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Why Ice Skating Should Be Your New Winter Workout

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Sometimes your favorite workouts get pushed aside when the seasons change. (Going outdoors with wet hair post-swim just doesn’t seem worth it come January.) And unless you want to spend all winter inside the gym, it’s essential to tweak your exercise regimen. 

Why not make this season’s workout switch-up ice skating? If you’re healthy, fit and looking for a challenge, ice skating is a calorie-torching, leg-toning and core-strengthening activity that’s actually fun. Here are five reasons you should strap on your skates and head to Blue Cross RiverRink (psst: Independence Blue Cross members get free admission when they show their member ID!):

  1. Burn calories. Someone weighing 150 pounds who does light skating for 60 minutes burns 392.93 calories1. You’ll burn twice as many calories as you would during yoga, and about the same as you would on the elliptical (along with having way more fun). Integrate a few ice skating sessions into your weekly workout routine and you could start seeing serious weight loss.
  2. Strengthen the core. Sure, ice skating might look graceful, but it takes a lot of core strength to navigate turns and remain upright when gliding along the ice. Because ice skating engages the abs without requiring you to get on the floor and do crunches, it’s a fun way to socialize and get outdoors without sacrificing your ab workout for the day.
  3. Tone legs. To execute make sharp pivots and long strides, you must engage your quadriceps, hamstrings, erectors and gluteals, contributing to powerful, lithe limbs.
  4. Aid joint health. A low-impact exercise, ice skating allows those with weak joints to zip around the rink without the harsh effects of pavement-to-sneaker running. Knees, ankles and hips will see improvement with regular workouts.
  5. Improve endurance. Ice skating for longer periods of time is excellent for increasing endurance. The more skillful beginner skaters become, the longer their workouts will become. The gained endurance can ultimately translate to other fitness activities like running or dancing.

1Nieman, David, C. Exercise Testing and Prescription, McGraw Hill, 2003.

For more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness, click here.

Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professionals.