Friday, January 28, 2011

Get Fit - Outdoor Ice Skating

Inspired by the recent wintery weather, the GWG decided to try ice skating as a fun and festive physical activity. We’d heard about Winterfest in Raleigh—an outdoor natural ice rink located in City Plaza—and made the trip to check it out.

The location in the middle of downtown Raleigh provides a nice backdrop and is convenient to local shops and restaurants—however, the rink is surrounded by construction on two sides. Let us also warn you, this is no Rockefeller Center—we were both surprised by the small size of the skating area.

We arrived around lunchtime and joined a small crowd of families enjoying a leisurely ride around the rink—a couple of people challenged each other to races while others were still working on their balance. Pop music playing over speakers added to the enjoyment as we circled the rink for about an hour.
Because of the small size of the rink and its patchy condition, it was a little hard to get our speed up but we did start to warm up after several laps. Using an online calorie calculator, we estimate that based on our size we each burned about 250-300 calories.

Once we’d had our fill of going around in circles, we decided to warm up and headed across the street to Starbucks. Keeping with our new healthy theme, we each selected lighter beverages—one a tall Skinny Vanilla Latte (90 calories) and the other a grande Chai Tea Latte (240 calories). It may have cancelled out our exercise, but it was a nice way to wrap up our chilly afternoon activity.
If you’d like to try out Raleigh’s own outdoor ice skating rink, this season’s schedule ends after this weekend. The cost is $8.00 per person and includes skate rental.

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