Ice skating

It’s the festive season which means traditionally ‘tis the season for ice skating! What started as an efficient mode of travel in Scandinavia in 1800 BC (approx.)1 has now evolved into various sports and leisure activities enjoyed by millions around the world.

It’s good for you!

Did you know that ice skating is a great way to get your body moving? This activity improves balance, joint flexibility, agility and engages many muscle groups in the body2. In addition, low impact activities such as recreational ice skating causes less strain on joints2. It’s a fun way to get your heartbeat up and build strength too! And to top it all, studies have found that engaging in social and community sport has significant effect on reducing stress and improving overall quality of life3. So going on an ice skating session with friends and family can be a great stress-buster and a chance to get some fresh air (if it’s an outdoor rink, of course!).

Exercise for a healthy gut and mind

Exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits, both on physical and mental well-being.

  • It helps strengthen muscles and bones and improves cardiorespiratory fitness4.
  • Some evidence indicates that physical activity has a protective effect on the lining of the gut and may even reduce the incidence of colon cancer by 50%5. Therefore, low-moderate intensity exercise is a great way to keep your gut healthy.
  • Physical activity also helps improve mood and feelings of stress and anxiety6.

Tips from Love Your Gut’s Jo Travers

So next time you hit the ice rink, you know you’re keeping both your mind and your body happy. Want to find out more ways to keep your gut healthy during the holidays? Check out these tips from dietitian Jo Travers –


  1. Formenti F and Minetti A (2007) Human locomotion on ice: the evolution of ice-skating energetics through history. J Exp Biol, 210(10): 1825-1833.
  2. Slater LV et al. (2016) Difference in agility, strength, and flexibility in competitive figure skaters based on level of expertise and skating discipline. J Stren & Cond Res. 1;30(12):3321-8.
  3. Eime RM et al. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 10(1):1-21.
  4. McKinney J et al. (2016) The health benefits of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. Brit Colum Med J. 58(3):131-7.
  5. Peters et al. (2001) “Potential benefits and hazards of physical activity and exercise on the gastrointestinal tract.” Gut, 48(3): 435-439.
  6. Mikkelsen K et al. (2017) Exercise and mental health. Maturitas. 106:48-56.