If you enjoy ice skating but want to try it off the ice, or if you enjoy roller skating but want to increase your speed and mobility, then in-line skating may be the perfect sport for you. Also, if you’re tired of running and biking and are looking for a new activity to do outdoors, you may want to try in-line skating. It’s a fun, convenient, and affordable sport that gives you an intense workout.
Before you put on your skates, make sure you have plenty of padding to protect your body in case you wipe out. That means getting a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves. You can rent or buy the gear, as well as skates, from a skate shop. Make sure your skates fit snugly on your feet and provide good ankle support.
Although you can learn in-line skating by watching others, it is a good idea to take a lesson or two with an experienced instructor who can teach you the basic techniques, including how to stop. Check with a skate store to find out about lessons.
Beginners should look for smooth and flat surfaces to state on. When skating, your knees should be bent slightly with your upper body tilting forward. Don’t be discouraged if you fall the first few times—it takes a little patience and practice to perfect your skating and feel comfortable. But within a few times, you will become comfortable with the skates on your feet and will be able to glide almost effortlessly across the ground below. As you gain more experience you can try skating on different types of pavement, but in general, a smooth and flat surface without hills works best.
Studies have shown that in-line skating offers a comparable, if not better, workout than running. In fact, in one study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in-line skaters scored higher on aerobic capacity and endurance tests than runners. Another study at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse showed that inline skaters burned up to 19 calories per minute.
In addition to burning fat, in-line skating also strengthens the lower body and improves coordination and balance.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
When you first set out, skate at a slow pace for about five to 10 minutes. This will allow your muscles to warm up and your heart rate to increase gradually. At the end of your workout, slow down your pace for a few minutes to give your body time to cool down.
Be sure to stretch your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps before and after skating to prevent injury and reduce soreness.
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