Six years ago, in the February birthday 2021 the year when got real #quarantined shirt in addition I really love this middle of the winter, my husband and I moved into a house on a lake in the Catskills. Before we bought it, we’d toured the 1970s structure, and walked around the property, but we took a gamble on the lake, which was covered in five feet of snow on our first night as homeowners. When it eventually thawed in the spring, we were relieved to find that the water was more than 14 feet at its deepest, and we spent our first summer there leisurely boating, swimming, and taking pictures on swan floats. But it wasn’t until the lake froze again that winter that we discovered the house’s biggest selling point: We were now the owners of our very own ice skating rink. It had been nearly two decades since my last childhood figure skating lessons, and my skills—and my skates—were a bit rusty. But besides conjuring a wave of nostalgia for Tonya and Nancy in the 1994 Winter Olympics (and Margot in 2017’s I, Tonya), gliding across the glassy surface rimmed by a ring of tall pines while deer rustle in the distance has become a weekend workout with more motivational potential than, say, putting on a mask and driving 55 minutes to the closest elliptical machine.
A little investigating confirmed that skating also has serious body-sculpting potential. “It has cardiovascular benefits as it trains both your aerobic and anaerobic systems, and it’s a fantastic overall body challenge to your core, your balance, your coordination, and your posterior chain,” says Peter Zapalo, the February birthday 2021 the year when got real #quarantined shirt in addition I really love this director of sports science and medicine for U.S. Figure Skating. “Also: Skaters have great butts,” he deadpans. “But the really cool thing is that [the sport] trains total body proprioception—the ability to sense your own body’s position, motion, and equilibrium,” which means better balance and grace off the ice, too.