I wanted to dedicate this week's post not to a specific skating skill or element, but instead to emphasize the importance of skating and its positive impact on people. As U.S. Figure Skating kicks off its biggest annual National Skating Month campaign, I want to educate my skaters and parents of the myriad physical, mental, emotional and social health benefits skating provides to all.
Obesity is a growing issue and physical inactivity has become a global pandemic. According to the July 18, 2012 Time magazine article, ‘Lack of Exercise as Deadly as Smoking', almost 10% of deaths worldwide in 2008 were reported to be possibly attributed to inactivity. The article cited that a lack of exercise causes as many as 10% premature deaths around the world each year which is roughly as many as smoking. It was reported that if we reduce physical inactivity by 10% then some 533,000 deaths per year could be prevented, and if reduced by 25% then 1.3 million deaths could be averted. Furthermore, if we got everyone off the couch and eliminate inactivity then the expectancy of world’s population would increase by 0.68 years.
Children who have obesity are more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol, breathing problems, joint problems and increased risk of diseases including heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer. There’s also psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression and social problems associated with childhood obesity. Nowadays, children spend much more time on their mobile phones, emailing and texting and watching Netflix, and not getting enough physical activity. Also, there’s much more high calorie and low nutritional foods and drinks available which also contribute to excess weight gain.
Staying physically active is important because it has many health benefits, including preventing chronic diseases and heart disease when older. Children who are more physically fit are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges. It is important to be healthy and stay in shape, and skating is a great way to do so. According to U.S. Figure Skating, recreational skating burns 250-810 calories while competitive skating can burn as much 450-1,080 calories per hour! Skating also helps clear the mind, build self-confidence and reduce stress. You can meet and connect with new people which may lead to new friendships. Skating is a great way to burn calories while having fun!
To learn more about how skating can positively influence you, come check out the National Skating Month event at Howell Ice Arena on February 3rd and at Middletown Ice Arena on March 31. I am leading both events to celebrate skating and invite new families to the ice by offering free lessons and hosting a skating exhibition and a family skate session (For more details, see 'My Events' page).