There are often a lot of difficulties involved in this particular branch of athletics, which can be frustrating and disheartening. This leaves many skaters, from new learners to veterans, wondering if the ice skating struggle is actually worth it.
Ice skating is worth it, as there are not many activities that can replicate the reward you get from participating in it. There are also various physical and mental benefits. While ice skating has a very high skill ceiling, it remains accessible to anyone, no matter their age or capabilities.
While ice skating offers plenty of benefits, there are many factors to consider before deciding to put a pair of skates on. Below, we cover everything you need to know to make the learning process fulfilling and rewarding.
Is Ice Skating Worth Learning?
Ice skating is worth learning as it makes for a good activity for anyone to enjoy. It’s an exercise that always has more room for learning, allowing you to push yourself and have fun doing so. This sport offers many benefits for all who participate.
If you live in colder climates with longer winters, it comes in handy as ice skating is very popular and you’ll have the chance to look like a pro. It also opens more social opportunities for you, you’ll likely make numerous new connections during your skating journey. Ice skating can also make for the perfect date option, allowing you to show off your skating skills.
You’ll never run out of things to learn, it’s impossible to completely master all the aspects of ice skating. There are always new moves to learn, new ways of altering your technique. The variation offered by ice skating makes it stand out from other sports.
Kids and elderly alike have a great time ice skating, it’s nearly always a fun experience with a lesson hidden in it. Not to mention, ice skating can be inspiring to anyone. From watching graceful figure skaters or witnessing an elder couple gliding effortlessly along the ice hand in hand, the activity can be entertaining and motivating.
A New Way To Learn About Yourself
One of the biggest, possibly even subconscious, attractions of ice skating is that it closely resembles dancing. Much like a fingerprint, everyone has their own subtly unique style of skating. You get to learn about your body’s strengths and weaknesses in a very real way.
However, the difference is that ice skating allows you to progress at your own pace. Dancing intimidates a lot of people because it puts you on display, and demands you move to a dictated rhythm. When you’re on the ice everyone is focused on their movements, your mind isn’t as caught up in feelings of self-consciousness.
Is Ice Skating Difficult To Learn?
Ice skating is difficult to learn. However, there is a lot you can do to adjust the difficulty scale, and much of it is simply about changing your mindset. Balancing on skates is not something many people adapt to quickly, but taking small steps and trusting yourself can put you on the right track.
Learning the basics of ice skating can take anywhere from days to weeks. You could find yourself skating around after only a few hours or after several days. It takes most people a bit longer to feel completely confident on the ice, depending on how young they start.
The most important thing is to think baby steps and not give yourself a hard time. You’re learning to balance on some big boots and bits of metal, it’s not a natural way that humans move. Build your skills gradually and get used to being in your skating boots first. Make sure to congratulate yourself on any and all improvements, self-recognition will help you advance faster.
You want to be patient with yourself, it takes time to develop the skills required to ice skate successfully,and it takes years for some people to feel completely confident on the rink. It may not seem like it, but the coordination and balance represent some serious neurological challenges. Remember not to quit when it gets difficult, you are probably closer to your goal than you realize.
What Are The Benefits Of Ice Skating?
The benefits of ice skating include advantages for your mental and physical health. There are benefits for you no matter who you are, whether you’re a professional athlete or someone less physically able. Though ice skating takes immense effort, the rewards are well worth it.
Benefits For Physical Health
Ice skating is great cardio, but it also has a toning effect on the muscles of the lower body and abdominals. Over time your legs will develop, and your core will strengthen.However, this is not bodybuilding, you won’t build gargantuan muscles from ice skating.
Ice Skating is alsoa vigorous, low impact activity. Like swimming, it’s very good for your joint health and mobility. It strengthens your body without hurting it, whereas jogging is a great form of cardio but can hurt your knee, hip, and ankle joints over time.
Benefits For Mental Health
There are also numerous mental benefits to ice skating. It’s a fantastic way to reduce stress and is great for your social life, especially if you’re learning as a group. It is a unique opportunity for adults to learn a new activity together.
There’s a phenomenon called flow, which is a mental state you enter when the challenge perfectly matches your abilities. As you learn the basics, you’ll find yourself entering this state regularly. Being in the state of flow has provides many unique benefits, from reducing stress to improvements in performance.
