Synthetic ice-skating: a recreational activity that burns calories while you have fun

3 min read
06 Nov 2017
3 min read
916 words
Enjoy the health benefits of ice-skating at KPM Skating Rink

On this week’s Kickstart column, I will be focusing on synthetic ice-skating, a recreational activity that will ensure you have fun with your buddies while burning calories. Yes, fit bodies. Kathmandu now has an indoor skating rink called KPM Skating Rink. So for your next outing, get together with your friends and head to the rink (on the sixth floor of Civil Mall) to skate your way to fitness. 

Synthetic ice skating 

As the name suggests, the ice-skating surface is not made from actual ice, but a solid polymer material designed for skating. You can, however, glide on it using normal metal-bladed ice skates, and as the rink is housed in a covered area, it means you can skate here regardless of the weather outside. When asked about this novel idea, Kiran Saakha, CEO of KPM Skating Rink, said that he had always wanted to open an ice-skating rink, but the high setup cost and energy consumption that come with running an ice-skating rink didn’t make much business sense. “I recently got in touch with a Canadian client who introduced the concept of synthetic ice rinks to me. The idea seemed much more feasible than setting up an ice-skating rink, and I thus went ahead with the idea,” says Saakha. 

Health benefits

Here are some of the benefits you can expect: 

  • Stronger joints: Because it’s a relatively low-impact activity, ice-skating is easy on the joints. And because ice-skating calls for synchronised gliding movement of your legs, your joints and muscles will become stronger and more flexible.
  • Better stability and coordination: Research has shown that ice-skating works on small stabiliser muscles that are difficult to exercise. Moreover, as you learn to balance and move across a slippery surface, you will  train yourself to stay on your feet—which translates into an improving of your overall sense of balance. 
  • Lower-body benefits: You will definitely be toning the large muscles in your legs, bottom and core as you glide on the ice. Additionally, the emphasis on lower-body movement means toned legs, glutes and bum. I am sure this will be inspiration enough to start making plans to skate already. 

My verdict

I tried ice skating, and it was obviously a lot of fun. It did, however, require a lot of hard work. This is coming from someone who has had previous ice-skating and rollerblading experience. I enjoyed getting back on a rink and gliding. I had a cardio workout without even realising it. However, for beginners, it might take some time to get used to ice-skating, which is a good thing since consciously putting in effort to skate means greater calorie burn.

Some tips for beginners 

  • Practice makes perfect: Like I said before, I had prior experience with skating, and it was therefore not too difficult for me to get started. But practice is necessary, regardless. Saakha says that he realised this too and that’s why when they started the rink, they decided to provide unlimited timing for all patrons. For Rs 600, you get to skate for as long as you want. Still afraid to try? Well, they also provide coaches to teach you the basics. ‘‘There is a difference between learning and being an expert. The primary aim should be to learn and not become proficient overnight,” he says. 
  • Get proper gear: It is imperative that you have proper gear while skating, and at KPM Skating Rink, with your one-time payment, you will be provided with a safety helmet and skating boots. You should get your own pair of socks, though. The experts there will also help you with your shoes, so make sure that you listen to their suggestions. 
  • Safety measures: An issue I have always had with ice-skating is the impact of falling down, which is really painful. Luckily, falling on synthetic ice, at least for me, was not extremely painful. Prevention is better than cure, of course, and most people fall when they skate stiffly. Avoid this by bending your knees for more control, and when you are about to fall, refrain from throwing your hands backward.
  • Take it slow: Remember that as with any other new workout, ice-skating requires that you invest some time to learn before you can start gliding.