Roller skating is a part of popular culture that feels reminiscent of eras past — we think of the 1950s, American diners, and the disco vibes of the 70s. We don’t necessarily think of how beneficial this sport is beyond it’s fun-loving pop culture image. In truth, there’s numerous health benefits to this activity, both for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Roller Skating Benefits
- Strengthen Your Heart
- Fat Burning
- Easy on the Joints
- Improve Balance
- Cross Training Exercise
- Reduce Stress
- Works Arms and Legs
- Social Activity
1. Strengthen Your Heart
Across the globe, an estimated 17 million die from heart disease alone. Exercises, such as roller skating, help to strengthen your heart, which in turn improves overall blood circulation. In fact, roller skating is seen as such a good aerobic workout, that the American Heart Association (aka the AHA) recommends it as a means of improving your heart health.
2. Fat Burning
In addition to benefiting the heart, roller skating also helps burn off those calories, thus allowing you to effectively lose and/or maintain a healthy weight. According to several studies, roller skating is as effective as jogging or other aerobic exercise; if you do one hour of roller skating each week, you can lose between 300-400 calories. The discrepancy in amount is due to numerous factors, such as age, starting weight, sex, and so forth.
3. Easy on the Joints
Joint pain and injury is one of the main reasons why a lot of fitness fans can struggle to maintain regular training. This is because an injury of your knee, for example, will mean you need adequate time out to heal it before returning to your regime. Roller skating, however, is actually a low impact sport, meaning that it is much better for those with sensitive joints. Unlike walking and running, roller skating doesn’t have you pounding the pavement in order to stay fit, and so the strain on your joints is minimal. To compare running and roller skating side by side, roller skating has up to 50% less impact on the joints.
4. Improve Balance
In-keeping with protecting your joints, there’s also the added benefit of improved balance if you roller skate. Yes, you may fall over from time to time whilst learning to roller skate well, however the end result will be improved core strength and thus, better balance. Due to muscles you use while roller skating, your core becomes stronger because your lower back and stomach muscles have to contract and roll with the movement of your body. This is not only so you can remain upright, but also so you can roller skate with more fluidity of movement. By continuously straining these muscles through roller skating, you will naturally improve your posture.
5. Cross Training Exercise
Roller skating doesn’t have to be your only form of exercise. In fact, many athletes use it in combination with other forms of fitness in order to create a cross training regime. For example, if you’re someone who only runs three times a week, on every other day you could roller skate in order to give your body a different type of workout. Alternatively, if you’re someone who only weight trains and want to introduce a total body workout, roller skating would be a good means of achieving this.
6. Reduce Stress
Exercise is known to release endorphins, which are often referred to as the “happy hormone”. When endorphins are released, so too is more serotonin, which again is vital in helping improve our moods and mental health. Roller skating is a fantastic means of releasing these hormones, especially because it’s often a social activity in which you can be among friends. Of course, roller skating won’t eradicate depression or other mental health issues, but it can definitely help alleviate stress and lower anxiety.
7. Works Arms and Legs
Due to its effectiveness as a total body workout, roller skating has the extra perk of working your arms and legs, thus resulting in more muscle definition and toning. This is because of the way you have to flex and hold certain muscles while skating. As a result, the more often you roller skate, the more your arm and leg muscles, as well as other areas, such as your abdomen, will begin to become more defined and toned. By strengthening and toning those muscles, you’ll improve your coordination and balance, which should result in less injuries.
8. Social Activity
Regardless of whether you see yourself as an introvert or extrovert, socialising is hugely beneficial to our mental health. Roller skating allows you to combine a workout with socialising, which will result in a major mood boost whenever you workout. What is more, it’ll also give you a stable support network for when you lack motivation or need extra encouragement. If, however, you prefer to skate solo more often than not, simply by visiting a local rink you’ll put yourself in a social situation which will help improve your mood without overextending your social metre.
When you look at roller skating beyond its popular image, it becomes clear that it’s a fun and incredibly beneficial way of improving your physical and mental health.
Not only does it get you moving all of your body and working neglected muscle groups, but it also encourages you to socialise more. If you’re looking to work on yourself, be that physically and/or mentally, roller skating is a great way of keeping yourself in good shape. Even more so if you don’t like the idea of hitting a gym or doing more conventional forms of exercise.