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Roller Skating Health Benefits – 017

On this week’s episode, I talk all about the health benefits of roller skating.

In today’s episode, I cover:

  • One of the more popular articles on the Roller Skate Dad blog – 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Roller Skating
  • A summary of a few health-based roller skating articles from the RSA, Health Fitness Revolution and the Chron.
  • Answering age old, important questions like, will roller skating help make my butt bigger? 🙂
  • And, much, much more.

Show Notes

Here are links I discuss in the show.

Episode 17 Transcript

Jeff [00:02]: Hey everybody welcome to the Roller Skate Dad podcast. This is episode number 17. Let’s get started.

Announcer: Welcome to the Roller Skate Dad podcast. The show that covers everything and anything in the wonderful world of roller skating. Now here’s your host the Roller Skate Dad himself, Jeff Stone.

Jeff [00:36]: Hey everybody I want to welcome you guys to the Roller Skate Dad podcast. Thank you guys so much for being here. In today’s episode we’re going to be talking about all the amazing health benefits that there are to roller skating. So, today’s episode is all about how roller skating is good for us from a health perspective. So, in today’s episode I’m going to be going over my article, the ten amazing health benefits of roller skating and I’m also going to be pulling in a few other articles as references to give you more information about why roller skating is such a good activity to keep you fit and to keep you healthy. So, let’s get started.

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Jeff [01:18]: First roller skating burns calories. I mean just like any other exercise out there you’ve got to lose more calories than you take in, in order to lose weight. So, one of the best things about roller skating and one of its many health benefits is that it really burns calories and of course exercises like walking and running and lifting weights, you know swimming, biking all those things are also great ways to lose weight. But me personally I just don’t think there is much fun. I have way more fun putting on my headphones, strapping on my skates and going to skate at a local rink or just skating outdoors on a nice day. You know skating also can be a really great cardiovascular exercise. You know especially once you get speed up and you’re really going at a good clip for a long period of time, you get your heart rate up and it really helps you to burn those calories if you can constantly stay either on the floor or outside going at a consistent pace. A number of the different articles that I’ve looked at out there from nutritionists as well as exercise coaches are that a typical you know 150 pound person can easily burn 250 to 350 calories with just a one-hour workout doing roller skating and that’s at a really pretty moderate pace. If you can get your speed up to about 10 miles per hour on quad skates, which isn’t really too hard to get up to that speed you can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. Which isn’t too bad. According to some of the research that’s out there, they actually provide stats showing that you can actually burn even more calories if you’re rollerblading or inline skating vs. Quad skating. A hundred and fifty pound person exercising for about an hour can actually burn up to 600 calories per hour rollerblading as opposed to 480 calories quad skating. I guess all that extra balance you need for doing rollerblading really helps burn the extra calories. So, if you’re really looking to try to lose some weight roller skating is a great exercise. Highly recommend it. It’s both great physically as well as mentally, plus it’s just fun.

Jeff [03:32]: Okay let’s move on to tip number two. You can also build a whole lot of muscle definition by roller skating. So not only will you get a lot of weight loss by roller skating consistently every week, roller skating really helps to flex and firm up a number of areas including your abs, your glutes, thighs and also your calves as well. So, your glutes are you know the scientific term for your butt and this is the area that gets a really great workout and so a person’s glutes is actually made up of three different muscles. You have the gluteus maximus, the Medius and the minimus and all three of these areas really get a great workout when you’re skating. If you’ve been skating for a long period of time during a particular day, it’s actually pretty easy the next day especially as you get older to feel it in your glutes as well as in your quads, your hamstrings and your calves. I know for me personally after a long session the day before, I’ll wake up the next morning being a little bit sore and so just having some good stretching, doing a little bit of yoga is a great way to keep limber and loose. You know skating also really helps to tone your calves and this is a really heavily used area of your leg when you’re skating and so skating also really helps to stabilize the Achilles tendon. Because it supports the ankle and it gets extra or hard work when you’re skating you know with all the balance that you’re trying to do as well. So, while skating may be great for calorie burning, it also is great for muscle definition as well.

