Two children roller skating outdoors

6 Benefits of Roller Skating You May Not have Known

Roller skating is a great sport to take up, whether you're simply looking to stay in shape or doing it for the fun. Boost your fitness, relieve stress and enjoy the thrill of gliding smoothly on wheels. It's a versatile activity that can be enjoyed indoors at a rink or outdoors on suitable pavements.

Strapping on a pair of roller skates isn't just a fun, challenging and outdoor pastime but offers a wide range of mental and physical health benefits to enjoy along the way.

Whether you want to try your skills at the local skate park or make your daily commute a bit more interesting, roller skating is a retro sport that attracts people of all ages and backgrounds. So, what health benefits does roller skating offer if you opt for a pair today? Scroll through our list of advantages for a touch of retro inspiration below.

Roller Skating Fitness Facts

What does roller skating do for your body?

Roller skating provides a comprehensive body workout, though the focus remains predominantly on your lower body. This emphasis arises because roller skating demands substantial use of your leg muscles for both stability and propulsion. Key muscle groups include:

• Quadriceps
• Calf muscles
• Hip abductors
• Hamstrings
• Core

At the outset, the initial push-off in skating activates your glute muscles, and given the frequent stops and starts, these muscles are regularly engaged. By involving your glutes, you achieve a balanced and steady stance whilst in motion. This will require you to activate your core to maintain proper posture and balance, therefore working the erector spinae, abdominals, and obliques.

Does roller skating help with belly fat?

Any form of cardio has the potential to burn fat and contribute to overall weight loss. While roller skating might not spring to mind immediately when you think of “cardio” in the same way as a HIIT session or interval running might, it's not far behind in terms of results for shedding those extra kilos.

Roller skating is recognised as an effective, low-impact aerobic exercise that provides a comprehensive body workout, engaging several large muscle groups simultaneously. So, to address the question, 'does roller skating help reduce belly fat?' – the answer is a resounding yes! However, the effectiveness of the workout heavily hinges on your effort. Naturally, the greater the pace, duration, or incline, the more beneficial the workout becomes, potentially serving as an excellent calorie burner. For those keen on maximising fat burn, you can even incorporate HIIT principles into your roller skating routine, for instance, skating at a high pace for several minutes followed by a slower pace. But this approach is strictly for those prioritising fitness and weight loss in their roller skating regime.

Quantifying the precise calorie burn of roller skating is challenging, but it's on par with activities like cycling or rowing at moderate intensity. An average adult, skating non-stop for 30 minutes at a regular pace, might expend around 300 calories – quite impressive for a low-intensity cardio session!

Child putting on roller skates on the ground

Roller Skating Health Benefits

1. Coordination

Coordination can be a challenging skill to hone, especially if your exercise routine is confined to gym workouts. Strapping on a pair of skates for the first time, you might feel a tad unsteady, but rest assured, the learning curve is gentle!

Roller skating demands a keen sense of balance and a solid core to maintain an upright posture while in motion. As a result, you'll swiftly learn the ropes, adjusting your posture to stay upright and glide smoothly.

It's unsurprising that with time, one's agility, balance, and coordination enhance; roller skating necessitates synchronised full-body movement. You juggle several tasks simultaneously, from maintaining equilibrium and propelling forward with momentum to steering in the desired direction. Regular skating sessions will help you perfect the fundamentals, such as maintaining the correct posture, and will also rectify any lingering bad habits.

2. Better Fitness

Roller skating is great for your heart. By doing it regularly, you can raise your heart rate to a good level that strengthens the heart. A stronger heart means better blood flow and stable blood pressure.

Also, roller skating counts as a cardio activity, which helps build stamina and muscle endurance. If you skate often, you'll notice you can skate longer without feeling as tired. So, the more you practice, the better you get. After sticking to skating for a few months, you'll likely see an improvement in how long you can skate and how you feel during and after.

3. Muscle Definition

You can build and tone your muscle definition by practising skating regularly for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week. While it's primarily a cardiovascular exercise, regular cardio can define your muscles, particularly your abs, glutes, thighs, and calves – the primary muscles engaged in roller skating.

This definition comes from the diverse movements and positions skating requires; the twists, turns, and bends mean you engage your back muscles significantly. Of course, your leg muscles will be the first to show definition, but given it's a full-body workout, you will notice a more lean and toned appearance overall.

Family roller skating in park

4. Low-impact

Go-to cardio workouts, such as running or walking, can place a heavy burden on your joints, especially your knees, which might lead to permanent injury. Skating is a low-impact alternative, using a fluid motion to minimise strain on your body. This means the sport is an excellent way to burn calories, tone your body, and get your heart pumping with a reduced risk of injury.

The minimal stress placed on your body also means you'll need fewer days dedicated to rest and recovery. And, as a slower-paced exercise, you can take more time to focus on the mind-muscle connection and enhance your technique and alignment for better performance – making the learning process more accessible.

5. Mental Health Benefits of Roller Skating

Roller skating makes you happy! It releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which can enhance your mood and even help ward off symptoms of anxiety and depression.

With the added benefit of being an outdoor sport, you'll also be able to enjoy the fresh air, sunlight, and nature. These elements contribute to the post-exercise glow and are proven to increase overall satisfaction after a workout.

This is particularly true when it comes to reducing stress levels. Skating offers you the choice of engaging in a social activity or indulging in some leisurely alone time for relaxation. Less routine than perhaps walking or running, roller skating presents just enough of a challenge, with a manageable learning curve that keeps you motivated in the long run. Blow off some steam with friends or swap out your regular commute for something a bit more exhilarating.

6. Minimise the risk of Diabetes

As both strength training and aerobic exercise are recommended for keeping diabetes at bay, roller skating fits this criterion nicely. Engaging in this activity can improve your body's ability to use and control insulin, strengthen your heart and bones, and minimise stress, blood glucose levels, and even cholesterol.

Fitting in with the advice to undertake 30 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise five times a week, roller skating can easily become a part of your daily routine.

Benefits of roller skating for adults

In essence, roller skating helps you build balance, muscle control, and improve your posture. It can even boost your confidence and, if you stick with it, your endurance. Whether addressing serious health concerns like a weak heart or seeking a mental reprieve through consistent physical activity, there's a myriad of reasons to consider roller skating.

For adults, all these benefits contribute to a better quality of life, without overburdening the joints. Thanks to the gentle, smooth motions of skating, it offers a low-impact alternative to other cardio exercises. This nostalgic, retro activity is perfect for those keen on trying something different or for anyone longing to relive a cherished childhood pastime.

Man on bench, wearing roller blades and ruffling through his bag
Twister rollerblade

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Ready to embrace the many mental and physical health benefits of strapping on a pair of wheels? Browse our range of roller blades below for different sizes, colours, styles and makes to find your perfect fit at Decathlon.

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