Health Benefits of Ice Skating 

With cold weather and the winter season moving in, we may feel more inclined to hibernate and do less physically. However, cold weather can be fun for exercise and offers new ways for physical movement. Skiing, snowboarding, and ice-skating are great examples. In the Midwest, ice-skating is always an option. 

Ice skating works nearly every muscle in the body.  

Gliding requires synchronized movement of the legs, which is good for joint flexibility. It also builds up the leg and abdominal muscles. Hamstrings, hips, calves, quadriceps, and core muscles, like pelvic floor muscles, back muscles, and the gluteus maximus, increase in mass and are strengthened and toned, even during leisurely skating.  

Increase your cardiovascular health. 

Ice skating gets the blood pumping and the heart rate elevated. It’s estimated to burn around 300-650 calories per hour, depending on our overall exertion. With regular practice, our confidence should improve, and so should our cardiac output. Skating trains both the aerobic and anaerobic systems, and it’s a fantastic overall body challenge to the core. The lower body and core muscles benefit more than any other muscle group during ice skating. 

Destress and have fun! 

Regular physical activity like ice skating can help combat the effects of stress as well. Ice skating forces us to be present in the moment, which is good for our mental health and well-being. Gliding around in a circular motion can be mesmerizing and therapeutic for the mind. 

Improve your balance.  

As we work to develop the necessary balance, we’re strengthening the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles. Through gliding and synchronized movement of the legs, the joints and muscles will get a great workout. This benefit carries over even after the skate. Combined with the cardiovascular efforts, ice skating is a great option for keeping healthy during the colder months.  

Written by Emily Morris – FDF Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor