Why you should dust off your skates and get outside
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many people began looking for fun activities they could take part in safely, mostly outdoors and away from crowds, that would give them a reprieve. An activity meeting these criteria was rollerskating and rollerblading, which saw a huge resurgence during the pandemic. You couldn’t open Instagram or TikTok without seeing some very coordinated skaters dancing along to their favorite tracks or doing tricks on their eye-catching skates. People started to use hashtags to chronicle their skating journeys or posting tips and tricks for beginners. The rollerskating community was welcoming and diverse.
As a kid of the ‘90s, I had a pair of rollerskates that I used religiously during the spring and summer when the Buffalo snow receded. With this almost overnight increase in seeing people across social media who had decided to revisit this childhood activity or to learn for the first time, I decided to hop on the bandwagon. The fervor that the rollerskating craze started in the spring of 2020 showed up in out-of-stock messages and long wait times for skates, but it was worth it. Not only was rollerskating a solo activity most people could engage in safely, but it was also a way to exercise and move our bodies when gyms and workout studios were shut down.
What exactly are the health benefits of rollerskating? They are many! The American Heart Association — which recommends adults get up to 150 minutes each week of cardio exercise — lists rollerskating as a workout option. Rollerskating works out so many core muscle groups and is considered a cardiovascular workout, strengthening your heart at the same time. Spend 30 minutes a day skating a few times a week and you’re well on your way to hitting that 150-minute benchmark with a well-rounded activity and workout routine.
When it comes to burning calories, the intensity and level of vigor exerted while rollerskating will impact just how many calories you can burn. According to Rollerskating.com, “Just one hour of moderate roller skating burns 330 calories for a 143-pound person. If that same person roller skates vigorously, up to 10 mph, he or she will burn up to 600 calories in an hour,” but your personal amount of calories burned will depend on your weight. If you’re a more experience rollerskater who can skate vigorously for an extended amount of time, you’ll burn more calories than someone less experienced.
With the fun and exercise options of rollerskating also come the responsibility of skating safely. If you’re a beginner, wearing a helmet and protective pads are a must. Whether you’re skating over blacktop or at a skating rink, protection will help you avoid potential injury. A common misconception is that rollerskating can be dangerous or result in injuries for skaters, but 400% more accidents occur while playing basketball than rollerskating.
Now that you know the benefits of rollerskating and how to take part safely, find a way to you add it into your current routine. Make sure that you have properly fitting skates before you start and the right wheels for whether you’re skating indoors or outside. For beginners, there are classes for those who like the educational approach, or there’s the free options of watching one of the dozens of “how-to” instructional videos on YouTube. Following skate instructors and enthusiasts across social media can give you a wide outlook on skating and the skills you should work on. Most importantly, have fun and break a sweat!