Author: Glenda Matthews

A Few Outdoor Winter Exercise Options for the Cold, Snowy Months

A Few Outdoor Winter Exercise Options for the Cold, Snowy Months

Finding enjoyable winter exercising activities can be easier said than done. I’ll go through a few of my favorites over the years. From living in Ohio for nineteen years, I have been forced to find some enjoyable outdoor winter activities, but make sure you use caution before exercising in the cold weather. You need to wear plenty of clothing and I always wear two pairs of socks to keep my feet warm. Two of the most popular winter exercises I did over the years were shoveling snow and playing basketball in the snow, but I don’t recommend that for most people. Shoveling snow is not enjoyable in the slightest, and playing basketball is tricky in the snow and ice. There are more enjoyable winter exercise activities such as:

Snowball Fighting

1. Snowball fighting was probably the most enjoyable winter exercise I ever got. You can build snow forts to hide behind and sneak attack your opponents. Rolling up big snowballs and trying to bomb them with one of those proved to be good arm exercise. After all the running around and throwing, you will find yourself to be out of breath. With all the fun you will be having, you will hardly know you’re exercising, but your body will get a good workout along the way.


2. Snowboarding or Skiing can be done either in your back yard or at a place that offers trails and runs. I was always a fan of backyard snowboarding. I am the kind of person that is always looking to save money, so I always just carved up the backyard with my snowboard. There wasn’t a huge hill, but even with a small hill you can have some fun and set up a small jump or other prop. This can be a great form of exercise, especially if you climb back up the hill after going down each time. It is also one of the most fun winter exercise activities I have found.

3. Ice skating can be very enjoyable once you get the hang of it. It can be done either outdoors or indoors, but I have always done it outdoors. You may fall a few times, but it doesn’t take long to learn in my experience. It’s a great exercise and not hard on your body at all. It can be a lot of fun when you gather a few friends and go ice skating together.

So if you couldn’t think of any good winter exercise activities, hopefully this list gives you a few ideas. All of these can be a lot of fun when you get a group of friends together, and you won’t even realize you are exercising during the winter months.

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How to Not Get Hurt Skating: Skateboarding Tips

How to Not Get Hurt Skating: Skateboarding Tips

There is almost nothing worse than when you are cruising along on your skateboard, emperor of the sidewalk, envy of those stuck at a red light, when the sick grating noise of a rock halting your wheel is the only warning you have before your board flies out from beneath your feet. You take a few jerky steps and look around for your board trying to ignore your fall from grace. The only way it could have been worse is if you had ended up getting hurt and had to limp away.

Skateboarding Tips

Public injuries and mistakes are a part of skateboarding. They happen when you are learning how to ride, learning a new trick, become confident in a trick and get lazy, and when the universe feels like throwing you a curve, such as your wheel coming off in front of a crowd. We have to accept that when we step up onto a board we are asking for it, but our destiny is not entirely out of our hands.

For those who chose to board a simple change in the way they skate will help avoid embarrassing, pride-crippling, and painful snafus. As my supremely mind-boggling Korean martial arts instructor would say after avoiding an attack and knocking us to the ground, “You must be like dancing.” The trick to not getting hurt while boarding is being light on your feet. The more rooted to your board you are the quicker you will fall when it evacuates the vicinity of your feet.

There are many things that will try and separate a skater from their board. Chasmesque sidewalk cracks, scattered remnants of fender benders, and very uncivil rocks are just a few. At any moment a skater may have to make a lightning quick move to remain upright, but if his feet are rooted and his legs tense, even a slight adjustment can end up being milliseconds too late. If the skater is light on his feet, focused more with forward momentum that with being glued to his board, catastrophes will be averted as the skater simply steps out of them.

This stepping out isn’t always a conscious movement. In fact, it works better when it isn’t. The more a person is thinking about reacting the less likely they are to react naturally and quickly. Instead be focused on forward movement so that if you are forced into an untimely dismount have your focus forward so that the force is forward rather than down.

