By now we are all probably sick of snow, slush, more snow, and the inevitable ice. But what’s that old saying, something about lemons and making lemonade? Why not take advantage of the cold weather and have some good, old-fashioned fun (as well as exercise) at an ice skating rink?

There are the old standby’s at Bryant Park, Central Park (Wollman Rink) and 30 Rockefeller Center. These are iconic New York rinks, but they can often be crowded and expensive, which might deter potential skaters who aren’t looking for such a…”cultural” experience. If you want to avoid the crowds, head up to Lasker Rink near the Harlem Meer and the North Woods of Central Park. This is a beautiful and comparatively desolate area of the park, but is easily accessible from the 2 or 3 trains, though a lengthy walk through the park to rink might diversify your activity and be quite enjoyable in and of itself. Another lesser-known rink is the Lakeside Rink in Prospect Park. While it’s a pretty long trek from Manhattan, the Q and B get you very close and the skating is family-friendly and only costs $8, including skate rental.

Ice Skating GirlIce skating is also a great way to lose weight and work your smaller stabilizer muscles. This is especially beneficial for runners, skiers, or yoga enthusiasts. Ice skating is a low-impact activity (unless you fall a lot!) and can do wonders for your hips, calves, and ankles. Depending on your weight and the speed at which you skate, you can burn anywhere from 300 to 700 calories. Make sure, however, that you warm up properly before you start to skate. Ankle mobility stretches, quad pulls, and calf stretches are all great ways to get your body loosened up and ready to roll (or glide!) And when you’re tired and sore after a fun day of ice skating, what better way to soothe those achy leg muscles than soaking in a hot tub, heading to the sauna, or getting a sports massage powered by bodono!

February 16th 2015 by Hunter Ellis for bodono