Skating is a great way to get maximum benefits from your fitness program. An ideal aerobic activity, skating builds strength, endurance and burns body fat. It can be just as beneficial as running and just as much, if not more fun!
This cardio activity works the muscles in the hips, thighs and shins but can help to deliver fitness benefits to every part of your body. All you need is a pair of skates and someplace to skate. Because you cover a larger amount of ground in the same amount of time as other exercises like running, you might want to find different areas of interest to skate. Some cities have trails that make it easy to walk, jog, skate or cycle. Many of these trails are marked so you know how far you have gone.
Trails work best because they are usually long and move along on a somewhat straight path, crucial to resisting fatigue. Aim for the least amount of curves and turns.
One of the great things about skating is the low impact workout that it provides. Not nearly as hard on aging joints, like knees and ankles, makes it an excellent exercise for any age. It’s an excellent way to tone and tighten your core, as well as your inner and outer thigh muscles.
Choosing a pair of inline skates can be challenging since there are many styles to select from. Examine the top of the shoe and check the straps that keep it snug against your foot. Make sure the heel fits well and that your foot is not slipping around inside the shoe. You’ll want to have plenty of room in the toe box even with a thick sock, but you don’t want it to be too loose.
Check out the wheels, different sized wheels are for different applications. If you haven’t done your homework, ask a sales person to assist you in selecting the correct wheel for the type of skating that you want to do. Tall, skinny wheels are made for speed, while a short, fat wheel will give you more stability. If you are just starting off skating, you might find the short, fat wheel to work better in the beginning, then graduate to a faster wheel.
In addition to the size of the wheel, the bearings have a lot to do with how efficiently the wheel turns. The higher the grade bearing the quicker the wheel turns. Just don’t get fooled by being talked into something you really don’t need.
You’ll also want to consider your safety gear such as knee and elbow pads and a helmet. These can usually be purchased at the same time and place that you buy your skates. It will be an initial investment, but over time, it provides a relatively low-cost method of exercise that renders ultimate benefits.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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