The Health Benefits of Ice Skating

Health benefits of ice skating

Ice skating is a lot of work, and for many can seem intimidating. However, once you master the basics, ice skating is a great way to burn calories and be active on cold winter days (or ice rinks). There are many great health benefits of ice skating, and we’ll talk about a few of them below.

Health benefits of ice skating

When is the last time you’ve been ice skating? For me, the last time I went ice skating I was still in middle school and listening to The Cure. (Okay, I still listen to The Cure.) Yet, when I went ice skating recently, I was reminded that it’s also a lot of fun. Plus, a great way to get in shape. You didn’t think Brian Boitano got in shape just by posing for the cameras, did you?

Ice skating is a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun. You’ll probably never be as accomplished as an Olympic figure skater, but that’s okay. No one is pressuring you to be incredible at ice skating, but you will need to master the basics so you don’t fall down a lot (as I did.)

The Skating Academy has a few great tips on how to get around on the ice, and first things first, you’ll need to learn how to stand up in ice skates. Once you regain your balance, you’ll need to then march forward, and then eventually glide on the skates. If you can master these basics, you’ll be golden. (Also, following down a lot less.)

If you’re new to skating or haven’t laced up since you were a kid, local rinks offer a variety of lessons for adults. Before skating, choose skates that fit well and are laced correctly. If you can’t bend your knees, the skates are too tight.

If you’re all set (or not), here’s a few great reasons why you may want to pick up those skates and find the nearest ice rink. Your body will thank you for it later.

Improve Your Balance

When learning to skate, you have to train your body and mind to balance on a thin blade while traveling across a slippery surface.

Ice skating is a great workout that helps you engage many muscles, improving your control to find balance. As you work to develop your balance, you’re also strengthening specific muscles and tendons in your feet and ankles. This benefit of improved balance carries over off-ice, and your skills will only increase after practice.

Joint Flexibility

Did you know that ice skating is a great physical exercise for people with joint pain? That’s because ice skating is a low-impact workout known for improving joint flexibility. 

According to Health Fitness Revolution, ice skating is even more beneficial than cycling and running because it’s low impact and works on many more joints and muscles. The constant movement of joints without massive impact helps strengthen the ligaments and connective tissue around the joints and produce synovial fluid to keep them lubricated.

Mental Health

All workouts are great for relieving stress, and physical activity releases endorphins. But ice skating brings much more than that.

It has unique benefits compared to other sports, making it one of the most excellent sports to enjoy. For one thing, you’ll experience an immediate boost in self-confidence. It’s true that once you’re thrown out of your comfort zone, and you master a new skill, you’ll feel like you climbed a daunting mountain. There’s no better feeling when you begin gliding over the ice with the wind in your face.

Motor Coordination Improvement

I bet you didn’t know that ice skating is also an excellent workout for the brain!

Your whole body has to move as one if you don’t want to lose balance: your feet and legs, of course, but also the position of your arms, torso, neck, head, and where you’re looking. It engages every part of your body to control the movement. This activity triggers pathways in your brain, creating connections, and they will stay open after practice, too.

Endurance

Your endurance is built up as skating requires you to use energy over an extended period of time. The longer you skate the more endurance you will build up. The longer you skate and the harder you skate will lead to increased calories burned, making ice skating a good way to maintain or lose weight.

However, be warned: Though skating helps builds muscular endurance, it does not increase cardio endurance as many other sports do. Generally, skating is considered an anaerobic activity, as intense activity comes in short bursts.

ice skating health benefits

One More Thing

Was there an ice skating health benefit that I missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive more great blog tips straight to your inbox each Friday. If you’re looking for more great seasonal articles, check out Holiday Activities for Winter Family Fun.

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy out there!

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