Is ice skating a good workout? Like you, I wondered if this was possible. So, I decided to research to unravel the truth behind this. This is what I discovered:
Ice skating is a good workout because it’s a low impact aerobic exercise, works all body muscles, has cardiovascular and aerobic benefits, burns tons of calories, improves body balance and coordination, and helps with stress management by releasing endorphins and dopamine hormones.
Is Ice Skating a Good Workout?
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Suppose you’d like to learn how these work, I urge you to read on till the end. So, without much ado, let’s get going!
1. Low Impact Aerobic Exercise
Studies show that ice skating is a low impact aerobic exercise and is under the same category as rollerblading, roller skating, and swimming. What’s a low impact aerobic exercise, you ask? A low impact aerobic exercise is gentle on the joints but rough on the calories and fats.
That’s what ice skating is known for. Since it’s got a low impact on the joints like the knee joint, it’s safe for people with bad knees. Unless you’re jumping an obstacle, there’s no hard impact between your feet and the ground when ice skating.
So, if you’ve got bad knees, it’s advisable not to engage in skating tricks that can trigger the pain. Above all, you want to avoid high jumps unless necessary. Lastly, if you’re looking for a safe way to burn fats and calories while having fun, ice skating would be a good fit.
2. Works all Body Muscles
Ice skating, like all skating disciplines, follows the recommended skating posture. What’s the recommended skating posture? You could be wondering. The correct posture when skating is staying low with bent knees above your toes. Also, the shoulders should be over your hips.
This posture helps distribute body weight to your toe balls, thereby preventing potential falling on your back or knees. But that’s just it! While skating in this position, all your body muscles are engaged, especially the lower body.
The lower body muscles groups include the core, gluteus, hamstrings, adductors and quadriceps. These muscles cover your back, stomach, butt, hips and legs and play an essential role in holding the skeletal system together.
Ice skating works all these muscles, making them stronger and healthier to perform their respective functions accordingly. Anaerobic respiration is another way the body produces energy when engaged in intensive physical exercise.
The process takes place in the respective muscles when ice skating. The muscles will burn stored fat to give you lean muscles and the additional energy you need during this time.
3. Has Cardiovascular Benefits
Ice skating is a rigorous exercise since it requires energy, especially speed skating and figure skating. Increased body activity engages the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body to produce enough energy for the body in aerobic respiration.
This improves lung function and heart health. In addition, more heart activity opens the blood vessels and reduces cholesterol build-up in them, eventually lowering the cases of high blood pressure.
4. Has Aerobic and Anaerobic Benefits
Like we’ve already seen, ice skating is a low impact aerobic exercise with tons of aerobic benefits. Ice skating at least once or twice per week decreases chances of contracting heart diseases, lowers body cholesterol, balances blood sugar levels, and improves lung function.
You can get plenty of aerobic benefits from ice skating, especially when doing it once or twice a week for between 30 minutes and one hour. In addition, the anaerobic benefits of ice skating involve the toning down of muscles when ice skating to reduce muscle fat.
5. Burns Excess Calories and Fats in the Body
When you eat, the food is digested and converted to glucose. The body absorbs little glucose into the bloodstream while the excess is converted to fats and stored in the muscles.
To stay healthy, you need to burn these extra calories and fats because they can lead to health problems. The good news is, ice skating can help you burn the excess calories and fats stored in your body.
On average, ice skating burns between 640 calories and 850 calories per hour, depending on your body weight and the intensity of ice skating. So, going by these statistics, you’ll burn more calories if you frequently skated between two to three times a week.
6. Facilitates the Release of Endorphins and Dopamine Hormones for Stress Management
Endorphins and dopamine hormones help with stress management. Studies have shown that ice skating enables the secretion of these hormones, thereby making you feel good while cruising on your ice skates. This relaxes your body and helps you deal with anything that’s stressing you.
Mental health is vital in our lives. Anything that’s affecting our mental health can weigh us down and reduces productivity. Luckily enough, ice skating can help you out with this. When you go ice skating, your stress levels will be in check, and you’ll feel good about yourself.
7. Improves Body Balance, Coordination and Boosts Productivity
Ice skating helps to improve body balance and coordination since it works all body muscles. The core muscles constitute the largest part of the body muscles, and they cover your back, chest, and stomach.
These muscles hold up the skeletal system and help the spine to perform its functions. Besides that, the muscles house the nervous system that helps the body with coordination. Therefore, your body needs stronger and healthy muscles and one way of getting it is from ice skating.
How to Protect Yourself When doing Ice Skating Workouts
Ice skating is an excellent way to work out. Nonetheless, there are potential risks to be wary of, like accidental falling. Also, the skating rink can be pretty cold, meaning you can catch cold and fever. The good news is, you can avoid these risks by doing the following.
Use the Right Ice Skates
The right ice skates should properly fit your feet. By this, I mean the skates should be a snug fit—neither too tight nor too loose. This will help prevent risks like blisters and hurting ankles, especially when the skates are too tight.
In addition, too loose skates can cause your feet to wobble in them. This can potentially lead to pronation which can hurt your ankles in the long run.
Wear Protective Gear
Accidents are inevitable when ice skating. To reduce the risks of getting hurt, wearing protective gear like helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards go a long way. You want to go ice skating more often. However, this can be impossible when nursing injuries.
Warm-up and Down Before and After Ice Skating
Warming up and down before and after ice skating keeps your muscles in perfect health and protects you from muscle soreness. By all means, try to warm up for at least 5 minutes before getting into vigorous workouts. When you’re done, it’s also a good practice to warm down.
Hydrate Your Body
Drinking a lot of water helps to keep your system hydrated. Think about it! Ice skating burns a lot of calories in aerobic respiration. In the process, you lose a lot of water when sweating. It makes sense to hydrate to compensate for the water lost in sweating.
Wear the Right Articles of Clothing
Ice skating rinks are usually cold and can cause cold-related diseases like pneumonia. Therefore, it’s essential to keep warm by wearing the correct articles of clothing. If you’re new to ice skating, the proper attire includes;
- Long pants
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Neck scarf
- Light sweater
- Knit hat
Is Ice Skating a Good Workout? Wrapping Up
Is ice skating a good workout? Absolutely yes. Ice skating helps burn more calories in the body, has a low impact on joints, works and tones all body muscles, and comes with tons of cardio and aerobic benefits.
In addition, it helps with maintaining healthy mental health while improving body balance and control. Lastly, ice skating is an incredible way to keep fit while having fun!