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Skating Your Way Out Of Trouble: Benefits Of Ice Skating

When was the last time that you went ice skating? You probably haven’t been since you were a child, so what is stopping you from taking your own children. Oh yes, the fear of falling and hurting yourself, and even worse looking an idiot while you do it, that will be what’s stopping you. Have you considered the fact that just about every parent there will be feeling the same way? If you want to give your children the experience of being on the ice, then you are going to have to go with them. You can’t exactly push them off from the barrier into the middle of the rink and just leave them there, can you? If you don’t have an older child that can help the younger ones when they fall, you are definitely going to have to go out onto the ice with them.

Stop Walking Start Skating

Trying to get your balance on the ice, when it is something you have never done before is tricky to master. The reason so many children fall as soon as they step onto the ice is because while they have pretty good balance on the ground, everything that they have learned about staying upright and walking is different on ice. They put that first foot on the ice and expect it to stay there, which of course it doesn’t. The foot continues to slide forwards on the ice, and they are so disturbed by what is happening and the fact that they have no control over it, that they forget to move the other foot, and so they over balance and fall. Adults do this too, as they make their way around the rink they try to ‘walk’ in their skates and all this does is force them to try and balance, making them overcompensate and fall. Instead of walking as they would on land, they should be pushing their skates forwards over the ice in a smooth motion rather than in the jerky up and down action of walking.

A Helping Hand

Many ice rinks offer ‘skate buddies’ for smaller children, generally aged seven and under. The help comes in the form of a balance buddy that they can hold onto and push around the rink until they find their balance. The balance buddies are designed to look like friendly animals such as penguins and where they would have feet, instead they have a one large ski like foot. The buddies are also weighted so that they remain upright and offer as much support as they possibly can. Unfortunately these little buddies do not come in adult sizes, so you will just have to do your best trying to remain upright the best that you can, as your little ones find their balance on the ice and start skating circles around you. After half an hour or so of using the buddy the kids are generally confident enough to have a go on their own, and once they have found their feet there is no stopping them.

Mark Adamson is a renowned author on all things sport and exercise, he also works full timeas a personal trainer - Mark regularly visits for more training tips and ideas, particularly as they relate to swimming. 

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