Aerobic exercizes are a vital element of cardiovascular health and an ice skating workout can help meet those needs.
Skating across the ice provides an aerobic workout that is excellent for the body and fun to perform.
The best part about it is that the aerobic aspect just goes with the territory, not being something you focus on, so you get the benefits while scarcely being aware of it.
Particularly by actively swinging the arms and using long strokes, skating is an excellent cardio workout.
For the best cardio workout, maintain at a sustained pace.
As in running or cycling, a consistent workload needs to be kept up for the best results.
Whether you bundle up in winter for a session on a frozen lake or seek out the cool enclosure of an indoor skating rink in summer, an ice skating workout is great for both the body and the mind.
With a little equipment, the proper stretching beforehand, and mindfulness about what you are doing, you can enjoy the benefits of skating with little fear of injury.
Gliding across the ice has many health and fitness elements from which you can benefit.
Build Major Muscle Groups
The core muscles and lower body benefit more than your other muscle groups while skating on ice.
Core muscles such as the pelvic floor muscles, the gluteus maximus, and back muscles, along with lower body muscles such as hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and hips all increase in mass, toning and strengthening even during a leisurely session of laps around the ice.
Specific health and fitness benefits are attached to many of these muscles being strengthened.
For instance, the aging, as well as childbearing women, often suffer from urinary stress incontinence, which can be lessened or completely eliminated with exercises like skating that improve the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Another example is that many back issues are attributed to weak muscles of the back and legs; skating can resolve these as well.
Strengthening these groups of muscles does more than prevent and solve an array of common health problems.
It also makes everyday tasks easier by increasing your levels of energy.
The improvement of these muscles also makes it easier to perform such activities as squatting, walking, standing, reaching, bending, and twisting.
Even sitting for prolonged periods is made easier by improving the core and leg muscles.
Improve Your Balance
Strengthening your muscles leads to improved balance.
So does the effort of even trying to remain standing upon the ice.
When you learn to engage your muscles in staying standing, you are doing more than toning them; you are also improving your total control over both your endurance and your body.
When actively skating on the ice, you glide about on a pair of thin blades. If you get fancy, you might even be gliding about on just one. This leads to improved ability to balance over time, through consistent practice.
Also interesting is that many adults who begin skating on ice report that the activity aids them in feeling better balanced in their overall lives.
Their claim is that they feel more in control.
They feel better capable at navigating through the challenges of life.
Skating does require a determination and effort to get where you desire by overcoming challenges, so this claim makes sense.
Skating can improve balance, both in mind and body.
Increase Your Joint Flexibility
Skating can be a real solution if you find your leg joints creaking each time you get out of bed every day.
It has an emphasis on strong knees and swift motions of the feet.
This gives the leg joints a great workout; they should be feeling more flexible with repeated practice of the sport.
The synchronized motion of the legs is vital for joint flexibility.
This low-impact exercise improves joint health, strength, flexibility, endurance, and range of motion.
Joints also benefit from the weight loss side of ice skating.
Apart from increasing the risk of diseases, carrying extra weight is difficult on the cartilage cushioning your joints.
Aging and excess weight both have an impact on wearing down this cartilage.
The impact further causes damage to the bones and the joints that they connect. Seeking your ideal weight while skating has multiple positive effects on your body, and skating is a viable option for those who suffer a history of joint pain.
Jump to Aid Bone Density
Bone density experiences a decrease as people age, and more rapidly so in women.
The prevention of bone loss and increase of bone mass is vital for maintaining a good posture, bone strength and the prevention of diseases such as osteoporosis.
While adding calcium and vitamin D to your diet are one way to address this problem, adding jumps into a skating regimen is a fun way to help while exercising.
Even jumps that are little, with low clearance, help.
Evidence shows that activities which place greater stress on the skeleton are good for increasing bone mass.
Ten minutes of jump practice on a daily basis will slowly increase the mass of those bones that are impacted.
Variety is also important in your routine to keep increasing the mass.
Try watching other skaters, video lessons, or taking a class to pick up new moves and ideas.
Keep in mind, however, that jumping makes skating less low-impact as a sport.
Improve Your Stress Management
Generally, working out is a good way for the relief of stress.
Physical activity causes the release of endorphins in the brain. Skating, specifically, has still greater benefits for stress.
It boosts self-confidence and forces you to hone your focus.
Skating requires many new moves, like going backward, doing crossovers, and spinning.
This improved focus is carried off of the ice with you, as is the boost of self-confidence. You can also meet new people or bring friends with you to the rink for social relaxation.
Skating also places you firmly within the moment.
You cannot be focusing on the list of things you have to see to accomplishing; instead, you let your mind pinpoint the immediate process of balancing and awareness of your surroundings.
Skating can be viewed as a type of meditation.
It is a calming period of time as your muscles and joints work and your mind clears.
An hour moving about the ice can refresh you both mentally and emotionally.
Build Mental Fitness
Skating outdoors has a particularly powerful impact on mental fitness.
Fresh air and sunshine, along with the company of friends, family, or simply other friendly people enjoying the ice, help to unwind.
Skating can even be used to solve problems.
Psychologists say that your subconscious mind continues to problem-solve while you sleep, meditate, or exercise.
During an hour moving around the ice, or after an hour of that activity, with cold air swelling your lungs and the muscles burning in your legs, you will feel as though you have taken a break from solving your problems, but the truth is your subconscious mind has been working away while the conscious part of your mind has a necessary break.
Equipment You Will Need
The first piece of equipment is, of course, a pair of ice skates that fit properly.
Rental skates can be a good choice if you are unsure whether or not the activity will suit you.
This is especially true because most rental skates are high in quality and offer an assortment of sizes for you to try on.
Apart from skates, have good gloves to protect your hands not only from the wind and cold but also from falls. Further, dress in warm clothing that enables you to move freely.
A helmet and pads are possible if they let you feel more confident and comfortable.
If you like the idea of training at home, portable synthetic ice panels are now available and can be installed virtually anywhere.
You don’t need a lot of space to work on your edges and get comfortable in your skates.
The more ice time you can make available to yourself will only help you achieve your goals that much quicker.