Body Buzz – On Your Skates
by Sasha Kanal
Skate your way to a healthy December and have a whole load of fun whilst you do it! Sasha Kanal looks at the positive health benefits of going with the flow
For many, roller blading, skating or inline skating as it’s also known, conjures up images of carefree Californian boardwalks and sun kissed free spirits gliding gracefully past on wheels. You too can taste some of the sweet freedom gained from donning a pair of roller blades and taking off into the sunset whether you’re in Santa Monica or Sussex.
All you need is a comfy pair of skates and a flat surface – either in a rink with other people or outside on smooth ground and of course this being Body Buzz, the health benefits are manifold! Plus with Christmas fast approaching there are some beautifully festive ice rinks in Sussex and further afield you can visit to get into the spirit of things and hone those skating skills beginner or not.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
- The fluid movement associated with skating means there’s less impact on your joints compared to running or dancing.
- In terms of calorific consumption and aerobic impact, skating is on a par with jogging and also measures up when it comes to fat burning and leg strength development. In fact you can melt away between 300 – 600 calories per hour of skating undertaken depending on your weight. Perfect if you’re bored with your daily run and want to switch things up a bit.
- Roller blading is great for improving balance, agility and coordination! As you skate, you have to maintain a steady core to remain upright so regular practice can improve balance and the strength of your abdominal and lower back muscles. Keeping your core limber as you age is vital to help prevent injuries and keep you moving freely.
- Muscle definition is a big thing when it comes to roller skating. As well as flexing up your abs, glutes, thighs and calves, you are also working your core, arms and shoulders. In fact anecdotally you will hear many people say that when they roller-skate, they work muscles they didn’t even know they had!
- Finally the mental health benefits of skating cannot be overstated. Aside from the post workout endorphin high, the feeling of total freedom and mindfulness gained from skating along watching the world go by or whilst listening to music is unsurpassed. There’s no denying the fun element to being on skates. From building stamina and confidence to freewheeling along the seafront on a crisp winter morning – there’s plenty of joy to be had here.
You just need to be aware of how to skate safely. You’ll need to be reasonably t to start with and if you’re not sure then consult your GP. Talk to your local gym or there are plenty of online tutorials on how to start and also how to fall in relative safety. Don’t forget to wear a helmet!
CAUTION: If you have any long-standing health concerns, always consult your GP if you’re starting a new exercise.