Getting fit with Curling: start a new routine with a centuries-old sport

Reported by: Melissa Carlson
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Updated: 5/15/2014 11:03 am
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Granite, ice, and speed. These are all words commonly associated with Lake Tahoe, and with the sports here. But in this case, it may not be what you think.

We're talking about curling.

Lake Tahoe Epic Curling gathers here at South Lake Tahoe's Ice Arena to partake in this traditional Scottish sport, one that has been around for more than 450 years. It's a sport that finds pride in simplicity. Larry Sidney explains it well.

"You have sixteen stones [total], eight per team. Two teams are trying to get their stones as close as they can to the center of the rings, which [is] called the house."

The first part of the workout is "set in stone." First, you have to get a 40-pound granite stone to move, all while balancing on one foot, not to mention while sliding on ice. It is a formidable task. Larry tried his best to show me the way.

Apparently, my body would prefer the plank position, much to my chagrin. But, after a few more attempts -- balance, push, lunge -- I eventually get it. Olympics, here I come.

I may not be a professional, but I didn't crack my skull open -- which is a plus. For fellow curling newbie Katherine Elliot, that was one of her top concerns when she first began the sport.

"Coming from someone who is not super graceful, I thought, you know, sliding around on the ice sounds like a great way to get hurt and injured; but it was super fun and very easy to pick up."

Keep in mind, throwing the stone is only the half of it. "Cleaning up" in a game like this requires a lot of sweeping, of course -- the more mysterious part of the sport. What exactly is it for? Curlers sweep the ice to smooth it and help the stone move faster toward its target, the house. It seems easy enough. Larry first taught me how not to fall; then, it was time to sweep.

At this point, I -- like you -- was wondering: is this really a workout?

For Juliana Macan, it's not a question.

"Definitely; after the first week I tried it, my arms were really sore and my chest was sore."

From the leg workout in the push and lunge to the core strength and balance required for sweeping (not to mention the arm workout) any curler -- whether beginner or advanced -- can expect to sweat. Curling proves the ice is certainly a place that can bring the heat.

If you're looking to knock the cobwebs out of your fitness routine and get a great workout while having fun, consider curling.

"Not everyday is a great ski day, and not every day is a great day on the lake," adds Sidney. But conditions are always perfect in the rink.

Get more info on Lake Tahoe Epic Curling by visiting their website.
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