When you think of fitness and getting in shape, your mind probably almost immediately wanders to the well-known methods of weight loss. Going to the gym, walking, swimming, running, cycling, and yoga are most likely to be the things to come to mind.
Is Roller Skating Good Exercise?
However, one popular sport to lose weight and get fitness levels up is often overlooked, and that’s roller skating.
Yes, that’s right; the sport that you usually associate with rolling down the palm-lined boulevards of LA and Florida can help you get fit today.
There are so many health benefits of rollerblading and roller skating it will surprise you. The extra-added bonus is that popular roller sports such as recreational inline skating, roller derby and speed skating are also fun!
So it’s totally feasible for you to get fit roller skating or rollerblading and lose weight. Now you can kill two birds with one stone – roller skate to get fit and have fun while you do it.
I love anything related to roller skating and rollerblading, and the health benefits of skating is the cherry on the top.
Here are 10 benefits of skating and reasons why you should take up roller skating, rollerblading or inline skating to get fit.
Listen to the 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Roller Skating Podcast Episode:
1. Roller Skating Burns Calories
It’s a well-known fact that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume everyday. In other words, you need a negative calorie deficit to drop the pounds.
There are plenty of ways that people try and lose weight, but if you’re serious about losing weight, you need to be sensible.
Walking and running are great ways to burn calories, but let’s face it these aren’t always fun ways to get fit. If you’re not a runner, it’s going to be a chore, and the novelty is soon going to wear off.
Skating for weight loss on the other hand can just mean putting on your roller skates and going for a leisurely skate in the park.
Both indoor and outdoor roller skating are great ways to burn calories. Whether you use indoor or outdoor roller skates, skating is a cardiovascular activity. It gets the heart working harder, it works up a sweat, and if you skate regularly and follow a healthy diet, you’ll soon see the fat melt away.
Skating to lose weight is an effective method of getting healthy. No matter what kind of skating you do, you’re still going to burn calories.
How Many Calories Does Roller Skating Burn?
A leisurely 30-minute roller skating session down the boulevard is going to burn 250 calories!
So, if you do the math skating for 30 minutes five times a week will burn approximately 1250 calories. This together with a sensible reduced diet will help you lose one pound a week.
Of course your weight influences the amount of calories burned in an hour from skating. If two people of different weights skate at the same speed for the same distance and on the same terrain, the one who weighs more is going to burn more calories roller skating – this is the same for every type of exercise, not just roller skating for fitness.
As well as your weight, the type of skating you do will also determine the calories burned skating.
Fitness Magazine carried out a study on different people of different weights who use roller skates and rollerblades for exercise. According to them, a person who weighs 150lbs will burn 482 calories every hour when quad skating.
But did you know that calories burned rollerblading or skating wearing inline skates is even more? That same person, who weighs 150lbs, burns around 600 calories per hour rollerblading. I guess it’s all of that extra balancing on a single roller blade of wheels that accounts for it.
For a more detailed breakdown on the different types of skates, check out my Comparing Rollerblades vs. Roller Skates vs. Inline Skates article.
2. Build Muscle Definition From Roller Skating
Not only will you drop a number of pounds over a 3-month period if you roller skate for weight loss, you’ll also be able to tone up and build more muscle definition skating as well.
Every time you go out roller skating you’ll notice an increase in muscle definition. Skating is a cardio exercise, but it’s so much more. Roller sports help flex and firm up a number of areas including your abs, glutes, thighs, and also calves.
Your glutes are the scientific term for your butt, and this is the area that gets the best workout. A person’s glutes is actually made up of three different muscles: gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Every time you skate, you twist, turn and bend as you navigate turns and corners, and it is these actions that really engage your backside, making it firm, pert and well defined.
If you’ve endured an intense skate session, you’ll feel a number of areas of your body no matter how fit you are. Your quads, hamstrings, and thighs will all feel the burn from moving your legs forwards and backwards. The first parts of your body you’re likely to see tone up is your calves. Getting toned calves from skating is normal as it is this area of the body that sees a lot of the action – they help stabilize the Achilles tendon, which supports the ankle as it works extra hard while you’re doing your roller skating or rollerblading workout.