There is one drawback to this style of skating. By not being rooted to the board you are not committed to it. If you are not committed to the board then you are not committed to any trick you try to pull off. Without that commitment it is much harder to learn new tricks. Even when you have the mechanics for the execution of the trick down it is difficult to land the trick without being committed. By being too light-footed a skater can hinder their progression and future dreams of the X-Games. All in all it amounts to what your purpose for skating is, Leet Master or Leisure Punk.

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What to Expect from Ice Skating Lessons

What to Expect from Ice Skating Lessons

The one thing you should always expect from ice skating lessons? Your butt will probably get to know the ice really well. Beyond that, expect to learn some basics, of course.
In a typical first lesson you’ll start by simply experiencing the ice. You’ll get a feel for it by moving around the rink while holding onto the railing. As you get more comfortable, the instructor will show you how to let go and move out into the rink.

Ice Skating Lessons

Once out on the ice, you’ll be taught how to fall and get up without seriously hurting yourself. Everybody falls, even the pros, but if you can maintain some control on the way down and on the way back up too, you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself too much and keep bruises to a minimum.

The instructor will then show you how to get moving on the ice. The simplest way for beginners is to march. Sounds difficult on the ice, but it’s really not. And you can even start with baby steps. You’ll then progress to a slow shuffle until you’re comfortable gliding on the ice.

Now that you’re moving, the instructor will show you how to stop. You’ve already learned how to stop by falling, but there’s a much easier and less painful way than that. You will learn the snowplow. This is a fairly simple maneuver where you angle your skate outward until it gently plows the ice and brings you to a halt.

As lessons progress, you’ll also learn how to swizzle and how to turn using the crossover. These are both basic techniques that will help you to move more easily around the rink. Swizzling is basically moving your skates out in a V and then back together until they touch at the toes.

Crossing over is just what the name implies. As you approach the curve of the rink, you will learn to cross your outside foot over in front of the other. If you’re unsure of yourself on the ice, your instructor may advise you to slide your outside foot on the ice rather than picking it up until you’re more comfortable.

And of course, when you’ve mastered all these basics, you can tackle spins, jumps and other more complicated footwork. Before you get there though you’ll need to practice, practice, practice!

Lucky for you, the final part of any lesson will be practice time. You’ll be encouraged to try out the things you’ve learned by taking a few laps around the rink. Take advantage of this time to get used to the ice and to build your confidence.

Before you know it you’ll be at ease on the ice and ready for the next class – or better yet, the pros!


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Louisville Roller Skating Rinks

Louisville Roller Skating Rinks

Roller skating has been a favorite family pastime for years and is a great way to get some exercise as well. There are several Louisville skating rinks available in different parts of town.

Champs Hurstbourne Rollerdome is a Louisville roller skating rink with a concrete rink that is located at 9851 La Grange Rd. They are open on Friday from 7 to 11 pm for all ages and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm for children 12 and under along with their parents. During the summer, they are also open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1 to 4 pm for children 12 and under with their parents and on Wednesday evening from 7 to 10 pm for all ages. The office can be reached at 502-425-1302 and the rink can be reached at 502-425-1717.

Louisville Roller Skating Rink

Robben’s Roost is a Louisville roller skating rink with a wooden rink that is located at 5906 Six Mile Lane. They are open on Friday evening from 7 to 11 pm for $6. They are also open on Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 Pm for $4. Parents receive free entry on Sundays. During the summer they are also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 pm for a $4 entry fee. All entry fees include regular skate rentals. This Louisville roller skating rink can be reached at 502-491-8170.

Skate World is a Louisville roller skating rink with a concrete rink located at 6310 Preston Hwy. They are open on Friday and Saturday evening from 7 to 11 pm with a $5 entry fee and on Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4 pm with a $3 entry fee. During the summer they are also open on Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 pm with a $3 entry fee. Entry fee does not include skate rentals. Skate world can be reached at 502-969-6000.

