Although trying to stay upright while gliding on a hard, slippery surface may seem quite challenging, ice skating is actually highly enjoyable.
Once you get the hang of ice skating, you will feel empowered. Mastering this sport is not an easy feat. It takes months of regular practice, hard work, and dedication to maintain your balance and skate with speed, grace, and artistry.
Because of this reason, once you start ice skating in Abu Dhabi for fun or for a competition, you will always feel a sense of accomplishment.
More importantly, ice skating offers plenty of health benefits, regardless of your age. Aside from improving your balance and joint flexibility, engaging in this sport regularly gives you a complete cardio workout, helps you build your leg muscles, and enables you to maintain a good weight.
Avoiding Injuries on the Skating Rink
Having great fun while ice skating and experiencing its benefits, though, means staying safe while on the rink.
Below are five vital tips you have to follow to stay healthy and safe while ice skating:
1.Wear the right gear
As a novice skater, wearing a helmet while on the ice rink is a must to protect your head.
Head injuries are quite common on the rink since it is easy to lose balance or control. When this happens and you are not wearing a helmet, the ice surface is highly dangerous since there is nothing that can cushion your head against impact.
Kids and teens learning to ice skate will also do well to use protective padding on their wrists, elbows, and knees for extra protection. You can wear these additional gear if they help you feel more comfortable and confident on your first visit to the skating rink.
Staying safe while on the rink depends greatly on the skates you wear as well. These should fit you snugly and provide firm ankle support. If you are shopping for ice skates, do not buy a pair that is too large for you since it can cause imbalance and stress to the bones, muscles, and ligament, which can then contribute to skating injuries.
If you are borrowing or renting ice skates, check if the blades have been sharpened before putting them on. Dull blades can lead to falls and injuries.
A good pair of ice skates has slightly curved blades.
Lastly, for additional protection, always wear thin socks or nylons and tie the skates snugly but not too tightly, and all the way up to the top.
Although you won’t be able to predict when and how you will fall on ice and you can’t stop it from happening all the time, you can minimize the injury or pain you can get from the accident if you know how to brace yourself during a fall.
As such, before your first lesson or attempt at ice skating, take a few purposeful drops to a carpeted or grassy surface so that you can practice how to brace yourself. Your main goals should be to protect your head and to keep your limbs away from the sharp skate blades around you.
Additionally, practice getting up as quickly as you can after falling so that other skaters won’t bump into you.
Wearing the right ice skating gear will give you extra protection when you fall. Wrist pads, for instance, will make it easier for you to grip the ice and prevent your arms from sliding out when you take a tumble.
Warming up thoroughly before ice skating will go a long way in helping you avoid injuries on the rink.
Cold muscles and ligaments tend to be less flexible and prone to tears and injuries. Warming up before engaging in a physically demanding activity, such as ice skating, can help loosen your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
This, in turn, will allow you to avoid sprains and injuries.
Some simple warm-up exercises you can try before entering the rink for the first time are lengthening stretches of your arch on the bench. Before putting on your skates, pull your forefoot toward you and hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat this at least two times then do the same to your other foot.
Once you start ice skating regularly, you will have to practice dynamic stretching, which includes taking laps around the rink and doing quad stretches and deep squats while already wearing your skates.
4.Follow the basic ice skating safety rules
The billboards displaying safety rules around the ice skating rink are there for a reason. As such, read all of them if it’s your first time to try ice skating and keep them in mind on your subsequent visits.
Below are the common ice skating safety rules you have to heed while on the rink:
- Avoid standing still in the middle of the rink.
- Always skate in the same direction as the other skaters.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings and other skaters at all times.
- Always watch where you are going,whether you are skating forward or backward.
- Never use your mobile phone or wear earphones while on the ice skating rink.
- Do not bring beverages or food inside the ice skating rink.
5.Take ice skating lessons
Lastly, regardless of your age, you can stay safe and have a more enjoyable time on the skating rink if you take up ice skating lessons in Abu Dhabi.
Ice skating programs can give beginner and advanced skaters a more enjoyable and safe skating experience. A coach will teach you the correct techniques of skating.
Through extensive training, you will develop a finer degree of coordination and balance, which will help you stay safe while on the ice skating rink.
Kids and teens will benefit greatly from ice skating lessons if their parents are not that confident with the young ones’ skills just yet. A coach can teach young learners everything they need to skate safely on ice and boost their interest in this sport.
These include lacing their skates correctly, doing warm-up exercises, stepping on the ice, falling down and getting back up properly, marching, and gliding on the rink.
Once the learners have mastered the basics, they can proceed to more advanced lessons such as free, figure, and speed skating.
Adults can also master all of these with the right ice skating program and coach.
If you are looking for a new sport to get into or you want to encourage your kids to be more active, put ice skating on top of your list. Don’t forget to keep these tips in mind to stay safe while learning and enjoying this cool activity.
Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.