Tonight I went ice skating outside at the National Sculpture Garden in D.C. It was delightful to be outside and skate to my heart’s delight. When on the rink I think the inner kid comes out in all of us as we try to do some spins (if we aren’t holding on for dear life) and perfect (or at least try) our skating backwards skills. I like to think I’m a pretty good skater thanks in part to the skating lessons my dad signed me up for as a kid. While I never got around to learning jumps and spins I can skate fast, stop quickly, and shift quickly from forward to backwards skating. Ask me to roller skate and I’ll be on the ground before you had a chance to see me fall. Skating to me is so much more effortless and in my next life, I would most certainly be a championship figure skater.
I was curious to read up on some of the health benefits of skating and according to the U.S. Figure Skating Association, one can burn from 250 to 810 calories per hour during recreational skating. Wow! Skating is great for the heart, builds endurance, a happy outlook (fresh air, exercise and being with friends) and much more. It would be pretty awesome if the rink was walking distance to my office–I’d go on my lunch break a few times a week and I can only imagine how much more positive the rest of my day would be.
So if you want an alternative to running during the cold weather, I encourage a cold weather ice skating outing. It will do the body good!