Valley Skate Zone is a Louisville roller skating rink with a concrete rink located at 10621 Dixie Hwy. They are open on Friday evenings from 7 to 10 pm with an entry fee of $5 and on Saturday evenings for their hip hop night from 7 to 10 pm for $3 and 10 to 12 (midnight) for $3 or a guest may pay $5 to attend both Saturday evening sessions. They are also open on Wednesdays from 7 to 10 pm for a $4.00 entry fee. The entry fees include skate rentals. This Louisville roller skating rink can be reached at 502-937-1311.

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Benefits Of Celebrating A Special Occasion For Your Kids With A Skating Party

Benefits Of Celebrating A Special Occasion For Your Kids With A Skating Party

All children want to feel special, especially on their birthday or during another important occasion. Parents are often trapped to find party games and ideas that will satisfy their kids. This becomes even more complicated when it is time to make party arrangements. How can you make everyone happy?
When it is time to celebrate and have a party, there are many reasons to consider having a skating party at your local skating rink. This option really makes party planning easy and convenient for everyone.

Skating party with kids


When it is time to narrow down the guest list, there won’t be any problems. The skating rink is large enough to suit most any crowd. Kids can invite the entire class, the neighbors, and the kids from their 4H group. Toss a couple of invitations out to the Boy or Girl Scout troop and the soccer team. Kids will feel that they are able to invite all of their buddies and parents won’t cringe due to space troubles.

Easy Planning

Planning a party at home means the parents have a big production on their hands. The house must be spotless for the arrival of the guests. The parents need to plan age-appropriate activities and games to keep the kids entertained, plus manage the prizes and food around a theme. After all of this is accomplished, then it is time for the cleanup process.

Planning a party at the skating rink is so much easier. Call up the skating rink during business hours and schedule a date and time. The rest is out of your hands unless you decide to bring in some cake and ice cream for the celebration. There is no cleanup, planning games, or chaos in your home.

Reasonably Priced

You may think that renting the skating rink for your children’s birthday party or special occasion is pricey, but really, it is very reasonably priced. Our local skating rink rents for $100 or $125 for a private party. At first glance, this may seem steep, but when you add up all of the convenience, the price is well worth it. Not to mention, how much money would you spend on the themed paper plates, cups, napkins, and hats? Now, toss in the cost of the piñata and the goodies inside. If you went to the trouble of buying balloons, streamers, and prizes or goody bags, your cost is undoubtedly approaching the $100 mark.

Great for All Ages

A skating party is perfect for children of all ages. You may be able to get by with having family over for a Pooh party when the kids were two or three, but what do you do when they are in their teens? A skating party lets the kids feel they can have fun with their friends without the childish décor and party games. Another advantage to a skating party celebration is that older siblings or younger brother and sisters can participate, as well.

Personalized Party

You may wonder how you can personalize a party at the local skating rink. Ask the deejay at the rink to play favorite songs for the guest of honor. You can even personalize songs for the all girls skate, for example. If your child loves racing games or the Four Corners game, request this during the party. The skating rink will typically announce the guest of honor and the reason for the occasion upon request.

If you have been pondering what to do for your child’s special occasion, then it is time to call your local skating rink. Ask for details about their private party reservations.

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Figure Skating for Parents – Understanding the Test Levels, Costs and the Life of a Figure Skating Family

Figure Skating for Parents – Understanding the Test Levels, Costs and the Life of a Figure Skating Family

Figure skating is a beautiful sport to watch, a difficult sport to learn and a complex support to compete in. Aside from all of that there is the social element of figure skating, which is surely no different than anything that involves high achieving kids and involved parents. If you are thinking of signing your child up for some figure skating lessons, there are some things to consider. Summer is a great time to start skating as there won’t be any crowds at the rink and there’s nothing better than an ice rink to cool you off in the middle of the summer.

