By Katherine Watt 

A mid the bustle of Christmas markets and busy town centres right now, you’re more and more likely to find a temporary ice skating rink. These increasingly popular festive features provide a place to unwind on the ice, where you can peacefully glide along, enjoying some wintertime fun with loved ones – without even realising how much good it’s doing for your health. Ice skating is a major calorie-burner – and cold exposure naturally increases your metabolism – plus it’s great for toning your core, legs and arms.

Recreational skating has long been a way to make the most of winter outdoors with friends and family. In fact, until the 19th century, the Thames regularly froze, so people would don skates and enjoy ‘Frost Fairs’, featuring markets, sports and music.

Even if you’ve never skated, it’s so simple to get started. Plus most rinks include skate hire and instructors to give you advice – as well as tempting food and drink to enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Get your skates on!

  • Your quadriceps at the front of your thighs get the biggest workout during a skate, due to your bent knees ‘switching on’ this muscle. 
  • Skating enlarges your cerebellum – a part of the brain that controls coordination, say neuroscientists from Korea.
  • On average, skating uses 400 calories per hour.FIND OUT MORE BENEFITS OF SKATING IN THE DECEMBER ISSUE, OUT NOW!