Ice skating has been known to have a multitude of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, strengthening of the muscles, better balance, and more. Learning different moves and gliding through ice is not only fun but it’s a great form of aerobic exercise as well. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, there were about 9.7 million ice skating participants in the US in 2019, making it a popular sport in the country. If you want to take up a fun sport for exercise and its health benefits, then ice skating might just be for you. Here are four ways ice skating can enhance your health and wellness.
Improves Muscular Health
Skating builds up the leg and abdominal muscles. As you skate, you’ll be moving your entire body, from your head to your shoulders, abdomen, legs, knees, and ankles. Ice skating is an aerobic exercise, just like jogging or running. It also makes your heart pump faster and more efficiently, thereby improving your cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, skating is recognized as being equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits.
Improves Balance and Coordination
Strengthening your muscles leads to better balance. And as you control your posture and body coordination, you get to build endurance and even self-confidence. Balance is achieved with a strong core, which are the muscles located in your abdomen. The core muscles are responsible for your body’s overall balance so the more you skate, the more your abdomen muscles will be targeted. Aside from improving your overall balance, ice skating can also improve your body coordination since you will need to move all the parts of your body to be able to perform different movements and maneuvers.
You can learn how to practice ice skating at home to improve your balance and enhance muscle strength. You can do some of these basic exercises at home, such as single-leg balance, squats, and lunges, to level up your fitness! These moves not only work your core and legs but also help you coordinate your body by hitting different muscle groups that you use for ice skating.
Ice skating has also been known to help with weight maintenance. According to Harvard Medical School, ice skating helps to burn 200 calories per hour, making it a great way to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight. And as mentioned earlier, ice skating promotes balance and stronger core muscles, which will also help in reducing your waistline. Therefore, ice skating will not only help you burn fat and calories, but it will also give you a smaller belly.
If you plan on taking up ice skating to help you lose weight but you live in an area with higher temperatures, you can look for synthetic ice rinks within your area. They’re great for practice and as long as the establishment does regular synthetic ice maintenance, skating will give you a safe and fun workout.
Improves Mental Health
It’s a well-known fact that exercise boosts mood by helping the body release endorphins – hormones that give you that feel-good feeling after a workout or run. And ice skating is no exception. As you move your body and enjoy a few minutes of skating on ice, your body releases these hormones, lifting your mood, and thereby, reducing stress and anxiety. Long-term ice skating will not only lift your mood, but it will give you a healthy hobby that you can look forward to, helping you reduce feelings of sadness.
Ice skating may seem like a sport reserved for those who are naturally gifted with flexibility and body coordination but anyone can enjoy the sport in a regular ice rink. The health benefits of ice skating can help you improve overall health and well-being by improving your balance, burning calories, boosting your cardiovascular health, and even lifting your mood. If you live in an area with an ice rink, get your skates on and start enjoying ice skating as a regular workout.
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