In the busy-ness of youth sports–club travel and school teams–there is one form of exercise that seems to be forgotten. Has the roller skating craze has been left in the ’70s?
Apparently not, says USA Roller Sports, the National Governing Body for Competitive Roller Sports in the United States. In the past three years, sales of quad skates (the four-wheeled turning roller skate) have risen dramatically.
Many roller rinks have become family-friendly entertainment complexes. Some offer playgrounds for toddlers, laser tag, video games and skating sessions aimed at mature crowds.
So if you’re looking for another way to exercise with your family, here are 10 reasons why you and your kids should strap on the skates:
1. Roller skating is ranked among the best aerobic exercises according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. It uses almost all of the body’s muscles–glutes, quads, abdomen, calves, and arms, and in particular the heart. The AHA claims that roller skating is equivalent to bicycling and jogging as a cardio workout. It is also considered a good way to regain strength after an injury.
2. Roller skating is fun. Fitness experts claim that people tend to quit their exercise regiment because they are bored. But when people go to the rink, they are going for fun–music, lights, contests, socializing–not for exercise.
3. Roller skating is a low-impact workout. According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, roller skating causes 50% less impact on joints than running. You can have an aerobic workout while roller skating that is just as beneficial as jogging for the same amount of time–without the joint damage.
4. Roller skating is good for the mind. I mean, when was the last time you went to the rink or saw someone skating on the sidewalk who was frowning and complaining.
5. Roller skating is an efficient calorie burner. An hour of moderate roller skating burns 330 calories for a 143-pound person. If that person roller skates vigorously, he can burn up to 590 calories in an hour.
6. Roller skating mixes up your workouts. If someone roller skates one day, bicycles another, and swims or runs on another, the person will be getting all the fitness benefits that aerobics can offer. If you start to make excuses to skip your regular run, or bike ride, strap on a pair of skates to get your heart pumping.
7. Roller skating is a safer sport. According to children’s exercise experts, it is twice as safe as playgrounds, three times safer than basketball or football, four times safer than bicycling, and five times safer than baseball. Note: be sure your child wears a helmet!
8. Roller skating helps build good balance. Having a good sense of balance throughout your life will help reduce the risk of falls when you age.
9. Roller skating helps maintain good posture. As you keep good posture while roller skating, the body will learn to maintain good posture in other ways–while you eat, sit at a desk, drive a car. and can benefit as you grow older.
10. Roller skating is convenient. Going to the rink is fun, but you can strap on the skates anywhere there’s paved pathways. Find interesting paths in your area: parks, beach paths, quiet roads.
Not just for teens and tweens
Roller skating is not just a daycare for your kids when you need to get some errands done, or a “safe” place to send the kids to get them out of the house. Between the music, lights, social enjoyment, health benefits and fun; roller skating could be one of the best total body workouts there is.
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