Skate Your Way to Better Health

VIDEO: Health Benefits of Skating

By Dr. Jennifer Ashton:

I'm always on the hunt for a fun activity that is also a great muscular and cardiovascular workout. Skating - either ice hockey or figure skating - definitely fits the bill, so we chose skating as our first focus for my healthy living series on ABC.

As you can see from the video, I'm not the most comfortable skater out there. So I brought in expert figure skating coach Bridie Myles to help. She explained how skating engages your glutes, your core and your thighs, not to mention your arms, which help you maintain stability. I can tell you that it also provides a really enjoyable way to burn calories and rev your metabolism.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains how skating can turn fun into fitness.

Benefits of Skating:

  • It provides a total body workout
  • It burns calories and serves as a good cardiovascular exercise
  • It improves balance
  • It's great as a group or solo activity
There are some basic precautions that you might consider, however, if you are new to this sport. Using a helmet and wrist guards can be a good idea for beginners of any age. Taking some lessons is another way to build some basic skills before you start to practice on your own, and if you take any blood thinning medication or are pregnant, skating may not be a good idea.

Tips for Beginners:

  • Take a lesson (or two)
  • Consider helmet and wrist guards
  • Go at off-hours when rink is not as busy
  • Talk to your doctor if you take blood thinners or could be pregnant

I hope this will encourage you to think about skating as a fun, different and effective way to exercise.

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