If you’re carrying excess weight, it will obviously take a bit more time to notice muscle definition from rollerblading and skating, but as soon as you do manage to drop some pounds and lose the excess weight, you’ll notice that you look significantly leaner and toned. Who would have ever thought that the best way to tone up is by skating?
3. Improve Your Balance Roller Skating
Some people have natural balance, but for many this is not something that comes naturally. Your balance can affect how you walk and how you do certain sports and activities. Having good balance is important; it reduces the amount of energy you expend when doing regular activities like walking or even sitting, and it also helps reduce fatigue. And because balance in skating is necessary to successfully roller skate, you’ll soon learn the necessary roller skating tricks and techniques to improve it.
Roller skating improves your balance thanks to the muscles used during roller skating. Improve your balance roller skating as you use your lower-back and abdominal muscles to roll forwards and backwards. Skating requires you to keep a steady core in order to remain upright, which is the perfect recipe if you’re looking to achieve better balance.
4. Roller Skating For Better Heart Health
Heart disease is prevalent. It’s also the leading cause of premature death in the USA. Heart disease, which includes heart attacks, strokes, and other related cardiovascular diseases, is a killer, and according to the National Heart Foundation approximately 787,000 people die from heart disease in the USA alone – this is a shocking statistic, and thanks to the everyday stressors we endure, it’s on the increase at alarming rates.i
Roller skating, inline skating and rollerblading strengthen the heart, and The American Heart Association has deemed roller sports as an effective form of aerobic exercise. Moderate roller skating and rollerblading will increase the average skater’s heart rate from 140-160 beats a minute. And if you’re the more daring type and like to strap on a pair of roller derby skates, speed skates or inline hockey skates and play a roller sport, you can increase your heart rate dramatically up to about 180 beats a minute.
5. Defeat Diabetes Roller Skating
Diabetes is on the rise, and it’s almost as common as heart disease. But it’s all interrelated. Unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles, being overweight, and a lack of aerobic exercise often trigger type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association recommends two main types of physical activity to manage and prevent diabetes – strength training and aerobic exercise, both of which are already two health benefits of roller skating and rollerblading. Therefore, with these things in mind, you can effectively control diabetes roller skating.
Roller skating is an excellent example of an aerobic exercise, and the aerobic exercise from skating helps your body use and control your insulin better. Roller skating strengthens the heart and bones, relieves stress, lowers blood glucose levels, and improves cholesterol levels. All of these factors influence diabetes, so in effect, you could roller skate to control diabetes or perhaps even prevent it.
Doctors recommend diabetes patients and those deemed “at risk” to aim for about 30-minutes of light-to-moderate aerobic exercise 5 days a week. If you really want to take control of your diabetes roller skating, skate more than the recommended 5 times a week. It’s really important that you keep your roller skating regular and don’t allow two or more days to pass without your skating workout to get healthy.
6. Strength Training Benefits Of Roller Skating – Get More Body Power
Another great health benefit of roller skating is that it helps build strength. This is especially true in building muscle and lower body strength. Strength training, which is also known as resistance training, is also another way of controlling diabetes. However, strength training shouldn’t just be limited to disease, you should always want to make your body stronger. A strong body not only fights off disease through building up a strong immune system it also reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures in your later years.
An advantage of roller skating is it’s a whole body workout, but there are of course some areas and muscle groups that get more of a workout roller skating. Your improved body strength from skating will also improve your skating coordination, help you prevent roller skating injuries, and also help keep you more active and lithe as you get older.
7. Go Harder For Longer – Endurance Roller Skating
Another health benefit of rollerblading and roller skating is that skating improves muscular endurance. We’ve already learned that roller skating increases strength but with this also comes a huge boost in muscular endurance, meaning you’ll be able to go harder for longer. All of a sudden you’ll be able to roller skate for longer, run further without stopping, and do other exercises for an extended period of time.
