Although January has been designated as National Skating Month, ice skating is an activity that you can enjoy all year round. It does not matter if you have a preference for indoor rinks or outdoor rinks, this is an activity that helps burn a lot of calories, keep muscles toned and improve fitness. Unfortunately, like other sports, ice skating provides the perfect opportunity for new and seasoned skaters to suffer from injuries like strained muscles, fractures and sprains. All of these injuries require immediate medical attention to ensure proper healing.
Many consider a trip to the emergency room as their first step in a line of defense, but choosing to go to the emergency room first can actually delay treatment and also expose you to an array of germs as you wait in a triage area with sick patients.
The old saying ‘prevention is the best medicine’ rings true, and if you can avoid injuries in the first place, why wouldn’t you?
Wear Properly Fitted Skates
You would not purchase a pair of Riedell ice skates without making sure they fit your feet properly. After lacing skates, they should feel snug on your feet but not tight. This means that you should be able to wiggle your toes in the skates. When you are wearing skates that fit your feet and are properly laced, your feet and ankles will have support so you can maintain your balance and prevent falls.
Never Use Your Toes as Brakes
Unlike the roller skates you enjoyed as a child, ice skates do not have the rubber stop on the toes. Instead, ice skates have toe picks on the end that should only be used by seasoned skaters when they are jumping.
When you are ready to stop, you will need to make sure you firmly put your one of your feet into the ice and then move it to the side gently. This will create the friction necessary for the stop.
You should never begin any sport or physical activity like walking or skating without warming up first. Gentle stretching before you begin ice skating will prevent muscle cramps and other issues while you are skating, and stretching after skating will prevent sore muscles afterwards.
Strengthen Core Muscles
Having a strong core will help you keep your balance while you are on the ice. These muscles will also act as support to your spine while you are skating. Spine support while skating will prevent lower back strain later.
Do Not Become an Acrobat on the Ice
Unless you have been trained to perform a jump or trick, do not attempt them while ice skating. Competitive skaters spend years perfecting these tricks, and even if they look simple, you are risking injury trying them without being trained first.
Always Use Proper Skating Form
Having poor posture and poor balance while ice skating can result in pain in the lower back. If you have plans of ice skating often, consider hiring an experienced instructor who can help you with your skating form.
Ice skating is an activity that you and your family can enjoy all year. It is a terrific way to spend time together and have fun. By remembering these tips, your time on the ice will be more enjoyable.