Rollerblading isn’t just a fun outdoor activity for kids. This pastime actually has a long list of major health benefits, from improving muscle definition and endurance to weight control and mental health benefits.
Have you ever wondered why the terms rollerblading and inline skating are used interchangeably? Are the two activities the same?
Good question. Yes, they are, but why have the two words? Well, the activity is actually inline skating and rollerblades are the brand name of some inline skates.
When people talk about rollerblading, they mean the activity of inline skating.
Inline skates have a row of wheels in a line that you balance on much like balancing on the blades of ice skates. People who ice skate also love inline skating.
Let’s look more in-depth at the benefits of inline skating.
1. Improves Balance And Posture
Sliding on rollerblades requires good balance. In order to slide on rollerblades you have to learn to balance on a row of wheels.
Balancing and skating employ your core and lower back muscles, which after some practice, help you stay on the skates while you skate forward and backward.
Being able to balance on skates improves your balance and coordination. Over time, as skating strengthens your core, your general posture also improves.
This is a great health benefit as poor posture leads to health complications like overworked neck and back muscles, causing inflammation that can eventually lead to arthritis.
Fun Fact: Inline skating is good for older adults! Because inline skating involves the core muscles of the stomach that connect to the spine, pelvis, and shoulders, it helps to improve the mobility and balance of older adults.
Read this 2012 review in the Orthopedic Research Online Journal for more details.
2. Improves Endurance
Rollerblading can help increase endurance. Rollerblading increases endurance in two ways, by
- Developing various muscles
- Being a cardiovascular exercise
Inline skating builds endurance by exercising the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and inner thigh muscles. In addition, the act of skating requires balance, which develops the abdominal and deep core muscles that help you stay balanced and upright.
Rollerblading is a cardiovascular exercise. These exercises raise heart rate, which is good for building endurance and stamina.
The longer distances you skate, the more you will improve your stamina, which will help you with any other sport you participate in.
3. Helps With Weight Management
Cardiovascular like inline skating strengthens your heart and burns calories.
Depending on the intensity of your workout or the distance you’re skating, it’s possible to burn 400-800 calories per hour when rollerblading. But to burn 800 calories per hour, you’ll have to do some serious vigorous rollerblading.
If you want to use rollerblading to lose extra pounds, you can consider high-intensity interval training – that is interspersing intervals of really fast skating with intervals of skating at a moderate speed.
High-intensity interval training had been proven to be an effective aid in weight loss.
Your weight and the speed at which you skate will determine the number of calories you lose. Twenty minutes of skating is a solid cardio workout that should help the average person to burn about 200 calories.
4. Keep Your Heart Stronger For Longer
As per the American Heart Association, rollerblading is an effective aerobic exercise.
Research published in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine found that exercise prevents both the onset and development of cardiovascular disease and can benefit patients who already have cardiovascular disease.
The authors found that aerobic workouts can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving glucose tolerance, increasing normal heart function, reducing resting heart rate, and blood pressure levels and positively affecting cholesterol levels.
On the average, 30 minutes of in-line skating at a steady, comfortable rate expends 285 calories and produces a heart rate of 148 beats per minute.
The heart is basically a muscle. Rollerblading strengthens is like any exercise strengthens muscles.
5. Fight Diabetes
Diabetes is a curse of modern lifestyle habits, including unhealthy eating habits, poor diets, and lack of exercise.
Physical activity can help to manage diabetes or reduce the risk of developing it. An exercise routine that includes aerobic exercise and strength training may improve blood sugar levels and overall health in people with diabetes.
Health professionals recommend light to moderate aerobic exercise for about 30 minutes four to five times a week at least 4-5 times every week.
In this regard, rollerblading is a great aerobic exercise, which helps to control insulin levels. It can help improve insulin sensitivity, so cells use the hormone more effectively.
6. Low Impact Exercise Protects The Joints
While skating has the same bone density-enhancing benefits as running, it is not so hard on the joints.
Rollerblading is a smooth, fluid motion that according to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to joints than running.
Multiple studies have shown that inline skating causes less wear and tear on muscles and joints compared to high-impact sports like running and cycling.
Being low impact, inline skating is a good option for older adults who want to exercise their muscles but spare their joints.
Rollerblading is an ideal exercise in that it gives you a workout while preventing injuries by reducing the impact on your joints.
7. Ideal Cross Training Option
All serious athletes need to do cross training to avoid over-exercising certain muscles and sustaining an injury as a result. Cross training reduces the risk of injury by exercising certain muscle groups and resting others.
Rollerblading is ideal cross training as it provides full body conditioning, and improves agility and balance.
