Health Benefits of Ice Skating for the Whole Family
Families that play together stay together, or at least that’s how the saying goes. If you take some time to have fun together it can reduce stress among family members. You could choose an activity everyone can enjoy. Have you considered the health benefits of ice skating for the whole family?
Most people only think of ice skating as a sport when the winter Olympics rolls around. However, indoor ice skating rinks allow for year-round skating. In fact, what could be better during a hot summer day than going into an ice-cold rink and enjoying yourself for a few hours?
Ice skating is great exercise. With this one activity you can stretch and strengthen your muscles, and it provides excellent aerobic training. Besides being such wonderful exercise, ice skating is also a lot of fun!
Finding an activity that you enjoy makes it more likely you’ll actually do it regularly. The more often you go ice skating, the better it is for your family. Think about going ice skating twice a week and then doing some other form of exercise during other parts of the week.
Are the members of your family stressed from day-to-day living? Ice skating as well as other exercise releases chemicals within your body which helps reduce stress hormones. This means ice skating is an activity to help relieve stress and allow you to relax a little more.
Even though ice skating takes some practice, it is something everyone in your family except infants can enjoy. Ice skating rinks have skates of every size to rent. If you go ice skating very often, however, you may save money by purchasing a pair for each family member whose feet are finished growing. Toddlers or children’s feet grow so quickly, however, that buying them their own ice skates may not be cost-effective.
An added benefit of ice skating as a family is that the activity can help keep you connected. You can also use ice skating as an activity your children may invite their friends to. This means you’ll get to meet and get to know your children’s friends.
Not everyone lives close enough to an ice skating rink to use this activity as their major form of exercise so they do other exercise primarily. If you’re used to running, bicycling or playing tennis outdoors, you can’t do that when there is very much snow and ice on the ground. Perhaps you can use ice skating as an alternative exercise when the weather is bad.
There are many health benefits of ice skating for the whole family. It provides the body with much-needed exercise and helps reduce stress. If you haven’t considered ice skating as a family activity, what are you waiting for? Even if you don’t know how to ice skate there’s no time like the present to learn.
How to Avoid Ice Skating Injuries
Many people are turning to ice skating as a means of getting the exercise they need. However, if they don’t go ice skating very often they may be prone to injuries. Learning how to avoid ice skating injuries will help you fully enjoy the activity.
When first learning to ice skate, it is important to take precautions to avoid getting hurt. The easiest way to avoid injuries caused by falls or bumping into the skating rink walls is to wear the proper equipment. So, what safety equipment do you need?
A helmet to protect your head. It’s possible you’ll be travelling at high speeds and a fall can cause serious injury. A helmet will lessen the damage done should you fall.
Your ice skates are also a type of safety equipment. How can that be? If the skates don’t fit properly, they will not support the ankles properly. If the ankles aren’t supported there is more likelihood that you’ll fall. Be sure to take the time to tie the laces correctly so you won’t trip on the laces and cause you to fall.
Knee and elbow pads can also help you avoid some ice skating injuries.
Gloves can also be considered safety equipment. They will protect the fingers from injury as well as keeping them warm.
Learn how to fall correctly. Anyone teaching people to ice skate should teach you the proper way to fall. They will tell you to bend your knees and squat down whenever you think you’re going to fall. Try to fall to the side and forward rather than leaning backwards. Protect your fingers by putting your hands in lap.
Of course, once you fall you have to get back up! Turn over onto your hands and knees like you’re crawling. Then put one foot in between your hands and use your toe pick to keep your foot from sliding forward. Then put the other foot even with the first and push yourself up.
Learning to stretch properly before getting onto the ice can also help you avoid injury. You never want to go out onto the ice ‘cold,’ meaning without having stretched and warmed up first. Stretch the leg muscles to elongate the hamstrings. Stretch to the sides to warm up the abdominals. All of the muscles of your body will be used in ice skating so you’ll want to be sure to stretch thoroughly.
You may not think about it, but ice skating while you’re tired can lead to injury. Head to the ice skating rink when you’re wide awake, uninjured and not exhausted. Being prepared to skate mentally can also help you avoid injury.
Avoiding ice skating injuries is similar to avoiding injury in any exercise. You want to be sure you have the proper safety equipment, stretch and warm up your muscles before beginning, as well as learn from a qualified instructor. These are all ways to avoid getting hurt when going ice skating.