Finally, ice skating doesn’t feel like exercise. When you get comfortable on the ice, it can almost feel like you’re flying. In other forms of activity the sense of exertion is at the forefront, but with ice skating you won’t even realize you’re exercising until the end of the session.
Benefits For Athletes
Ice skating can be a great source of exercise for athletes, especially if you’re involved in a lot of contact sports or sports that have high intensity demands. As mentioned, ice skating is low impact and gets the blood flowing, this can be a great way to boost recovery.
Many sports use the most powerful muscles in the body, especially the quadriceps/hamstrings, pectorals, gluteus maximus, and deltoids. However, ice skating uses the leg muscles and the deep muscles in the hip. This could helpprevent injury, be a good way to train around an existing injury, or promote balanced muscle development.
Benefits For Kids
Kids love ice skating, it’s fun, builds resilience, and develops balance and coordination. Children can often be quite fearless, launching themselves around the rink, getting up, and laughing it off. This is a fantastic way of building confidence, socializing, and providing a subtle lesson in caution. They eventually realize that you can’t skate properly unless you’re a little bit careful.
However, not all children are the same, while some are reckless, many kids find the prospect of ice skating quite intimidating. This is a grand opportunity to teach children that they can overcome their fears. The only caveat is that the teaching process must be gentle and encouraging, but if done right can work wonders.
Benefits For The Elderly
You’re never too old to start ice skating, there are just as many benefits for the elderly as there are for kids. A key issueplaguing the elderly is loneliness. Ice skating is a great way of building social connections. However, if you’re starting ice skating from an older age, it may not be possible to execute or learn jumps and advanced movements.
While the risks associated with ice skating may seem prohibitive to the elderly, if they learn under the supervision of a trained instructor and consult their doctors then there is no age limit to start learning ice skating. Ice skating may represent a better alternative than jogging, swimming, or weightlifting for the elderly.
A problem facing the elderly is the risk of falling. It may seem strange to recommend this activity to the elderly, but good instructors will teach you how to fall properly to avoid injury. There are few other sports that promote the importance of practicing balance and falling safely.
Ice skating directly trains all the parts of your body that help keep you upright, including the vestibular system and the fast-twitch muscle fibers in the lower legs. It’s important this training is done carefully and progressively, but it can pay massive dividends.
Are Ice Skating Lessons Worth It?
Ice skating lessons are worth it if you want a simpler, more professional learning experience. Some people can put on a pair of skates and be gliding within an hour, while others need more guidance. Having a professional to guide your learning path can save you time and frustration.
Taking lessons from a qualified instructor can greatly simplify the learning experience. While you can go a long way on your own, having a professional to correct your flaws is well worth it. It’s possible to teach yourself any element of ice skating but you’re setting yourself up for a mountain of frustration and struggle.
Ice Skating Technique
The primary benefit of an instructor is being taught the proper technique. A major problem facing new ice skaters is that they grasp the basics, but don’t feel confident on the ice. Their technique suffices for basic steps but doesn’t properly prepare them for the rink. This can be a frustrating, demoralizing experience, causing many beginners to quit.
If this sounds like you, then having a professional examine your technique will probably uncover some basic, easy to remedy errors. You’ll find that you improve very quickly, the earlier you check your technique the better. If you don’t correct improper technique, you could entrench bad habits.
Ice Skating Motivation
A professional has been there and done that, they’ve suffered the bumps and bruises. They know firsthand how frustrating it is when you don’t grasp the skills as quickly as you think you should. They can streamline the learning process and reinforce your commitment, building the persistence needed to keep trying. For instructors, nothing is more rewarding than building a skater’s confidence.
Having lessons from an instructor is the easiest way to enjoy the learning process, it’s a herculean task to figure out ice skating on your own with zero instruction. There might be some out there who enjoy the task, but for most, it’s going to be prohibitive. Investing in even a couple of lessons can turn a struggle into a fulfilling learning experience.
Ice skating is most certainly worth it. It provides lots of benefits for both mental and physical health. This activity is fun and easy for anyone to enjoy, regardless of age. If you are feeling timid, consider ice skating lessons as they are fantastic for instilling confidence in new learners.