Figure Skating For Parents

For young kids, group lessons are the way to start as they are relatively inexpensive, no different than dance lessons for example. In group lessons, the instructor will have a group of kids at the same level and teach them the basics of skating, which include going forwards, backwards, stopping and how to get up when you fall down. If your child is just standing there week after week, not moving, looking confused or terrified, don’t bother signing them up for the next section. Let another six months go by and take them back to the rink yourself and see how they do when it’s just with you. They may have no interest and/or they still might not have the coordination needed. Rushing a child in to this intense and difficult sport is a really bad idea. The child has to love it, be relatively good at it and see some chance at progress or success. So give them a chance to feel there way along.

If your child does well in group lessons, you will learn that the lessons are likely based on the International Skating Institute (ISI) learn to skate instruction and testing levels. This means, at the end of every 8 or 10 week group class, your child will be tested and then move to the next level or repeat the same class for another sequence. It isn’t unusual to repeat and it doesn’t mean you have the next Michelle Kwan in your house if they pass the levels from sequence to sequence. The first group of ISI levels are as follows; pre-Alpha, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Once Delta is completed and passed you move to the freestyle levels whih run from levels 1 through 10. By the time a child gets to FS 1, they are doing some basic jumps and spins. At a FS 10 level, they are double and triple jumps and very complex programs.

Figure Skating for Parents

Running parallel to ISI is the Unite States Figure Skating Association (USFSA). The USFSA also has basic skills program like ISI and the increasingly advanced levels of Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior and Senior. A skater who has passed FS 10 in ISI testing is comparable to a USFSA Senior. Senior level skaters are the skaters you see in the Olympics, though not all Seniors of course, make it to that competitive level.

Once a skater has moved through the basic levels and appears to have some interest and ability, the instructor is likely to recommend private lessons with a coach. For parents, this is where it all get very confusing, and very expensive. The coach may start with a weekly lesson but will quickly suggest that the child skate more than once a week and they don’t usually mean at a public skating session. A parent will likely be asked to schedule a weekly lesson, 2 or 3 practice sessions per week and then outfits, competitions, test session and better skates will quickly follow. This is a wonderful sport, but the budget is a huge consideration. Typically coaches will provide a half-hour lesson for $20-$40 dollars; ice time is $10-$20 an hour, plan for 4 competitions and 4 test session per year at $50-$100 each. In addition, you have to pay the coach to be present at both tests and competitions. Skates will cost between $300 and $600 and blades are generally extra. The weekly budget for skaters with one lesson and three ice sessions will be about $100 or $5200 per year. Add in everything else and the budget can jump to $7000 easily.

Figure skating provides an amazing outlet for both creativity and sport. It’s an individual sport, yet skaters generally join a club, which helps to organize events and ice time. Parents need to consider there own lifestyle and financial situation before making the decision to open the door to figure skating. For those children who get hooked on it early, it’s impossible to pull them away.

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Things to Know Before Taking Your Kids to the Ice Skating Rink

Things to Know Before Taking Your Kids to the Ice Skating Rink

Ice Skating is fun and beneficial for the entire family, especially the little ones. Not only is it fun and exciting, but it helps your child build self-esteem as he or she is learning to glide across the ice. Taking your kids to the rink may become a tradition that you and your kids will enjoy for years to come.

Things to Know Before Taking Your Kids to the Ice Skating Rink

There are things you should know before taking your kids to the ice skating rink to ensure a pleasurable experience:

Check time for public sessions. Let’s say you get the kids dressed for ice skating, drive down to the rink and you are told there is no ice skating today! Ice skating rinks are used for a variety of reasons. Hockey games and ice skating lessons are common activities at rinks. To save time and make sure you will be allowed on the ice, call the front desk or obtain a monthly schedule of all activities. Your rink may also have a website with the information you need.

Bring money. A typical admission fee is around $10.00. If your kids have their own skates, the fee is slightly lower, as you are only paying for time on the ice and not skate rentals. Rinks also have snack bars with hot chocolate, hotdogs, fries, nachos, and other foods available. Therefore, bring enough cash to satisfy the little ones while at the rink, as skating burns lots of calories.