Jeff [05:05]: Benefit number three is all-around balance and this is actually one of my favorites. I really feel like roller skating gives you excellent balance and some of us have better balance than others. You know it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, roller skating can really help improve your balance whether you have good balance right now or not. You know as we get older balances of really important thing just so that we can continue to walk and run and play other sports and do other kinds of activities. So constantly working on balance through roller skating is a great way to stay physically active as you age. Having good balance is also important because it reduces the amount of energy that you expend when you’re doing regular activities, like walking or even sitting and it also helps to reduce fatigue. If you go back to episode 14 of the podcast, it’s an ask dad episode I answer a question from one of the listeners about how to improve your balance and in that episode I give several exercises and different tips that you can do on the floor to improve your balance each time you go out to roller-skate. So, if you haven’t listened to that episode you can check it out over at www.rollerskatedad.com/14. Finally, roller skating really helps to also build your core muscles and that also helps you with balance. So, lots of great benefits of roller skating and improved balance is definitely one of them.

Jeff [06:40]: Benefit number four is all about how roller skating is better for your heart health. So, heart disease is really prevalent especially here in the united states and it leads to a lot of premature death and things like strokes and heart attacks and other related cardiovascular diseases are you know killers and according to the national heart foundation, there is approximately seven hundred and eighty-seven thousand people that die every year in the us alone from these ailments. You know I think that’s a pretty shocking statistic. But you know thanks to everyday exercise like roller skating you can really help to reduce that chance of getting one of those diseases. Regular physical exercise helps strengthen the heart and it helps reduce all of those diseases that we just talked about. The American heart association for one has deemed roller sports as an effective form of aerobic exercise and moderate roller skating and rollerblading will increase the average skaters heart rate from 140 to 160 beats a minute and if you’re the more daring type or you participate in like more energetic forms of skating like speed skating or a roller derby or you just like to go faster in session for a long period of time, you can increase your heart rate dramatically even up to 180 beats per minute and getting that heart rate up to that higher peak range and being able to sustain it really helps to strengthen your heart and your cardiovascular system.

Jeff [08:17]: Health benefit number five is helping to prevent diabetes by roller skating. You know diabetes is on the rise and unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, lack of aerobic exercise all of these things can trigger type 2 diabetes. The American diabetes association recommends two main types of physical activity to manage and prevent diabetes. Number one strength training and number two aerobic exercise and as we just talked about both of these are already two great health benefits of roller skating and rollerblading. So, it’s not a stretch to say that with these things in mind you can effectively help limit or reduce your chance of getting diabetes by roller skating regularly. Aerobic exercises help your body use and control your insulin better and they also strengthen the heart and the bones, and they relieve stress. They lower blood glucose levels and they improve your cholesterol levels as well and all of these factors influence diabetes. So, in effect you could roller skate to control diabetes or perhaps even prevent it. According to the American diabetes association and other doctors’ reports, they really recommend that patients get at least thirty minutes of light to moderate exercise five days a week to help reduce the risk. How awesome is that? You get to reduce the chance of getting diabetes and heart disease and all these other horrible things and you get to have fun at the same time. It’s kind of a no-brainer, why wouldn’t you want to roller-skate all the time?

Jeff [09:53]: All right let’s move on to benefit number six. When your roller skating you’re also strength training. By roller skating you’re really giving your body more power and you’re helping your body to build strength. This is especially true in building muscle and lower body strength. But roller skating is really about not just helping to fight disease and make you healthier. It’s also to make your body stronger. Having a strong body not only fights off disease through building up a strong immune system, but it also reduces your risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures as you get older as we talked about in benefit number two, the biggest areas of your body where you’ll gain strength are going to be in your legs, your ankles, your gluteus maximus and in your core to name just a few.

