Why You Should Consider Roller Skates for Fitness
Everywhere you look, people are fitter than ever. Whether it’s crossfit, running, or simply lifting at the gym, just about everyone is concerned about how they look and feel nowadays. If you’re already someone that is in shape, good for you. But unfortunately, a lot of people notice the trend in people being really fit and it can intimidate them. People might look at themselves and feel as if they aren’t as good, perhaps they even get depressed because they’re not in good shape.
Rather than doing nothing about it is a good idea to get active however you can, but again, it’s easier said than done. If you’re someone that’s trying to get back in shape, you should consider an alternative means of working out, not because it’s necessarily better, but because it’s fun and you’ll be able to stick with it. Remember, fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Just because you temporarily start exercising, that isn’t necessarily going to make any difference for you health. It’s something you have to stick with for a long time in order to see results. So with that in mind, why not try roller skates for fitness? Roller skates are not only really fun, but it’s awesome cardiovascular exercise if you consistently do it.
What Are Roller Skates
This may sound silly, but believe it or not, a lot of people have never seen or ridden on roller skates. Oftentimes it’s considered a little kids endeavor, but believe it or not, more adults than ever are getting into roller skating. Roller skating isn’t only very fun, but it’s incredibly productive and rewarding because you can improve your individual hand and eye coordinataion while getting a good workout. One of the reasons people take up rollerblading in the first place is to help with their coordination as far as sprinting is concerned. A lot of high-level sprinters have actually used roller skates to improve their rhythm. If you want to get a pair of roller skates you need only go into any sports apparel store and buy a pair. Oftentimes they are very cheap, but if you’re serious about getting into roller skating, it’s a good idea to get a sturdy, pair. That doesn’t mean that you have to necessarily spend a fortune, but spend enough to know that you’ve gotten a good quality product that’s going to last you a long time.
It’s also a good idea to identify which kind of roller skates you’re interested in getting. A lot of people make the mistake of buying quad roller blades because they think they’re easier. While four-wheeled motorbikes and tricycles are easier because of more wheels, quad skates are actually quite difficult to skate on if you’re inexperienced. These require a lot more balance and dexterity, and if you’re a novice skater, you’re not going to know how to properly balance yourself on those kinds of skates. Instead, consider getting a regular, sport-type roller blade. These are awesome for rough terrain, and if you get really good, you can even do awesome tricks and maneuvers on them. But once you buy your pair, you’re not totally finished. You still need to properly equip yourself for skating. But before we touch on what sort of equipment you should buy, it’s important to touch on one last note regarding your new pair of roller blades. Always try them out before you buy them. A lot of people make the mistake of buying skates that are still in the box. Like shoes, skates aren’t something you can simply buy with your eyes. You actually have to put them on your feet before you can totally know whether or not they’re the right pair for you as an individual. Everyone has a different body and foot, so what might work for one person may not work for you. If you’re still hesitant about what pair to get, try going out with a friend of yours that frequently skates. Those types of people tend to know exactly what to look for when it comes to skates, so they can perhaps help you find the right pair for you.
Buying the Right Equipment
People, especially unaware people, often laugh at skaters because they think it’s silly. Well, if they tried it, they’d know that skating is not only incredibly awesome and fun, but it’s also very, very dangerous. Skates, unlike a bicycle, go wherever you go. If a bike loses control and veers off course, a rider can ditch it and adeptly jump off. With skates, you’re strapped in and trapped, so if the skates lose their way you’re going to be in deep trouble. Injuries are extremely common, but the best way to prevent them—aside from getting really good at skating—is to buy the right equipment. Equipment won’t guarantee you from totally being hurt, but they will drastically reduce the chances that any catastrophic damage is endured. Another thing to keep in mind, it doesn’t matter how silly or how young or old you are, you absolutely have to buy safety equipment regardless of how you look. Gravity is equally unkind to people of all ages regardless of what they look like.
You absolutely have to check your ego at the door before you start skating, because if you don’t, you’re going to be seriously hurt as a result. So the first thing you should buy is a helmet. The helmet is the backbone of any safe skating attire. A common mistake is thinking that any helmet will work fine. That’s wrong. Rather than getting an aerodynamic bicycle helmet, get a skater helmet. Skater helmets not only look “cooler,” but they also have a safer design. Bicycle helmets were designed to give cyclists some semblance of protection without sacrificing speed and airflow during races. Since you’re not a serious racer, you don’t need to worry about airflow.
