For most people near age 50, ice is a source of peril, a sure fall and maybe even broken bones. The idea that someone approaching 60 and even past 70 could not just step on ice intentionally but do so in figure skates (kind of like knife edges strapped to boots), with plans to master difficult moves and perhaps train for competitions — even if not the Sochi Olympics — may sound crazy.
By Jeanne Erdmann, Monday, February 10, 11:42 AM - Washingtonpost.com
The better shape you are in when you begin, the easier skating will be, says Kat Arbour, an expert in biomechanics who develops off-ice programs for figure skaters in Boston.
Although most of Arbour’s clients are teens competing at the national and international-levels, she also works with recreational and competitive skaters in the 40-plus set, and has even helped skaters in their 80s. “I worked with them off-ice on balance, strength, flexibility — all great things for their skating and for their quality of life off of the ice,” says Arbour, who recently developed an online training program. Arbour recommends starting with once-a-week sessions and says not to be surprised if your muscles are sore.
As for equipment, forget about the double-runner blades. (“They feel really weird,” Arbour says.) Go with a known boot brand and choose a softer boot to get started. You can switch to a stiff boot once you start increasing your skill level. If you are worried about falls, wear kneepads, wrist guards and a helmet.