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Is Ice Skating Good Exercise?

It’s winter and the lake around your house has frozen over. You notice some people are already using it as an ice rink and you’re interested in joining the fun. You join everyone at the make shift ice rink and you begin to glide over the ice. It’s a really fun experience for you but you realize that you’re breathless and sore afterwards. You feel like you’ve just finished a 30 minute workout session. 

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if you worked on your physical fitness and still have fun while doing it? Or are you just feeling this worn out because it’s been years since you last skated? 

A lot of people ice skate for different reasons; for some it’s a sport, for recreation, to travel and of course, to exercise. Is ice skating good exercise? Can one really burn calories while doing something as fun as exercising?

Is Ice Skating Good Exercise

How Ice Skating Works

Ice skating is an activity that requires one to propel one’s self across a body of ice. It requires a specially made ice skate which is made up of a boot and a metal that is shaped like a blade; located underneath the boots. There have been a number of explanations on how the ice skates help one to glide on ice. The longest known hypothesis was that when pressure from an object comes in contact with ice, it causes a thin layer to melt, thereby making the ice slippery. The melted ice serves as a lubricant between the ice and the skate. This explanation is known as “pressure melting”. 

Because pressure melting did not explain how people still skate on ice with temperatures that are too low for the ice to melt, another possible explanation was brought up in the 20th century. This explanation is called “friction melting”. This hypothesis uses physics to explain how ice skates help one to glide on ice. As the ice skates move on the ice, frictional heat is generated. This heat then melts ice that is between the blades of the skates and the ice. The melted ice here serves as a lubricant as well.

Benefits Of Ice SkatingIce Skating Pros

You’ve seen the technique behind skating and you understand how it’s possible for one to glide from one end of a rink to the other. But is ice skating good exercise? Here are some ice skating pros:

Is Ice Skating Good Exercise? Ice skating helps to tone muscles

Going to the gym can seem really stressful and sometimes you don’t even want to get out of bed to do anything. For whatever kind of exercise you do, the major targets are the muscles; to tone and strengthen them. A lot of athletes spend time in the gym lifting weights and doing all sorts of techniques to help build up stronger muscles. Why not engage in something fun and still be able to get the results you need?

Ice skating works on almost all the major muscles in the body. When skating, more work is focused on the muscles of your lower legs. This helps to keep your leg muscles toned and fit. Over time, ice skating helps to build muscles that are stronger and more resilient. It strengthens your quads, calves and hamstrings. Ice skating also works on your abdominal muscles. Yes, it can give you those nice six packs you’ve been craving. 

Is Ice Skating Good Exercise

Ice skating is good for joints

When doing various body work outs, it is important to consider the strain put on joints; so as to avoid injuries. Because skating is an activity that slowly works on the body, it is better for your joints. Ice skating helps to maintain balance and it strengthens the knees, hips and also works on your core.

If you also have a history of pains in your joints, ice skating is the perfect workout for you. The quick movements and bends as you glide along the ice helps strengthen your knee and this would give your joints flexibility over time. 

Ice skating seems to be a better choice than cycling or running because it takes less leg movement and still gets the job done.


Every type of exercise requires energy, and ice skating is not an exception. At first, ice skating can seem really tiring and demanding; your legs might become heavy and sore. But with time, you would get used to it. To exert energy while skating over a long period of time can help you build endurance. The longer you skate, the stronger you become.

Ice skating helps to reduce weight

Over 50% of people workout with the aim of reducing weight. Ice skating is a perfect way to lose or maintain weight without you having to follow a diet regimen or going through stressful work out sessions. 

Ice skating can burn 300 – 650 calories per hour; this depends entirely on how hard you skate. The upside of skating is that you have fun while doing it.

Good Cardio

Ice skating is another good aerobic exercise that improves your cardiovascular health. It helps get your heart rate up; this makes the heart pump blood faster, benefitting the entire body system.

Stress management – Mental benefits of ice skating

Engaging in physical activities releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain which then releases positive feelings that helps to relieve stress. The feeling endorphins give is usually called the “runner’s high”. This is a kind of euphoric effect you get when you exercise. This same effect happens when you skate; it is one of the mental benefits of ice skating. Ice skating helps to fight off the effects of stress. Ice skating also helps to boost self confidence.

Is Ice Skating Good Exercise Conclusion

Is Ice skating good exercise? How can something fun also help to keep you physically fit? Ice skating helps to build endurance, works on almost all muscles in your body, helps to keep the joints healthy and helps to maintain flexibility. Ice skating is also a good way to relieve stress and boost your confidence. The best part is that you can get all these results and still have fun while doing it. 


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