Rent a locker. It is best to rent a locker for $3.00 instead of finding your valuables or your shoes stolen. It is true that most people will leave their shoes and bags under a seat or bench, but this just makes it easier for someone to swipe your personals. Do not make it easy for them.

Dress warmly. Everyone knows it is cold inside an ice skating rink. So, be sure your kids wear long pants and a sweater or light jacket. It is also recommended to wear gloves. Falling on the ice with bare hands is not fun! And kids will fall on the ice.

Bring chapstick/lipbalm. Kids’ lips tend to become very chapped in cold weather. Keep chapstick or lipbalm nearby. Have them apply some right before they get on the ice and reapply as needed.

Bring a camera/camcorder. Your kids will love watching themselves skate on the ice. Maybe you can catch them as they master a new skill or catch them as they are falling. It will be hilarious for all of you to see the expressions on each other faces.

Remember these things before you head out so that you and your kids can have fun at the ice skating rink!

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Parents: Is Your Child Interested in Ice Skating?

Parents: Is Your Child Interested in Ice Skating?

Many kids love to sit around and watch ice skaters gliding across the ice and pretend that it is really them on the ice. Does this describe your child as well? If so, you might want to consider ice-skating as the activity for them. Ice skating is a great sport for boys as well as girls, and is so graceful. From speed racing to ice dancing there is something for everyone.

child-interested-in -ice-skating
Is Your Child Interested in Ice Skating?

Ice skating is not for the faint at heart though; it takes hours of practice, lessons and travel time to be a successful skater. Many students spend 1-2 hours each day at the rink practicing so they can master a particular skill. If your child has a desire to become an Olympic athlete and you are considering allowing this pursuit, please be aware that many parents move across the country to work and train with a specific coach, and these coaches are not cheap. They are in high demand and very expensive, as well as the moving costs associated with such a pursuit. If you are accepting of these challenges then by all means, move full steam ahead, if you are unsure whether you are willing to commit this much for skating, then allow your child to take a few small classes and get their feet wet before making any major commitments.

Ice skating is a wonderful sport and has many benefits including the overall muscle strengthening that occurs. Due to the nature of skating, the athletes are very strong overall, despite their small size. Skating also improves cardiovascular fitness, as well as coordination, balance, posture, muscle control, and body awareness. Your child will be exposed to music as well as dancing, and skating can make a wonderful family activity as well.

Wherever you have thick enough ice, you have the ability to skate, whether it is an indoor rink, outdoor rink or even the pond on the family farm. All make great places to skate. Kids who excel at skating are typically very friendly, outgoing, and extroverted children. They are somewhat reckless, which is a skill necessary in order to master the jumps and leaps. They enjoy the fast speeds involved, and they are willing to put a lot of work into the skill. Many competition skaters spend as little as two and as much as 4 hours a day on the ice. This is their schedule at least 5 sometimes 6 days a week. Not all children are comfortable putting this much time and effort into an activity.

Skaters need to also have high self-esteem and be able to take criticism in stride. Competitions are not easy, and the judges are not always nice, nor do they always say nice things. You want your child to be able to compete without becoming a pile of tears immediately afterwards. The pressures that accompany competitions is enormous and not all children can handle the stress.

Most rinks will start offering classes for children as young as 5 years old in groups, with private lessons being possible as young as four. By the time your child is 8 years old, they should have made significant progress in terms of skill and grace. Your child should improve a bit each year and the change should be noticeable.

When selecting a coach this can be considered a lifelong commitment, most skaters stay with the same coach for years if not their whole skating career. Select carefully, your childs coach should be kind, very knowledgeable, preferably a former competition skater and have a teaching style that fits well with your childs personality. Personal preference will determine whether a male or female coach is better, you should always make sure the coach is a member of either the Professional Skaters Association (PSA) or the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Both groups offer certification to coaches, based upon their skills.

