Ice skating, the benefits and advice of the champion

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Winter, cold, ice the same ice skating rinks in the city. In many Italian squares and shopping centers temporary ice rinks are set up, on which everyone can experience the thrill of twirling, or at least sliding on skates with blades, possibly holding on to the penguin-supports.

Because both adults and children like it

«Skating is recreational and enjoyable, an amusement linked to moments of celebration and free time. On an emotional and experiential level it is perceived as playful and unifying, because it is done with friends or family, while the aspect of effort and commitment take a back seat”, he explains Charles Ivegliahead of communication at the PalaGhiaccio Ice Lab in Bergamo.

In the main temporary slopes you can learn the rudiments and get an idea of ​​how the classes are run. In fact, instructors from sports clubs are available on board the “ring” for technical support: they teach steps and rules to stay in balance and move safely on the blades. And after testing on the Christmas slopes, there are those who decide to continue and get serious.

The courses in the arenas

Figure skating is increasingly considered a sporting activity to be practiced all year round in indoor arenas. In the collective imagination it has now become a way to keep fit and it is no longer just an activity reserved for young people and athletes.

«A course for amateurs provides two weekly workouts of 50 minutes each, exclusively on the track; those who train for competition do at least three sessions a week, combining the hour on ice with a 30-minute “off ice” session of ballet, gymnastics and stretching», informs Carlo Iveglia.

Enrollments are open from 3-4 years old with no age limit.

The benefits for the body

“Ice skating is one aerobic sport that makes the respiratory and cardiovascular systems work intensely and allows you to consume up to 350 calories per hour; also because being in the cold already helps you burn more and is therefore an excellent excuse to get rid of hyper-nutritious lunches and dinners accumulated in these days», explains Giulia Cotugno, coach and technical director of the Accademia del Ghiaccio in San Donato Milanese (Milan).

“Also, sliding on bladed skates requires a significant stability effort and is therefore a strengthening exercise for back, arms and core, the muscles of the abdomen and lumbar area, engaged in maintaining balance», continues the expert. «And finally, ice skating has a firming and shaping action on the buttocks and legs, and is as relaxing and oxygenating as a walk in the open air».

The advice of the champion

«Ice skating is an activity suitable for everyone, because it does not require great athletic preparation», explains the figure skater on ice Valentina Marcheifive times Italian champion in singles and in pairs in 2015 with Ondřej Hotárek.

Here’s what he suggests to first-time skaters to have fun in safety.

  • Watch out for the laces

Lace up the skates so they are snug but don’t tighten too much, especially in the upper part. This will allow you to bend your legs more easily. And then, a greater excursion of the ankle guarantees a better balance.

  • Go ahead for the penguins

To try to keep their balance, most proceed holding on to the balustrade of the track. Tiresome and not fun. Better to take advantage of special accessories (penguins, teddy bears, etc.), suitable for children and adultswhich allow you to support yourself moving throughout the slope, gradually acquiring familiarity with the ice and reducing the risk of falls.

  • Marching like soldiers

Hold the legs slightly bent and semi-split, not too wide but with the feet perpendicular to the hips. Rather than trying to “slip” right away, it’s better to proceed with your knees high, like in the march of a toy soldier: you slip less, but you become more familiar with the ice.

Article published in No. 1 of 2020 of TipsForWomens