Any recreational sport will do when it comes to alleviating stress (unless you choose alligator wrestling and then you realize you can’t swim) but if you ask me I am going to push you out on a sheet of slick ice wearing sharp metal blades for stress relief because THAT is living:) If you are game, here are all the details (note: I am a computer programmer, not an ice skating pro – this is information I have learned over the years as a recreational ice skater and it might help you get started):
As an adult, avoid thinking you are too old, too set in your ways, too gorgeous, too skinny, too freaky looking or too overweight for ice skating fun. Professional ice skating coaches know what they are doing and these coaches are able to train focused and dedicated skaters using safe techniques that slowly build up to a solid skating skill set.
If you have no ice skating experience, and you really want to learn to ice skate, then keep reading! Ice skating is not only insanely fun but the ice skating community is comprised of wonderful and supportive folks no matter your skill level, age or size. Like many other sports, ice skating can be very dangerous therefore proper planning, equipment and training are essential.
Before you even consider going to an ice rink, looking at an ice rink, putting on skates or calling anyone to inquire about ice skating lessons, make sure you do the following every single day for one month (and keep it up after you actually begin ice skating):
- practice getting up off of the floor in your home like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiI-JReWBZ8
- stretch every part of your body
- participate in some type of exercise
- stretch every part of your body again
- drink water
- stand with feet together, knees bent, arms out to each side like a propeller, chin up, don’t look at the floor, shoulders square, back straight and slightly forward, now creep around the house like this to freak everyone in the house out (keeping this exact position – making sure knees are bent)
- balance on one foot with your arms out to each side, chin up, don’t look at the floor, shoulders square, back straight and slightly forward, repeat on other foot
Before you even consider going to an ice rink, looking at an ice rink, putting on skates or calling anyone to inquire about ice skating lessons, understand the following rules/safety tips:
- How to Stop, Fall and Get Up on Skates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K28CI492YuQ
- Avoid holding on to anyone during ice skating
- Avoid bringing anything onto the ice – just bring yourself (no phone, no jewelry that could come off, etc)
- Keep hands free at all times during skating (ESPECIALLY avoid putting your hands in your pockets during skating)
- Only wear comfortable clothes to ice skating sessions (clothes you can move well in so falling might be less painful)
- Wear warm, close-fitting clothes to the ice skating sessions (you don’t want any clothing interfering with the blade of the skate or your movement on the ice)
- Wear padding if possible: gloves (winter gloves with traction rubber grips on the palms), elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards and a helmet
- Be ready to be very quiet during your ice skating lessons, you only want to focus on two things during ice skating lessons: listening carefully to instructions and concentrating on what your body is doing
When you are ready for the ice:
Sign up for a beginner class, they are usually once a week for a few months (and then you should go one more time per week during the public session to practice what you are learning). Don’t freak out if you are the only adult in the class, just do it, you will be glad you did. Don’t expect too much too soon. Your skill set builds slowly (it seems to go faster for children, do not let this discourage you). Expect that you will fall so always stay in a safe position when skating (knees bent, chin up, shoulders square, back straight and slightly forward, arms out to each side and don’t look at the floor) so you have a chance at a safer landing should you fall as opposed to when your legs are straight and stiff which may lead to violent falls backward or forward with head injuries.
Falling is unsettling to say the least, especially if a fall results in substantial injuries. If you fall, and nothing is broken, then get up immediately to avoid injuring others who may be near you or coming towards you and also as a way to shake off what just happened.
Don’t worry about having your own skates for the first class, just put on what they have at the rink. If you find yourself looking forward to each class as the weeks go by then definitely invest in a pair of your own skates. Your coach can give you advice on the best type of skates to purchase. Back when I started I purchased a pair of skates at a local sporting goods store for $50.00. Those got me through many years of beginner classes and when I moved up to fancier skates I passed the $60.00 skates onto another newbie, they were still in excellent condition (I am a figure skater, this advice may or may not not hold true for purchasing hockey skates).