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Roller skating with friends or family is such fun that you might not even realize that you're exercising. If you spend as little as 30 or 60 minutes exercising, you'll begin to see a wide range of health benefits. Roller skating at a moderate pace provides nearly all of the health benefits of running without the damage that the latter can do to your shins and joints.
Roller skating is an aerobic activity that you can engage in to burn calories and sweat off the pounds. The number of calories that you burn when roller skating depends on several factors including your weight, the length of your skate and the intensity at which you skate. An average-sized man who weighs around 190 pounds can expect to burn about 10 calories each minute of roller skating, while and average-sized woman weighing 163 pounds can expect to burn about 9 calories per minute. The calorie-burning benefits of roller skating add up quickly; you can burn between 300 and 600 calories if you skate for a full hour.
The American Heart Association recognizes roller skating as an effective aerobic exercise that helps strengthen the heart. According to research conducted at the Universitat Konstantx, moderate roller skating increases the skater's heart rate to levels ranging from 140 to 160 beats per minute, while skating at top speeds can increase heart rate up to around 180 beats per minute. This level of exercise serves to strengthen the muscular structure of the heart and improve the organ's ability to pump blood throughout the vascular system.
Roller skating is an effective and efficient exercise for individuals looking to improve leg strength and muscle tone. The various leg-extension and rotation movements required for skating work a variety of muscles. The calf, shin area, thigh and hamstring muscles receive a particularly strong workout when you skate. Roller skating also helps improve the strength of abdominal and lower-back muscles, since you must maintain a steady core to stay upright and skate.
Running is an effective exercise for burning calories, building heart health and improving leg strength. However, many runners experience ankle, shin, knee and Achilles tendon issues from the repetitive concussive force of their feet hitting the ground. Roller skating provides similar benefits to running without these joint issues. It can help improve overall joint health by strengthening muscles that work cooperatively with several joints including the knee, ankle and hip.
Consult a Doctor
Like most athletic activities, roller skating can result in painful and potentially serious injuries. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime, including roller skating. Ask your doctor if your cardiovascular, muscular and joint health is sufficient to safely benefit from a roller skating exercise program.