When you think of roller skating, you might think of someone on roller blades, strolling along the sidewalks and boardwalks near the beaches of California. At least, that’s what we see in movies, right? But in reality, roller skating can be done anywhere, even in your own neighborhood. And the best part of it is, not only is it a fun activity, but it offers plenty of great health benefits for your body.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Easy on the joints: Skating provides you with fluid motion that keeps you from damaging your joints, helping you enjoy movement similar to running to or dancing without the harsh impact. According to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, skating causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to joints compared to running. In other words, an aerobic roller skating workout has the same benefit as the same amount of time spent jogging, only without the joint damage.
- Great as a cross training exercise: Roller skating is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits and caloric consumption, reduction of body fat, and leg strength development. So if you’re an athlete and you’re looking for an activity to keep you in shape during the offseason, pick up a pair of roller skates!
- Calorie burning (fat burning): An average-sized man who weighs around 190 pounds can expect to burn about 10 calories each minute of roller skating, while an average-sized woman weighing 163 pounds can expect to burn about 9 calories per minute. The calorie-burning benefits of roller skating add up quickly; you can burn between 300 and 600 calories if you skate for a full hour.
- Good for mood: Have you ever seen a person roller skating and frowning at the same time? Of course not! Between the music, lights, sunlight, social aspect, health benefits and fun, roller skating is one of the most fun workouts!
- Works the arms and legs: Skating works the legs and glutes as you power through movement, while your arms and core get a workout as you balance your body during the movement. According to GetRolling.com, roller skating helps build strength, especially in the muscles of the lower body. Stronger muscles and better coordination work together to prevent injuries and keep you active and limber as you age.
Great for improving balance, agility and coordination: Roller skating helps improve balance with the strength of abdominal and lower-back muscles, since you must maintain a steady core to stay upright. Coordinating balance and leg movement improves coordination.
- Strengthen the heart: The American Heart Association recognizes roller skating as an effective aerobic exercise that helps strengthen the heart. According to research conducted at the Universitat Konstantx, moderate roller skating increases a skater’s heart rate to levels ranging from 140 to 160 beats per minute, while skating at top speeds can increase heart rate up to around 180 beats per minute.
Improve endurance: In addition to increasing muscle strength, roller skating can help increase muscle endurance. Adding a few uphill climbs to each skating session trains your muscles, along with your cardiovascular system, to use the body’s energy stores more efficiently. This means you can skate longer distances – and do other intense workouts – without becoming exhausted.
- Can be done anywhere: Many people like roller skating in a rink with others, but it can be done outside on the street, on a paved trail, anywhere with a smooth, steady surface.
- Social: Roller-skating is a social activity that can be done with friends. Being social is an important part of health – so next time your friends want to meet up for dinner or drinks, suggest a skate around the rink instead!