This winter weather makes me want to get all bundled up for an afternoon of ice skating with some friends. If you've never gone before, there are some things you should know...
- When renting or buying skates, they should fit snug, making sure your heel is held tight by the boot. Try out a 1/2 size smaller than your regular shoe size. If your skates are too big - you can get blisters.
- Wear comfortable clothing that is warm and easy to move in. I recommend wearing gloves or mittens because let's face it - it's inevitable that you're going to fall a few times when you're first learning, and you don't want your bare hands landing on freezing ice.
- Before getting on the ice, do some warm-up exercises next to the rink. Do some squats to wake up your knees. Do some runner's lunges to wake up those hips. Stand up and bend at your waist, reaching for your toes to stretch your hamstrings and lower back. Balance on one leg and rotate the opposite leg's ankle. Don't forget the other ankle.
- When stepping onto the ice for the first time, make sure the entrance is clear (you don't want to take anybody down just yet). Hold on to the wall at first to get the hang of balancing on your skates. Hold a friend's hand who's been skating before.
- Try not to look at your feet. Stand up tall, with your feet under your hips, and look straight in the direction you are going. Hold your arms out wide - this will help keep you balanced. If you fall - and you'll probably fall a lot - just get right back up again.
Want to know what else you should know?
Have fun on the ice.