You don’t have to be a professional ice hockey player or know how to do a triple axle to enjoy the sport of ice-skating. For most people, putting on their skates and doing laps around a rink is an enjoyable way to have fun while getting a moderate aerobic workout.
Even if making your way around the rink without falling is your only goal, taking a lesson or two may be a good idea. You should be able to sign up for lessons at any indoor ice-skating rink. During a skating lesson you’ll learn basic techniques like how to stop and how to skate backwards, skills that will come in handy when you’re on your own in the rink. Before you step out on the ice, make sure your ice skates fit snuggly and support your ankles. Since you’ll be skating on ice, it’ll probably be cold so make sure to wear warm and comfortable clothing.
There many areas where you can enjoy the sport of ice skating—on outdoor frozen ponds and lakes or on indoor or outdoor skating rinks. If skating on natural bodies of water, watch for cracks, holes, or objects on the ice since these areas do not have Zambonis smoothing out the ice.
You don’t have to be physically fit to take up ice-skating, but keep in mind that as a beginner, you will probably take many spills on the hard ice.
How much benefit you reap from ice-skating depends largely on how much effort you put into it. The better and faster you are, the more of a cardiovascular workout you will get. Keeping your body upright on the ice helps strengthen your abdominals, calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Skating also improves balance and coordination.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
After lacing up your skates, take five to 10 minutes to skate around the rink slowly. This will allow your muscles to warm up and your heart rate to increase gradually. Before you call it a day, slow down your pace for a few minutes before stepping off the ice to give your body time to cool down.
Be sure to stretch your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps before and after skating to prevent injury and reduce soreness.
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