As an endurance-building sport, inline skating is one of the most advantageous forms of exercise, especially when it comes to muscle development. Skating builds muscles like nobody’s business, even more so than your standard forms of exercise such as running and cycling. If you go back in time and remember what your fitness and endurance levels were like before you took up roller skating as a hobby and compare them to now, you’ll notice a huge difference. So, it’s fair to say skating and endurance go hand in hand.
8. Prevent Injuries Roller Skating
Roller skating is one of the best forms of exercise. Forget what they say about running and walking for exercise, roller skating is much safer. We’re not referring to the falls or scrapes to the knees you might get from roller skating (that’s what skating knee pads and elbow pads are for), we’re referring to the typical muscle and joint injuries from sports.
Running and walking wreck havoc on the joints, especially the knees, and if you’re not careful, you might cause yourself a permanent injury from sport. This is where roller skating is different. All disciplines of skating are low-impact sports.
Why is roller skating so easy on the joints? When you roller skate, there’s a fluid motion; there are no jerky movements like in running, walking, aerobics, and dancing. Thanks to this fluid movement in roller skating and inline skating, you’re less likely to endure joint damage skating. So in short, you’ll still be able to enjoy the same results that running and dancing on the body have, but without the harsh impact.
According to university studies, the impact skating has on the joints compared to other higher-impact sports like running was 50 percent less. So, in short, roller skating is an aerobic workout just as worthy as other forms of aerobic exercise, but without the associated joint damage.
9. Roller Skating Makes You Happy
There are obvious physical health benefits of roller skating, but there are also mental health benefits of roller sports as well. Roller skating clears the mind, minimizes mild forms of depression, and it just makes you happy.
Roller skating reduces bad hormones and while it does this, it increases the good endorphins, which are commonly known as the ‘happy hormones’.
The endorphins from roller sports relieve ‘brain pain’, and thanks to the extended aerobic workout from roller skating you’ll feel naturally good. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the good endorphins from skating, as these will improve your concentration levels and allow you to hone in on your basic skating techniques. So not only does roller skating make you happy you’ll also be able improve your roller skating and inline skating techniques. So, essentially you can regulate your mood roller skating. And if you like to roller skate in a group of friends, you’ll have even more fun, because roller sports are great group activities.
10. Live A Stress-Free Life Thanks To Your Roll
Stress is synonymous with everyday modern life. Almost every person you speak to is stressed out about something or someone. It doesn’t matter whether they’re stressed about their health, work, family, personal relationships, or money, stress can be very dangerous, and if it isn’t reduced and controlled, it can lead to more serious results, namely death.
It is absolutely essential to try and reduce your stress levels, and skating minimizes stress. Many people who’ve never done any kind of roller skating, view it as a tiring sport. Yes, roller skating and rollerblading can definitely knock the wind out of you, but you can also roller skate peacefully as well.
If you’re in need of some much-needed quiet time, skating is a relaxing activity. Choose a peaceful scenic location that’s ideal for roller skating, and take advantage of the moment focusing on your surroundings, breathing and fresh air.
Doctors suggest taking up sport or new activities to reduce stress, and this is great advice. But there’s no point in doing an activity you hate such as walking or jogging; this is likely to exasperate your stress levels even more, which is why you need to do a fun activity to reduce stress such as roller skating.
The fitness benefits of skating are simply mind-blowing. If you’ve been contemplating taking up a roller sport for fitness, roller skating and rollerblading workouts are some of the best kinds of workouts you can do. Now you can have fun and get fit skating and forget about all your worries. So, if you haven’t already started skating, now’s the time!
Ready to Get Skating?
If you are a brand new skater and want to give it a try, check out my Roller Skates for Beginners and Rollerblades for Beginners pages. I also have pages for How to Roller Skate and How to Rollerblade to help you get started.
Most importantly, get out there and skate! You can do it!