Instead, you should be primarily focused on getting a helmet that will protect you from a major concussion or injury. Also, just because you fall on your head with a helmet doesn’t mean you can’t experience a concussion. Concussions are extremely dangerous and common regardless of what kind of helmet you wear, but buying a helmet with greater surface area—again, like most skating helmets—your chances of reducing other major head injuries from a fall are greatly reduced. Make sure that a helmet fits properly. You should be able to comfortably strap the helmet to your head while keeping a stable, comfortable position with your jaw. If the strap starts to dig into your chin, either the helmet is too small, or the strap is way too tight. Like skates, helmets should always be tried on before you wear them.
The next critical safety gear you should definitely get is a pair of kneepads. Kneepads might be the “busiest” of your safety equipment. In other words, you’re going to be falling on your knees a lot. When you first start out, you’re going to stink at skating. This means that a lot of falling and tripping is to be expected, and the first place people tend to drop down to on their body, is their knees. Without knee pads, you could very well break your kneecaps, but you could also do some serious damage to the underlying ligaments. These need to be protected at all costs, so invest in a pair of kneepads. People tend to cheap out on kneepads, thinking that just about any kind of kneepads will do. If you’re trying to get into roller skating, you need to buy a pair of roller-skating kneepads. These should be sturdy hard plastic pads that comfortably fit around your knees. Make sure they’re not on too tight otherwise they might constrict the blood flow in your knees.
Once you have a helmet and kneepads, you have the most important pieces of safety equipment. After that, elbow pads and wrist protects should be your next choices, but these should be optional. So now you have a pair of roller skates and safety equipment, but how do you learn to skate?
Learning to Skate
Skating looks a lot easier than it is. It’s very similar to walking, but imagine if your feet had wheels. When you first start, make sure you have someone supervising you. It’s very common to fall down and hurt yourself, so make sure someone is around to help you off the ground in case you really, really hurt yourself. You shouldn’t come into skating with a fearful mindset, but you should definitely be aware and careful before you begin.
A great idea for learning is to watch YouTube videos. Roller skating is something you can definitely get better by copying people’s techniques, but if you don’t put time and energy into it, it’s going to take a long time before you get the hang of it. Sure, watching will help, but you have to be diligent about perfecting your technique and developing your own way of skating. The best places to go for learning to skate are beginner skate parks or rinks. Rinks are definitely more common, and because they expect there to be novice skaters, these areas are much more welcoming and forgiving to new skaters. In environments such as these, expect to learn with a lot of other people. There may even be more advanced skaters, but don’t let these people get you down. Just like you, they were once beginnings, so keep your head up and keep practicing. Start by skating alongside the wall of the roller rink, this is a safe way to slowly travel while keeping a hand on the edge of the rink, preventing yourself from falling.
If you would prefer to learn in a much calmer environment, going to the local park is a great place to start. A lot of parks have long railing that are built above concrete, so these are perfect for getting your bearings on your skates. A great thing to keep in mind when skating is that you don’t have to do much to propel yourself. A lot of people assume that you have to put a ton of force into the skates to move forward and backward. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that you only need to give a little push off your heel when you go forward. Remember, it’s different with quad skates, but for traditional roller blades, these are good enough to get you moving in the right direction. Once you start getting the hang of skating, it’s time to really step your skating up to another level.
Hard Skating for Good Exercise
Remember, our whole motivation for getting this far is to lose weight. To lose weight you need to burn calories, and to burn calories, you have to really work your body. While skating is fun and pretty low-intensive, it can actually get really fun and exhausting if you really push yourself. The easiest way to do this is by trying to skate fast. Rather than just coasting, if you really forcefully push with each step, you’ll really start to feel it in your legs and lower back.
Like running, your legs and lower back muscles are the primary propellers are stabilizers when your skating. Believe it or not, skating is also a pretty solid core exercise as it require you to keep a stable center and maintain your balance. You can’t just stand straight and wobbly on your skates or you’ll fall. So when you start to really pick up the speed, tighten your core and maintain your balance. If your abs aren’t a little sore when you start really picking up the pace, then you’re not working hard enough.
Try to stick with it in the beginning, it can be a little frustrating, but in due time, your roller skates will eventually become your best friends. Should you ever want to read more about the best resources for roller skates, there are always plenty of them on the internet. Stay safe and have fun on your skates!