There are several styles of skating to choose from singles freestyle, pairs freestyle, ice dancing, and synchronized team skating. The costs involved with each are expensive, with skates for a beginner costing approximately $75, while the skates for a serious advanced skater costing close to $1,000 or more. On top of the expense for the skates, are workout clothing, ice time, lessons, coach’s fees, and if your child is going to compete each competition charges an entrance fee.

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How to Get Started with Roller Skating

How to Get Started with Roller Skating

Get Started with Roller Skating

Are you thinking about taking up roller skating? Now that you have considered it, it is time to get started. You just need to get a good pair of skates and get rolling.

The pair you pick out should be one that fits your feet comfortably. When you go to a store that sells roller skates, ask a salesperson to bring you a pair that represents your natural foot size. Once they are brought to you, try them on. You should make sure that you have enough room to wiggle your toes. Another thing you should do before buying the skates is to make sure that the wheels are screwed in tightly and to check to see if the wheels roll smoothly.

It is a good idea to start practicing in your basement as long as there are no fragile items around and the floor is smooth and sturdy. Soon, you may graduate to roller skating outdoors. If you decide to skate outdoors, you should do it on a smooth surface while wearing a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and protective gloves.

One reason why it is best to use a roller skating rink is that it is safer to skate there than it is to skate at home or skate on a sidewalk or street that is made of concrete. Another reason is that you get to listen to music as you do your activity. As a beginner, you should mainly skate in the center of the floor where there is less risk of bumping into other skaters. Also, if there is a small skating space outside of the main one, you should spend time on it, especially if you want to work on developing certain skills such as spinning around.

As you skate forwards or backwards, you should push your feet out side to side. Cross your feet as you turn the corners of the rink. Once you acquire enough experience, it is okay to use all parts of the skating floor rather than staying in the center. You have learned how to get started roller skating. It is time to make the move.

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Ice Skating Offers Great Winter Recreation

Ice Skating Offers Great Winter Recreation


With the holidays quickly approaching, Old Man Winter is certain to make his annual appearance shortly in the form of winter ice and snow. If you are used to snow each winter, you know what fun the winter days can bring. Sledding and skating are great outdoor recreational activities that both parents and children can participate in.
Outdoor ice skating offers great exercise as well as a chance to get some fresh air during winter months.

Ice Skating Offers Great Winter Recreation

Make sure to bundle up in layers, taking care to cover exposed areas such as the head and hands. Also, apply sunscreen even though it is winter, as the sun reflects off of ice and snow and can cause sunburn.Take caution not to stay outdoors too long, or go skating when the temperature is too cold for safety.

Another thing to consider is your skate blades. If you are simply a recreational skater who owns their own skates, you’re probably fine to use them on a pond or other outdoor surface. But if you are using your skates for lessons, and use them for figure skating or hockey, you may want to invest in a pair of “pond skates,” meaning a pair that you can use for outdoor skating that doesn’t require the blades to be in perfect condition. The surfaces of non maintained ice is much different that those of indoor rinks where the Zamboni keeps the surface constantly smooth. You wouldn’t want to ruin your good skates by using them on non-surfaced outdoor ice. I recommend purchasing a used pair at a sports store that sells used equipment because you won’t want to be buying brand new skates for the entire family specifically for outdoor use.

Many communities offer outdoor ice skating in designated areas only. Never attempt to ice skate on an unmarked pond, lake or other body of water because it may be unsafe. Natural bodies of water may not be frozen thoroughly in all areas and can pose serious, life threatening risks if the ice were to break and someone fall through. Always stay off restricted areas where “no ice skating” signs are posted. Contact your local park district for safe places to enjoy outdoor skating and hockey. The police department may also be able to help you determine which places are safe for skating.

Enjoy good old fashioned ice skating outdoors this winter, just keep it safe. This will be a cherished memory in years to come, bringing back reminders of a simpler time. Get some exercise while having fun this winter.

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