The need for an exercise that is fun, flexible, and affordable can be satiated quite easily if one is willing to look in a slightly unusual direction. Would you be surprised to learn that roller skating is an excellent cardio exercise? You’re probably rolling your eyes, and thinking that can’t be true. Why? Because it’s fun? It’s a silly bias to have against exercise, to assume that exercise can never be fun, and that fun things can never be exercise! Roller skates are a relatively new invention in mankind’s history, having only popped up in the seventeenth century. But since then it’s been popularized into an enjoyable and healthy pastime for young and old alike. Haven’t tried it or considered trying? It’s worth a second look.
Skating is a beautifully adjustable exercise because it can be as aggressive, non-aggressive, artistic or standard as you’re comfortable with. It can accomodate many risky and flashy tricks, and adjusts up to any number of participants or all the way down to one person. The most standard form of skating is to simply circle around in a rink repeatedly, and this form of the activity is particularly enjoyed by families, friends, and people who generally want to get moving but also stay reasonably relaxed and casual. If being confined to a smooth rink doesn’t suit you and you’d like a more real environment, there’s no reason why you can’t skate around your whole city. While stairs and ledges may prove a little risky, some people enjoy the challenge, and with proper pads and helmets there’s no reason why you should ever be seriously hurt while skating.
Craving something more structured and organized? Skating can take you there, too, with organized skate hockey tournaments, aggressive ‘street’ skating, and speed skating, among other variations. There are a number of official organizations with widespread resources to help you get into things if you feel like you need a helping hand. However, skating doesn’t have to be about the serious top-end competitions if you don’t want it to be. It works just as well as a casual hobby done in one’s spare time.
All skating requires is, that’s right, a pair of roller skates. These can be rented for absolutely dirt-cheap if you want to dabble before making a commitment to it. But even if you feel like buying right away, skates can be found for twenty or thirty dollars, well within the budget of most people. Treated well, your skates will last you many years, making it one of the cheapest investments for the gain you get out of it in fun and health.
So if you’re stamina’s not what you’d like it to be, and you’re panting at the simplest tasks… or if your legs could stand to be a bit stronger… please do keep roller skating in mind. It’s one of the most fun and less stressful of exercises you can get into to improve your bodily wellness, and it can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle and preferences with incredible ease.
Dr. Michael Allen
Fitness Instructor & Fat Loss Factor Founder