Ready To Strap On Your Skates To Get Fit?
The roller skate has been around for three hundred years. And skating has proved to be heaps of fun as well as hip and glamorous.
While out skating it’s hard to believe that you are in fact working out at the same time as it can be one of the best aerobic exercises. As a bonus, you will get those toned legs you always desired.
On your own or with friends, as a mode of transportation, exercise or just for a day out with the family, skating is easy to enjoy come rain or shine.
If you’re looking for a fun way of keeping fit, roller skating could become your thing!
The History Of Roller Skating
The first official invention of the roller skate was in 1760 by a Belgian inventor called John Joseph Merlin.
However, ‘skeelers’ or dry-land skates were already used throughout the eighteenth century in the Netherlands where ice skating over the frozen canals is very popular.
The Dutch then found a way to keep practising their ice skating skills in the summertime after the ice had melted.
The first patent was officially issued in Paris, France, by M. Petitbled in 1819.
The skate resembled what we now call an inline skate as it was basically an ice skate with wheels instead of a blade.
It is not until 1863 that the first four wheeled roller skate was designed, with two wheels at the front and two wheels at the back.
It was called the ‘quad’ skate. James Leonard Plimpton, from New York in the USA, made some drastic improvements and added steering. His skates we exported to twenty countries.
After Plimpton’s invention, the ‘quad’ skate kept improving throughout the years.
After the toe stop was patented in 1876, the skate kept increasing in popularity as it became lighter and easier to manoeuvre.
In the 1970s, during the disco era, there was a genuine roller skating revival as the roller disco became all the rage.
Benefits Of Roller Skating
Roller skating provides a complete aerobic workout, even at moderate speed.
You can exercise at your own pace until you gradually increase your strength and speed in your own time.
It provides the same health benefits as jogging, while being a low impact sport with 50% less impact on the joints than running.
You can burn between 300 to 600 calories per hour depending on your speed.
So it can be great for weight loss if you combine regular skating with a sensible diet.
It is an awesome cardiovascular exercise and involves nearly all the muscles in your body.
You will tone most of the main muscle groups including the calves, glutes, quads, abdomen and even the arms.
Regular skating will not only improve your strength and give you perfectly toned legs and abs, it will also improve your endurance, balance, agility and coordination.
There are also mental benefits to skating. Exercise in general does wonders for the mind.
It’s a great stress relief and mood enhancer. As you skate outside, you can enjoy the fresh air and feel the wind on your skin.
Skating can be a social activity and the perfect way to spend quality time with your friends and family, so it can improve your relationships while you improve your skills and learn new tricks.
And let’s admit it, skating is so much fun that it does not feel like a workout at all!
How To Get Started With Roller Skating
First you will need to buy roller skates your size. They must be comfortable but also give you enough support around the feet and ankles.
Additionally, you need to find the right size helmet as well as a pair of wrist guards and knee pads for extra protection.
This will give you more confidence and, as you feel safe and comfortable, you will be willing to improve your performance.
Check out your nearest sports store as the staff there will be more than happy to help you chose the right equipment.
There are many tutorials on the internet and it’s a good idea to go out skating with an experienced friend the first time you go out there.
Relax, take your time and do not feel you have to keep up with experienced skaters on the first day.
Roller skating can be done just about any time of the year and anywhere. It can be practised outdoors at the park and paved exercise pathways when the weather allows.
On a rainy day, you can head to your local roller skating rink where you can rent a pair of skates.
While you skate to the music under the lights, making friends on the way, before you know it you will have been skating for hours.
Who would have thought a workout could be so pleasurable. It might become your favourite form of exercise and you will never want to take your skates off!
For the Australian Roller Sports Federation visit www.skateaustralia.org.au