Ice skating used to be thought of as a sport for younger kids, kids that were low to the ground and didn’t have far to fall! However, skating is a sport for all ages and has something to offer everyone!
As a life-long skater and coach, I skated both when I was younger and into my adult years. Skating is a great way to stay in shape and really help your body stay fit.
As an example, as we age we can develop problems with balance. Ice skating is a great way to keep your balance strong. The lower back and the abdominal muscles are both core muscles used in skating.
Skating, generally speaking, is an anaerobic sport since most programs are under 4 minutes. However, as a person just skates around the rink and goes beyond the 4 minutes and continues to move and challenge themselves, skating can increase endurance just as any other type of cardio. The bonus with skating however, is that there is no pounding on the joints.
Ice rinks are typically cold and it takes your body more energy to work up a sweat and maintain the body temperature. This also helps burn calories which is an added benefit.
Rinks also have other types of skating besides the typically freestyle skating which is what is thought of first when the phrase “ice skating” is thought of. There are approximately 12 or so disciplines within the umbrella of ice skating. Just to name a few, there are: speed, hockey, synchronised, moves-the-field skating, figures, ice dancing, theater and pairs.
Another way that skating is helpful to your body is it works out the lower half of your body. As you move around the ice, it requires you to push your feet out to the side for each stroke. This motion works your hips and glutes. And our bodies appreciate this work since so many of us spend so much time sitting in front of a computer screen!
Some may also think that skating is tough to learn but I have students of all ages. I have some adults that started when they were younger and others who just always wanted to learn how to ice skate and finally have gotten around to taking lessons!
I remember one ice skating rink I was at, I would see a man in his 80’s in full hockey gear skating around the ice. He wanted to make sure he was safe should he fall but he was out there almost every week getting his work out!
I find that every student has different goals. Just set you goals and have fun. After all, skating is about having fun rather than just the workout itself. Every time I go on the ice, I think about what I might be able to accomplish today. Granted, I’ve been skating for over 40 years now but I still love it and I still get a great workout!
You are never too old to ice skate!