As winter is upon us, we hide away in the warmth of our homes, avoiding the cold dark days outside. Harsh temperatures and a ground covered in snow and ice prevent us from most outdoor sports activities.
One of the most versatile winter sports is ice-skating. There is a definite love of skating by people all over the world… it’s like many things we all share unknowingly and yet can come together without thinking about it.
Ice skating takes many forms, from speed skating to professional hockey to figure skating to sliding around on a pond. Few sports are beneficial for your body on so many levels as this ancient sport that was first practiced in Finland over 4000 years ago. Ice-skating provides excellent cardiovascular workout, comparable to running, as you improve your skating skills. But because you glide over the ice, the impact on your joints is relatively low compared to the relentless pounding your knees, hips and ankles have to endure during a jog.
Skating is also a great way to help you lose those post-holiday pounds. With an hour of recreational skating, you burn between 250 and 850 calories, depending on your pace and weight. To put this in perspective, burning about 3500 calories with physical activity will allow you to lose one pound.
Skating also builds your stamina. Of course, going for longer distances will increase your endurance more than short distances do. Ice-skating primarily works your upper legs, but also your back and abdominal muscles, as you need them to keep your balance and the right posture.
Last but not least, ice-skating is a great way to get away from it all—especially outdoor skating. The fresh air and natural surroundings should leave any troubles you might have well behind you on the ice.
Jenn and Mac have been learning to skate this winter, taking those first few wobbling steps onto the ice with much patience and help from Chris. They enjoy the time on the indoor arena ice but are willing to venture out on ‘real’ ice once they have their ‘skate legs’ intact – maybe next year. There’s not much time left for skating this season as spring is at our winter weary door, so go and lace those boots up and enjoy winter’s last hurrah!