As well as being a whole lot of fun, ice skating is a great way to get fit! So, if you’re looking for a great way to stay healthy, why not lace up your skates and get on the rink? Whether you’re a complete beginner, haven’t skated in years, or are a regular on the rink, there are myriad health benefits to this fun sport.
If you’ve ever set foot on an ice rink, you’ll know that staying upright can sometimes be a challenge! It’s no surprise, then, that ice skating is a great way to improve your balance, posture and coordination.
When you skate, you need to engage your core muscles to stay stable on the ice. You’re also using the muscles in your ankles and lower legs to help guide you around the ice. So, it’s a great way to gently train your muscles and improve your coordination – something which you should see carried over into other activities, like yoga. Your tree pose will be better than ever before after a few regular ice skating sessions!
Like running and cycling, ice skating is a fantastic cardiovascular activity – but unlike running and cycling, you’re much more likely to have great fun while skating!
Ice skating gets your heart pumping and increases the blood flow around your body. And of course, you can make it as intense a workout as you like. If you take it easy, chatting with friends as you glide around the rink, your heart rate should stay fairly stable. But if you go a bit faster, maybe even practicing your speedwork on the ice, it can be a tough cardio workout. So, it’s completely up to you – you can make ice skating a leisurely day out or a hard workout, but it’s sure to be heaps of fun either way!
As we’ve already mentioned, you need to engage your core muscles when ice skating to stay upright – and of course, your legs are getting a good workout too – so skating really is a full body exercise.
It works nearly every muscle group in your body. When you’re on the ice, you’ll be working your:
It can also be a good way to build up bone density, as you’re gently putting stress on your bones due to the weight-bearing nature of ice skating. This is particularly true if you’re a wannabe figure skater and like to practice your jumps on the rink. Increasing bone density is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for women who can be at risk of osteoporosis as they age.
So not only is ice skating a fun way to pass a morning or afternoon, you’ll also be setting yourself up for future long-term health and wellness.
Exercise is a fabulous way to reduce stress. Whether you’ve had a busy week at work or have a lot going on at home, ice skating – and other forms of exercise – produce endorphins. These hormones help you to relax, thus reducing stress.
Aside from all the physical benefits of ice skating, there’s another very important factor to consider – and that’s how skating can improve your mental health. As well as releasing those all-important endorphins to reduce stress, endorphins are also known as the ‘happy chemical’. They give you a much-needed mood boost, so even if you’re feeling down when you hit the ice, you’re sure to be feeling uplifted by the time you’ve finished your skate session.
Ice skating can also help to boost your self-confidence. If you go skating regularly, you’ll quickly start to see an improvement in your abilities – and there’s nothing better than seeing how far you’ve come to give you a boost of confidence!
So next time you’re having a tough week or just fancy trying something different, why not lace up your skates and get out on the rink? Whether you come to The Westfield Ice Rink at Westfield London by yourself, with friends or family, you’re sure to have a blast – with the added bonus of improving your health while you’re perfecting your twists and turns!