Skate your way to fitness
When Dancing On Ice hits our TV screens every January, it’s not just the skating that’s impressive – it’s also just how much the celebs tone up. For a piece of that action, head to your local rink…
Like many of her predecessors on Dancing On Ice, Coleen got extremely fit during her time on the show. In fact, she lost an astonishing five stone, starting out as a size 20 and ending up a size 10! ‘It was the lightest I’ve ever been,’ she says. ‘I felt on top of the world and just thought, look at me in a tiny little dress! It was great. Lycra hides nothing and the dresses are so short. So, being out there in them and looking OK was just the best feeling.’
If you want to take a leaf out of Coleen’s book, read on to find out just how good ice skating can be for your fitness. It’s a great way to have fun and get healthy with the family.
Skating gives you an all-over cardio workout. It’s particularly good for working your knees, calves and thighs as well as strengthening your core, tummy and back muscles. The art of trying to stay balanced also means you’re constantly working your buttock muscles, so a pert bottom comes with the territory! Actress Danniella Westbrook, Dancing On Ice semi-finalist this year, lost a stone-and-a-half, dropped two dress sizes and gained a six-pack during the course of the show! In fact, after her departure from the competition, the former EastEnders star said she was trying to put some of the weight back on!
Burn those calories
One hour of skating burns around 600 calories, (based on a 10st 3lb woman) which is the equivalent of running five miles in one hour. The added advantage of skating is that it doesn’t put as much strain on your knees and joints as jogging or running because there is none of the pounding effect. As you improve your skating skills and are able to add twists, turns and jumps, you’ll increase the number of calories burned per hour to around 800.
Get super slim
Dancing On Ice pro’ skater, Maria Filippov, who teamed up with actor and runner-up Gary Lucy in the 2010 series, says, ‘Skating keeps you super-slim. It’s one of the best sports for overall fitness, which is why professional skaters have such amazing bodies. For a woman, an hour a week is enough to start seeing a change.’
Ice skating is not only good for your physical fitness, but it benefits your mental health, too. First and foremost, it’s fantastic for boosting self-confidence and for body control and balance. By strengthening your tummy and back muscles, and improving posture, skating helps you to stand taller, both on and off the ice. The concentration and focus needed to learn to ice skate also develops your alertness, awareness and ability to react quickly.
Up your game
It’s easy to increase the intensity of an ice-skating workout simply by swinging your arms in time with your legs. And the most important thing is to always keep moving. If your aim is to improve your fitness levels, coasting along on the ice just won’t cut it! For more info and to find your nearest rink, call the National Ice Skating Association on 0115 988 8060 or go to www.iceskating.org.uk
Coleen says…‘I’d lost about three stone before being asked to appear on Dancing On Ice, but training every day toned up my thighs and bum even more. And it didn’t even feel like exercise – it was so much fun.’