Summertime has finally come to Michigan, which means as the temperature rises your motivation to work out can slide due to the heat. One way to beat the heat is by ice skating, which is a great example of aerobic activity.
Let’s all channel our inner Michelle Kwan and take the ice for a “cool” means of getting your heart pumping. According to the US Figure Skating Association (USFSA), 11 laps of a standard ice rink equals one mile, and you can burn 250-810 calories in an hour, comparable to the benefits you receive running five miles in that time.
Over time, skating will increase your level of physical fitness in areas such as endurance, improved muscle strength and tone, balance, agility and flexibility. Recreational skating is also easier on your knees, so you won’t experience the pounding feeling that accompanies your running or jogging sessions. An added bonus is that the rink won’t feel too cold after you’ve warmed up on the ice, and you might find you only need a light jacket to be comfortable.
As a lifelong competitive figure skater myself, I can tell you that the best part of using skating as part of your workout regime is that you hardly feel like you’re working out at all. While the dresses and makeup look pretty during the competitions you may have watched on television, I can assure you, you will be sweating as with any good workout, but when you feel the wind on your hair and face and the smooth ice under your blades, you won’t want to get off.
Before hitting the ice, it’s important to get your body warmed up and ready by doing some light aerobic activity and full body stretches. Whether you head to the rink with a group of friends or glide solo with your iPod, an hour on the ice should be a great addition to your fitness schedule and with any luck, be one of the more fun workouts as well.
Will you be adding ice skating to your workout routine this summer?
Photo credit: Possession Expression