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A Slick Way to Stay Fit

Mother Nature has been extremely unpredictable this winter and spending entirely too much time dancing with Old Man Winter.

With temperatures hovering below freezing, it can be a challenge to find ways to get out of the house, especially to be active. This week, I decided to take to the ice to beat winter at its own game by trying out my long dormant ice skating skills.

Small confession: with a good head cold coming on, I decided to check out the Appleton Family Ice Center. However, there are a multitude of outdoor ice skating rinks throughout the fox valley providing plenty of opportunities to lace up the skates to either exercise and have some family fun.

The ice center was easy enough to find, though it is crowded during certain times, so calling ahead is recommended unless you are willing to wait in line for space on the indoor rink to open up. (I skated the indoor rink and was comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt. if you are heading outdoors, dress appropriately.)

The center’s public skating times are posted on its website and they recently added additional hours. I went on a Sunday afternoon and had to wait in line for approximately 15 minutes, but didn’t mind standing outside the Plexiglas surrounding the rink, watching the other skaters. A few graceful young girls were in the center of the rink pirouetting while those less inexperienced, like me, were slowly getting their ice legs.

I don’t have my own skates and was pleased with the quality and price of the rental equipment. Admission is affordable as well, so if you’re looking for a day out with a few friends or for the whole family, this is an affordable activity.

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I’m no Michelle Kwan when it comes to ice skating, and fortunately the Appleton Family Ice Center allows for all ages and abilities. I have one speed (too fast), one direction (straight ahead), and one set of breaks (my bottom). I’ve always preferred rollerblading to ice skating, but after a few minutes of practicing I was able to get the hang of it and skate with the majority of the counterclockwise flow.
Lessons are available for those who want to learn the basics of skating. There are also a variety of ice hockey camps for players with diverse skills sets. One of the camps is strictly for girls while another is dedicated to goaltending. Check out there website for the other camps, dates and descriptions.

Ice skating is a fun sport to at least try, no matter your coordination. It’s cheaper than seeing a movie, and is a great way to get moving.

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