Jeff [10:46]: Let’s move on to benefit number seven. Roller skating regularly helps you build up your endurance, so you can do all kinds of activities at a harder rate and for a longer period of time without getting tired. To any of you out there that do any other kind of activity or maybe you’ve been roller skating for a really long period of time, you know this is true. The more you roller skate the easier it is to stay out on the floor or outside and roller skate for longer periods of time. Just like a runner who runs every day can run more and more and harder and harder and faster and faster for an extended period of time. I find this myself when I don’t go roller skating for maybe a couple of months, it’s only happened a few times in the last couple of years; but it has happened after injuries and usually when I get back to roller skating after being gone for a couple of months, it takes me a couple of weeks before I actually start to get some of that endurance back and so I find myself during sessions having to sit more because I’m tired and so going regularly and getting regular exercise often is a great way to keep your endurance up, so that you can enjoy roller skating for a longer period of time without having to stop. If you’re a speed skater or a roller derby player or you compete in some way on roller skates, then this is a really important tip for you. Because without endurance you can’t actually stay out on the rink floor for an extended period of time and if you can’t do that, you’re not going to win very many bouts or you’re not going to win very many speed skate races.

Jeff [12:23]: Benefit number eight is actually going to be probably a surprising one for some of you. Prevent injuries roller skating. I know what you’re thinking, wait prevent injuries roller skating? I thought more people got injured because they were roller skating as opposed to walking or running and for some people out there that may be true. However, if you have enough experience and you’ve been doing it for long enough, you don’t fall that often. Plus, roller skating has been shown to be kinder to both your muscles as well as your joints compared to other sports like running. According to a study that was conducted at the university of Massachusetts, inline skating causes less than 50% of the impact shock to your joints compared to running. So that’s what I mean when I say it actually helps you prevent injuries roller skating versus running and as someone who’s runs some five k’s and actually trained for marathons before I can say roller skating is way more fun than running.

Jeff [13:27]: All right let’s move on to benefit number nine. This one’s my favorite. Roller skating makes you happy. I certainly know this is true for me. I mean it’s one of the things that I look forward to doing every week and on the weeks that I don’t get to go, I’ve found that I’m not as happy as I am on the weeks where I do get to go. So, if roller skating makes you happy you should do it more. Seriously though there are mental health benefits from doing all kinds of different roller sports and I mean this is really true of any aerobic activity. But I think it’s especially true of roller skating, because it’s so much fun. Some of those benefits include you know a clear mind and minimizing mild forms of depression and again it just makes you happy. After a good 4-5 hour session of roller skating usually with one of my daughters, I often feel like I am on a high. I just feel naturally good after having a long extended skate session. I just find to keep my mental health in check and to have a good time in life that I need exercise on a regular basis and I personally don’t like running on treadmills and I really don’t even like lifting weights. But I do like to do activities like roller skating and so roller skating makes me happy, because exercise makes me happy. However, because it doesn’t feel like exercise, it makes me happier to roller skate than it does anything else. Because it’s just enjoyable and I’m getting exercise at the same time. It’s a win-win.

Jeff [15:01]: Lastly benefit number 10 really goes with number 9. You can live a much more stress-free life by roller skating. You know everybody out there listening to me is stressed out by something. You know the job, your spouse, your kids, money, health and there’s been lots of studies out there that show that stress is really dangerous and if it is introduced or controlled, it can lead to some really serious health consequences. Not to mention its just kind of pushing up and mood, at least it does for me. So, I think it’s absolutely essential that you reduce your stress levels and for me skating minimizes my stress throughout the week. On those days when I just want to be alone, I can go to my local rink and I can actually put my headphones on. I’ve got some really great noise cancelling headphones. I put those on, I turn on some music and I don’t hear anything around me. If I really want to be secluded then I’ll go outdoors, I’ll put on my outdoor wheels and I’ll go outside, and I’ll skate in a local park and usually when nobody else is out there, so that I can just be alone and enjoy the outdoors. But it’s a great way to relieve stress, to forget about whatever it is that’s troubling you and to just enjoy yourself. Doctors and health experts out there always tell us that we need to exercise to reduce our stress and to live a happy and healthy life. But if you don’t like to exercise, if you don’t like running, if you don’t like jogging on a treadmill, if you don’t like lifting weights then you need to find other activities that you can do that can actually get you the exercise that you need without feeling like you’re exercising and so for some people maybe that’s cycling or maybe it’s swimming or maybe it’s playing tennis or playing basketball; all those things are great activities. But for me I find that I lose track of time and I have the most fun when I’m out roller skating and it’s just a great way to get awesome exercise and not feel like you’re actually exercising and so because you’re doing that, you’re much more likely to continue that activity. Because it doesn’t feel like a chore. It doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun and because it’s fun you want to keep doing it.

