Putting Fun, Fitness, and Glucose Control On Ice

Ice skating is a great way to have fun, and get the heart healthy, glucose lowering, calorie burning exercise we need.

Though it’s become a year-round activity thanks to indoor rinks, winter gives those of us living in cold climes the chance to enjoy crisp fresh air and bright winter skies as we glide over frozen ponds.

Skating Advantages

Whether done indoors or out, ice skating provides at least five types of health benefit for blood sugar, waistline, and overall health management:

  1. Like all physical activity, skating helps the body utilize glucose to keep blood sugar levels down. Skating is also an effective way to burn calories for weight loss or maintenance. Depending on their speed, skaters use 300 to 650 calories per hour.
  2. Since skating is so much fun it hardly seems like the excellent aerobic workout that it is. Diabetes increases heart disease risk, so getting regular aerobic exercise is important. Ice skating is also a good way to increase physical endurance because once leg strength is built-up, most people can easily skate 30 to 60 minutes, or longer.
  3. Skating’s movements improve the flexibility of our body’s lower joints, while toning and strengthening our leg, hip, abdominal, lower-back, and south-side muscles. Upper body muscles are also engaged to help us maintain balance, and coordinate the body’s actions.
  4. Because skating requires us to glide on one foot, and then the other, it enhances our sense of balance—and since no one wants to fall our incentive to master skating’s balancing act is high.
  5. Beside being a physical activity, ice skating can also be a social one. Having fun with family and friends is a proven way to relieve stress, and give our mood a boost.

Naturally, since ice is hard and skaters fall, not everyone belongs on a rink—especially people with balance, bone, and joint problems. Those who have chronic health issues, or have been sedentary need to consult with a doctor before taking up skating, or any new physical activity.

Skate Tips

Though many rinks rent skates, buying a pair is preferable since the fit will be better. It’s also a good idea to consider new skates if yours have been collecting dust in the attic for a decade or two (or three). With all the new materials used, today’s skates are far more comfortable than those of yesteryear.

Keep in mind:

  • Skates often run a size smaller than your normal shoe size.
  • It’s best to wear thin wool or fitness socks with skates.
  • When trying on a new pair, lace them firmly and stand up. Your heel should be at the back of the boot, and toes should not touch the front. Heels and ankles should feel snug, but never squeezed or painful.
  • Before taking new skates on the ice, have store, or local rink personnel sharpen the blades. Sharpening once each winter is fine for leisurely, weekly indoor skating. Outdoor ice is grittier, so blades may need sharpening after every outing, or two.

Those fortunate enough to live near frozen lakes, rivers, or ponds are recommended to skate in designated, well-maintained areas. Be aware that safe ice is at least four inches thick, and clear blue ice is the strongest. Avoid grey ice—it’s unsafe.

Sources: Best Health; Becic, Samir, ReSYNC Your Life, Thomas Nelson Publisher, 2017
Photo credit: Benson Kua

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

More Articles

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...

While life on the road can be tough on musicians, it’s especially challenging for those battling diabetes. Some musicians have to check their...