Winter is here and all the ice rinks are filled with seasoned and beginning skaters. Movies such as “The Cutting Edge”, “Ice Castles” and “Blades of Glory” have always held a special place in my heart. I get to enjoy NYC’s beauty by going to the rinks at Bryant Park, Brookfield Place, Chelsea Piers, The Standard and Central Park.
Who can forget the famous Rockefeller Center Ice Rink? One of my best memories is performing at this magical place. I just spoke about what ice skating means to me, but let’s also talk about the benefits of this sport. These are the top reasons why I can’t get enough of figure skating!
1. Builds lower body strength. While gliding, spinning or doing jumps, you are working out different muscle groups. This sport gives you the added bonus of strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, pelvic floor and gluteus muscles. Additionally your back muscles and core muscles are working hard! Do this after a yoga class!
2. Provides aerobic activity which is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
3. Improves joint flexibility and range of motion by strengthening the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue surrounding the joint. Without the jumping, ice skating is not viewed as a high impact sport!
4. Contributes to weight loss by burning calories. Depending on how vigorous you skate and your weight, a person can burn anywhere from 300-mid 600 calories in one hour! Shake things up and try this form of exercise instead of your usual regimen!
BENEFITS OF ICE SKATING…
5. Increase endurance! Any competitive skater will tell you how much work goes into each practice to perform the perfect program. This requires an abundance of energy over an extended period of time.
6. Assists in balance and coordination.
7. Provides enormous stress relief in a fun way!
8. Develops self-confidence as you start to master gliding around the rink in forward and backward motions and attempt a few difficult maneuvers.
9. This activity can be done any time during the year!
HAVE FUN AND BE CAREFUL!
Remember that although this can be a fun activity, individuals should be careful about skating injuries!
Head injuries, sprains, fractures, ligament tears in the knee, hand and wrist can occur. Speak with your physician first if you are at risk for fractures, have certain medical conditions or taking certain medications like blood thinners. Small children and beginners may also need a helmet or knee pads. Try something new and get out to your local ice rink or a frozen pond this upcoming year! See you on the ice!