Ice skating is good for fitness and fun

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By The Staff

People ask me why I moved here from Anchorage, Alaska, and one of the biggest reasons is the ice rink.

I grew up mostly skating indoors, training in the figure skating world. When I moved to Alaska I loved skating outdoors on frozen lakes. The winters just simply got to be too brutal.

When I came to look at Los Alamos as a place to move, I noticed that the rink was so beautifully nestled ever so sweetly in the canyon. At night when it is all lit up you feel like you are in a winter wonderland.

The skating season will begin soon. In December, skating lessons will begin and will assist the whole family in learning skills to enjoy the sport one step further. The curriculum we have provided for lessons is informative, safe and fun.

The first thing when learning to skate is actually learning to fall correctly. Safety and injury prevention is of utmost importance.

Many new skaters tend to lean back when they fall and the skates tend to slip out from underneath them. When that occurs, hitting the head is common and can be serious at times.

We want to avoid head injuries so we teach people to fall in a tucked position. Pulling your arms in, tucking and landing on the bottom will prevent such blows.

Proper skate fit is also important in having a successful skating experience. Make sure the skates fit snugly and don't buckle your toes under.

Check that the blades are somewhat sharp. If you are unsure on how to check, ask the attendant. Lace the skates up snugly around the ankle area primarily.

I suggest that a new skater begin with figure skates because more of the blades are in contact with the ice surface. As your skills improve, then go ahead and progress to hockey skates if you should so desire.

Skating is such a great sport for the whole family and offers a controlled environment so that all levels of ability can enjoy the sport simultaneously.

Maybe your child is a good skater and also plays hockey. Why not take beginners adult class and you too can learn the fundamentals of skating, and then go to the rink together?

Too often, I have seen the rink being utilized as a place to leave the kids for extended periods of time. Our goal for the last few years has been to make public skating a safe and friendly environment for the whole family of all skating abilities.

Beginning last year the skate guards were trained in the lesson curriculum so they too could be available to assist during lessons and public skating for those who may need some extra assistance.

During lesson time, I also encourage the parents to participate. If you are a parent that has skated previously, it always helps to have some extra assistance in helping the kids lace their skates, hold their hand and help them up. You may even learn some new skills yourself.

Kim Lazarus has been active with the lesson program at the rink for the last several years since arriving in Los Alamos and comes from a very extensive skating background prior to her being a chiropractor.