Jeff [17:25]: So that’s a summary of all the benefits that I captured in an article on my website called the ten amazing health benefits of roller skating. I hope you enjoyed it. I just wanted to share that with you. Because I thought it was one of the topics we haven’t really talked about since I started the podcast and I thought now was a great time for us to cover it.

Jeff [17:45]: So, let me share with you a few other things that I found during my research online about benefits of roller skating. There’s not a ton out there. But there’s a few decent articles out there. One of them actually came from the roller skating association; RSA and they have a really nice infographic actually and I have that embedded in my article, so you can check that out if you go to www.rollerskatedad.com. But one of the things that is in their article that I found actually quite interesting was there is a dr. Karl foster who was associate professor of medicine at the university of Wisconsin medical school and dr. Foster says that inline skating as a form of exercise is as beneficial as running or cycling. So, there you go how about that? Also, from that same article they talk about how roller skating is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits and caloric consumption and in reduction of body fat and in leg strength development. So, if you don’t like to run or you don’t like the jog, or you don’t like the bike, or you don’t like to swim, then give roller skating a try. You just need to do it consistently and regularly to get the benefits that we just discussed. Another great stat from that infographic and an article is that you are 400% more likely to get an injury playing basketball versus roller skating, how about that?

Jeff [19:18]: The RSA infographic also says that roller skating is two times safer than just playing outside in a jungle gym, three times safer than playing football, four times safer than playing basketball and five times safer than cycling. I found another article online called the top ten health benefits of roller skating. It was by a website called health fitness revolution and one of the things it talks about is it says that an average-sized man who weighs around 190 pounds, which is close to what I weigh can expect to burn about 10 calories for each minute of roller skating. While an average-sized woman who weigh 160 pounds can expect to burn about nine calories per minute. It also says that the calorie-burning benefits of roller skating can add up quickly and that you can burn anywhere between 300 and 600 calories if you skate for a full hour. My last two articles are from a sister site of the Houston chronicle and the first one is entitled does roller skating burn belly fat and one of the things they talked about in there are the different calorie burns based on an hour’s worth of roller skating. They claim one hundred and sixty pound person can burn about 548 calories whereas a 200-pound person will burn about 683 calories and a 240 pound person can burn 818 calories all in an hour of roller skating.

Jeff [20:47]: But they also talk about how you can’t really target belly fat directly and then it’s not just that easy to just say oh if your roller skate or you run, or you exercise you’re going to be able to reduce your belly fat. They say according to the American council on exercise as you lower your overall body fat percentage, you’ll notice changes everywhere. They state how abdominal exercises such as crunches, and sit-ups aren’t going to impact the fat that you have around the tummy. But if you simultaneously incorporate them into your regimen with your roller skating sessions, the muscle tone you develop will become more noticeable once you lose the fat in that area and as many of us who are getting older can tell you it really doesn’t seem to matter often about how much exercise you get. If you really want a lesson your body fat especially around your abdomen, it really has a lot to do with nutrition and so this article goes into you know your typical nutrition article which talks about how you got a closely watch what you eat and drink if you want to lose body fat around your stomach. But it does talk about how roller skating can actually be one of those exercises to help you burn the calories that you need to actually lose weight all across your body.

Jeff [22:07]: The last article is from the Houston chronicle and I included it just because it actually made me laugh when I saw it and it said does roller skating make your butt bigger? Oh, that’s so awesome. Does roller skating make your butt bigger? So, I’m finally done laughing. This article really talks a lot about the muscles that are involved when your roller skate and it talks about how the primary muscles that are involved when your roller skate are your hip, abductors, the quadriceps, your hamstrings shins and calf muscles and that your secondary muscles that are worked are your erector spinae in the back. I don’t think I’m pronouncing that right. Abdominals and obliques and it works especially well in building muscles in you rear-end. Because the movement targets mostly your hip abduction muscles, which are made of the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus Medius. These muscles are also known as your butt muscles. So, this article then goes into some of the science behind skating and it talks about how when you’re skating from side to side you are actually involving your hip joints at different various angles and how the hip abduction muscles are the ones that move the legs towards and away from the body. So those get a pretty good workout too. Skating is done as you push yourself forward and so the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings work together to help push you forward and give you that momentum and you also then have side to side motion as well when you’re skating and so this also uses the gluteus Medius and the gluteus minimus. All kinds of great Latin terms in this episode.

Jeff [23:52]: So, the article goes on and the best subheading next to the headline of this is to build a butt and it talks a lot about how roller skating does help you tone and lift your butt and it does caution that you know the size of the butt varies between individuals depending on factors such as bone structure and genetics. But having these muscles well-built and lifted may give you the appearance of a bigger and more aesthetically pleasing bottom. So, there you have it, roller skating can give you a big butt. That’s why you’d want a roller skate right? The internet is an amazing place isn’t it? Anyways I thought you guys would enjoy that. It made me laugh. I always like doing research and seeing what’s out there and I think it’s funny that somebody took the time to actually write an article about how roller skating can make your butt bigger. With that said if you really want some exercises that will help tone your legs and help you to really get into good skating shape, go back to episode 14 and listen to it and I have a series of tips in there that talk about how to achieve better balance. But in that particular episode and in that particular section about balance I also talked about some of the exercises that we do when we do speed skating at my local rink and so these are from speed skate practice and they involve a lot of standing on one foot and doing crossovers and standing on one foot and extending the crossovers and keeping them held around corners and also doing things like squats and time squats. These are the kinds of things that will really help build up the muscles and the definition in your legs and it really just is like any other exercise. If you’re only roller skating once a week, you’re not going to see a ton a muscle definition from roller skating. If you’re roller skating three four or five times a week, you’re going to see a whole lot more muscle definition from doing this and also endurance and skill and everything else that goes along with doing something frequently. The more frequently you do something the better you get at it. It’s pretty simple.

Jeff [26:10]: So, if you want to be a better roller skates, you got a roller skate more and I have to admit when I started this episode I didn’t think it would be this long. But here we are. So, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I certainly had a lot of fun both researching it and summarizing everything for you guys out there. If you want to learn more about this episode or you want to get a transcript or leave me a comment or check out the links for this particular episode, go check out the show notes. You can get to the show notes for this episode by going to www.rollerskatedad.com/17. If you’ve been listening to the Roller Skate Dad podcast, you know here at the end I always ask you for a rating and a review on your favorite podcasting platform. Downloads, ratings and reviews or how podcasts get ranked on many of the platforms. So, if you’d like to help the Roller Skate Dad podcast out, I’d really appreciate a rating and a review wherever you listen and thank you. If you’re not a member of the Roller Skate Dad club you’re going to want to join. Sign up is fast and easy. All it takes is your name and your email address and you’re in. The Roller Skate Dad club is a great way to stay in touch with me, stay up-to-date on what’s going on with the show as well as the www.rollerskatedad.com website. Plus, you get easy access into every monthly contest where I give away free roller skating gear. Head on over to www.rollerskatedad.com to join the skate club today. Alright everybody that’s another episode in the books. I want to thank you guys so much for being here and until next week get on out there and skate.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to the Roller Skate Dad podcast at www.rollerskatedad.com. If you liked what you heard today please be sure to subscribe, rate and review the podcast on apple podcasts, Spotify, google or where ever you are listening.


Wrapping Up

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Did you like what you heard? Do you want to hear more? Check out these additional episodes:

Want to Learn More About Skating?

Want more reviews on roller skates? Check out my Best Roller Skates page for a list of all of the quad roller skates I recommend. I also have pages for roller skates for menroller skates for women and roller skates for kids where I recommend the best skates on the market today. Or, check out my roller skates for beginners if you are completely new to roller skating.

Or, if rollerblades or inline skates are more your style, then check out my rollerblades for menrollerblades for women or rollerblades for kids pages. Or, if you are completely new, check out my rollerblades for beginners page.

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Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone started the website RollerSkateDad.com back in 2015. The site specializes in roller skate reviews and advice about skates and all things roller skating. When Jeff isn't skating with his two daughters Lily and Violet, he enjoys writing code, cooking, watching movies and hanging out with his wife Claire and their german shepherd, Electra.

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