Ice skating is good for weight loss in different ways, from the physical workout, which tears down body muscles, to cardio strengthening, which burns excess calories by between 640 and 850 calories every hour.
Ice skaters can maintain a constant weight through skating, which requires rigorous physical engagement. Rigorous exercises cause rapid breathing and high heart rate, lowering cholesterol build-up.
Is Ice Skating Good for Weight Loss?
Is ice skating good for weight loss? Sure, Ice skating has weight loss benefits—and in different ways.
Ice skating is a physical sport that exercises the whole body, burns calories, strengthens the cardio, and reduces stress—all of which result in weight loss. The low ice skating rink temperatures also help in burning down body fats.
Let’s dive deep.
1. It’s a Good Exercise for Cardio Workout
Cardio workout includes exercises that result in high heart rate, high blood flow, and rapid breathing.
It boosts cardiorespiratory fitness, improves glucose/insulin metabolism, and decreases abdominal fat.
Cardio exercises break cholesterol down to provide enough energy for the cardio muscles to withstand intense activity.
It, therefore, eliminates excess cholesterol from the body, and thus, one loses extra weight.
Cardiorespiratory fitness also helps to avoid cardiovascular disease and other comorbidities like diabetes and heart failure, which are associated with being overweight.
For example, an increase in heart rate supplies blood to all body parts during physical activities, providing oxygen to break down cholesterol that may otherwise cause atherosclerosis.
2. It’s Best for Full-Body Workout
Ice skating is one of the best exercises for full body workouts since it strengthens body joints and tones muscles.
Research posits that ice skating works all body muscles, including the core, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, and gluteus muscles.
When body parts are routinely involved in ice skating, an ice skater’s body burns calories for the energy required by body muscles.
During warm-up exercises, like running and jogging, an Ice skater’s body burns harmful visceral fat which wraps around the belly and is associated with diabetes and heart diseases.
3. Results in Better Sleep, Which Helps in Weight loss
Ice skating exposes one to intense physical activities that increase sleep quality.
A National Library of Medicine(NIH) study shows that physical activity increases metabolic rate, controls central nervous system fatigue, and regulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor secretion changes.
These factors are essential for sleep.
A quality night’s sleep helps reduce weight and keeps ice skaters in regular eating habits, unlike when they face sleeping disorders that may increase their appetite and lead to weight gain.
Poor sleep quality may lead to weight gain due to metabolic disorders and an increased risk of obesity.
Poor sleep also affects the body’s regulation of neurotransmitters (ghrelin and leptin), causing food preferences and an increase in appetite.
4. It Reduces Stress and Depression
According to a WebMD study, depression can cause weight gain. Like everyone else, depressed ice skaters risk gaining weight and suffering from obesity.
The good news is that ice skating is fun and an excellent way to relieve stress. Ice skaters get together to challenge each other, compete and make friends.
Ice skating provides a happy and fun environment where skaters share their experiences.
Fun plays like tag games (TV tag, amoeba tag, freeze tag) boost mood and help maintain regular eating habits.
The result: their mood increase, they experience fewer depressive episodes, low stress, and they gain courage in facing life with enthusiasm.
Overall, when skaters live in a positive environment accompanied by enough physical activities, they adopt healthy living and maintain an average weight.
5. Freezing Temperature Help in Weight Loss
According to Dr. Paul Gallo of Columbia University, exercising in the cold is good for weight loss. Blood vessels contract in the cold, making the heart work harder to pump blood to the muscles.
The heart works hard because of vasoconstriction, and aerobic activities like Ice skating burns more calories during vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction is the narrowing of blood vessels due to cold temperatures.
The heart will need enough calories during vasoconstriction to generate the energy to pump blood to the rest of the body.
The cold also turns white fat into brown fat for easy metabolism. Brown fat is composed of small lipids and a lot of mitochondria. Brown fat burns calories to generate heat.
White fat, on the other hand, is fat that is found in a large part of the body. It contains single droplets of lipids and fewer mitochondria.
Excess white fat in the body is associated with diabetes, heart disease, and belly fat. So, turning white fat into brown reduce weight gain.
In short, ice skating breaks down brown fat—converted from white fat—which is helpful for weight loss.