YouTube!).
Read More By Ximena: