Roller skating’s popularity is on the rise according to USA Roller Sports, the National Governing Body for Competitive Roller Sports in the United States. In the past three years, sales of quad skates have risen dramatically. One major contributing factor is increased media exposure in recent years. We have all seen the iPod roller skating commercial or the Diet Coke outdoor skating ad. The younger crowd would probably note the Jessica Simpson music video “A Public Affair” where she spins the rink while not missing one single lip synching cue. In all, the media has brought us a reminder that skating is fun, hip and dare I say glamorous thanks to Jessica?
Roller skating does have a “dirty little secret” that nobody likes to acknowledge. Roller skating is great exercise! I apologize if this ruins roller skating for you. It just had to be said. In a time where we talk about 218 lb. 8 year olds being taken from their parents in the name of child abuse; exercise is critical. I listened to this story as the reporter stated that the boy was too obese to even begin exercising due to the potential impact on his body (joints, cardiovascular, etc.). All I can say is, “Sad!”
Roller skating is ranked among the best aerobic exercises according to the American Heart Association and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Roller skating is a workout that involves almost all of the body’s muscles and in particular the heart. The National Institute for Fitness and Sports claims that roller skating works most of the major muscle groups – glutes, quads (no pun intended), abdomen, calves and arms. The AHA proclaims that roller skating is equivalent to bicycling and jogging as a cardio workout.
As you have been told a million times by “fitness experts”, many people quit their exercise regiment out of boredom. It’s not a lot of fun to exercise by yourself, which is the case with most forms of exercise. Roller skating is a sport where you can find yourself in a group of literally hundreds of people doing the same thing. They are not at the skating rink for exercise; they are there for the fun, music, lights and socializing. However, if you are there with exercise benefits of roller skating in mind, I suggest staying away from the snack bar!
It’s easy to burn an hour roller skating, whether you are at a rink or skating outdoors. Let’s look at what you got out of that hour of fun from an exercise perspective. First, you had a low-impact workout. According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, roller skating causes 50% less impact on your joints than running. In other words, an aerobic roller skating workout has the same benefit as the same amount of time spent jogging without the joint damage.
Second, an average 143 lb. person skating at 10 mph can experience caloric burn of as much as 600 calories in an hour roller skating. Most people average in the 6 mph range and will burn an average of 350 calories or greater.
Lastly, let’s consider the mental benefits. There’s not much scientific data (none that I could find) to support the positive mental benefits of roller skating. I don’t think it takes a multi-million dollar government funded study to recognize the fact that you never see a person roller skating and frowning at the same time. Between the music, lights, social aspect, health benefits and fun; roller skating could simply be the best total body workout there is.
Key benefits of roller skating:
Where and when to roller skate:
How and where to buy roller skates:
I hope that the information in this article has encouraged you to look at roller skating in a whole new way. Roller skating isn’t just for “teens and tweens,” and roller rinks aren’t just a day care for them. Forget about the shag carpet walls, unbearable pop music and making out in the corner. Most roller rinks have moved well beyond that to become family oriented entertainment complexes. Many have playgrounds for toddlers, laser tag, video games and skating sessions aimed at mature crowds. My local rink even has a Monday Madness Dollar Night. My family of four skates for a couple of hours for $4… Wow! Roller skates have come a long way also. They are lighter, faster, more comfortable and it’s now more affordable to own a personal pair. So, consider all the benefits of roller skating and hit your local rink for a few laps of “good-for-you fun”.
© 2007 Planet On Wheels. No part of this article may be reproduced without written consent from Planet On Wheels. Planet On Wheels brought to the roller skating market the most informative, easy to shop web site on the Internet to shop for and buy roller skates. They continue to reinvigorate the industry with cutting edge products from the top manufacturers in the industry. By John Dodson