Inline Skating for Fitness

Inline skating is quickly gaining popularity as the new hip way to stay in shape. It provides low-impact but high-intensirty exercise, making it perfect for beginners, the elderly, and those who are recovering from injury. Here are six useful tips to help you get started in inline skating.

When you think of inline skating, you probably picture an extreme sport where you’re more likely to lose a limb than to lose weight. Or where your buddies aren’t fellow fitness buffs, but a bunch of hyperactive teens. But a growing number of people are discovering the health benefits of inline skating. Once thought of as a risky sport, it is fast becoming known as one of the safest and most effective fitness activities around. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, improve your strength and cardio, or simply stay in shape, there’s always some benefit to be had in inline skating. If you’re thinking of adding inline skating to your fitness routine, here are some tips to help you get started.

Invest in good skates.

Even if you don’t plan on skating professionally, it always pays to invest in high-quality gear. A good pair of inline skates, with sturdy uppers and well-built wheels, can last several years of everyday use. Sure, they’re more expensive, but they don’t have to cost as much as an overpriced gym membership.

Alternate your speeds.

Inline skating burns more calories than running and skating, two of the most popular forms of exercise. You can burn off close to 1,000 calories with just one hour of inline skating, compared to the 500 to 700 you burn with the other two. Make the most of it by skating in an upright position instead of crouching. Maximize your workout by alternating between slow, easy cruising and bursts of intense speed. This burns off an extra 150 calories per hour, making it even more effective.

Skate in the morning and afternoon.

You can inline skate anytime, but skating in the morning, when the sunlight is healthiest, helps you get more out of your workout. Try hitting the streets betweeen 6 am and 10 am—that’s when you get the most vitamin D without risking sunburn. If you’re not a morning person, late afternoon is a good alternative. Although you won’t get the same dose of vitamin D, you’ll keep going longer because the weather is cooler and the winds will keep you ventilated.

Follow up with strength training.

Inline skating provides an excellent cardio workout, bringing your heart rate up to an impressive 148 beats per minute. This makes it a great base for strength and weight training, which requires you to work up your heart rate to get maximum benefits. Try lifting weights or doing bodyweight training after a round of inline skating—you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll see results. It’s a great alternative to the treadmill if you’re on a slimming or toning regimen.

Start slow.

One of the biggest myths about inline skating is that it’s hard to learn. Well, here’s the good news: anyone from preteens to senior citizens can learn to inline skate. Experienced skaters say that if you can walk a decent mile without losing your balance, then you’ll have no problem picking up inline skating. If you want to progress eventually, of course, you’ll have to work your way up from the basics. Start on a terrain you’re familiar with and learn at a comfortable pace.

Sneak in skating time.

Skating is an excellent form of transport. It’s faster than running and walking, and it saves you money on gas or fares. If you’re the environmentally conscious type, it’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. So instead of taking the car to the grocery, put on your skates and hit the pavement instead. You can do the same for going to work, running small errands, and even getting around your own yard.

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