For runners, rollerblading and roller skating work the same muscles as running, such as hip abductors, hamstrings, quads, and ankle stabilizers, but there is not the compression on the joints at the knees and hips as with running.
8. Decreases Injury Risk During Workouts And Everyday Activities
Skating on wheels that are aligned in one row requires the engagement of core and other stabilizer muscles to stay upright and balanced.
Stabilizer muscles like the rotator cuff and lumbar spine help with the stability of the body. Their function is to support the body, not to move it.
When these lower back muscles and core muscles are strong, as they would be in the case of inline skaters, they improve stability and prevent injuries during workouts and everyday activities.
In fact, many rehabilitation programs focus on improving the function and motor control of these stabilizer muscles when treating people with injuries.
9. Offers Full Body Training
One of the best benefits of inline skating is the fact that it exercises the entire body. Although you are moving your legs when you are skating, it’s not only your leg muscles that are working.
While moving your legs exercises your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves and ankle muscles, having to keep your body upright and balancing on the skates also involves a whole lot of other muscles, including your abs and lower back muscles.
Rollerblading targets key muscle groups throughout the body and is an excellent way to tone your entire body.
10. Go Rollerblading In Stead of Ice Skating in Summer
In places where ice hockey is big, skaters sometimes need a break from the ice but still want to skate. Many choose to rollerblade during the summer months.
It’s easy to understand why some ice hockey players and others like to rollerblade in summer – balancing on a row of wheels does not feel much different from balancing on ice skates, and it gives the same pleasurable sensation when gliding along.
Mental Health Benefits
1. Rollerblading Can Boost Your Mood
Moving your muscles helps boost your mood. Multiple studies have indicated that there is a link between being active and mental health.
In fact, research has shown that people who exercise regularly experience significantly less depression, anger and stress than people who seldom or never exercise.
Researchers at New York University have found that one fun cardio workout session can have a profound effect on a person’s emotional state.
They found that a single session of aerobic exercise can significantly lower stress levels and increase energy levels.
It seems exercise can stimulate the increase of neurochemicals like the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is involved in pleasure reward and motivation.
What’s more, the exercise you enjoy the most is the one that will lower your stress levels the most.
A single session of rollerblading can stimulate the release of endorphins, making you feel more relaxed and cheerful for the rest of the day.
An enjoyable session of inline skating can also help you to concentrate better when you sit in front of your computer screen again for work or study.
2. Increases Self-Confidence
Skating is not just about physical effort. It takes considerable mental effort and psychological courage to get on a pair of skates and let the wheels take you down some adventure.
In the beginning, it can be nerve-wracking to find your balance and take your first rolling step. The prospect of a really painful fall is always there.
And it doesn’t go away once you can skate, because then you are trying all sorts of skating tricks that can be just as terrifying.
Every time you fall, it takes courage to get back on your skates and try again. And every time you get on your skates again, you build your self-confidence.
Rollerblading, like roller skating and ice skiing, allows you to dare and try something a little more difficult than before. There is always something more to learn, something more difficult to try and conquer.
This constant challenge develops confidence and builds character. Every time you master a new move or another trick, it results in a sense of accomplishment, which is good for your self-image.
3. Get A Total Break From The Stress In Your Life
You know why most of us don’t free solo? It’s dangerous? If you lose focus for only a split second, it’s tickets.
Inline skating is a bit like that. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning to balance on your new skates, or an old hand zooming downhill at a breakneck pace, you’d better concentrate one hundred percent if you don’t want to meet the tarmac with your face.
It’s exactly this need for total concentration and focus that makes inline skating such a fantastic stress relief. You can’t figure out how you’re going to balance the books or rehash that argument with your boss while you’re rollerblading.
Rollerblading takes your focus away from everyday concerns and plants it squarely in the here and now. And the longer you skate, the longer your attention is removed from the negatives in your life.
4. Social Interaction
Humans are social beings. For our own mental health interaction with others is important. Rollerblading is an activity that can be enjoyed with others.
For shy children, learning to rollerblade can put them in contact with others who enjoy the activity, which can lead to lasting friendships.
Then there are the rollerblading marathons, which are becoming increasingly popular. Events are held worldwide, and participants of all ages and abilities are welcome.
Inline skating has regained its pre-pandemic popularity as people seek safe social distancing ways to interact with each other. The sport is experiencing a revival due to its many health and other benefits.
If you’re looking for an activity that is fun and will help to tone your body overall, take out your skates again or invest in a pair and learn to rollerblade.
Hey there, my name is Tommy and I have to admit that rollerblading and roller skating are in my blood. I have been skating since I was seven years old and I have tried many different roller skates during my skating career.
I hope my knowledge and passion for rollerblading and skating comes across and that you’ll find the product reviews insightful.