Posted by: rhinoaguado | February 28, 2008

Rollerblade Your Way to Good Health

By now, everyone knows the importance of getting regular exercise. Study after study reiterates the benefits of consistent cardiovascular exercise. For those who want to lose weight, it is important to exercise 60 to 90 minutes, three to five days out of the week, and to exercise hard enough to get the heart pumping and the sweat pouring.

Many people turn to running to stay in shape, but not everyone’s body is cut out for running. Those with knee or ankle injuries can find running particularly painful, and even dangerous. Time can be a constraint as well, especially for those whose schedules may not follow the typical nine to five norm. The self-employed may find it easier to fit a workout in somewhere during the day.

Luckily, there are some alternatives to help you stay in shape that offer just as much of a calorie burn as running, but without the pounding to your body. Rollerblading is one of those sports.

Getting Started

Rollerblading is fun and easy, and there is little equipment to buy. In fact, before you go out and buy a pair of skates, see if someone in your area rents them. This will give you a good feel for what rollerblading is like, and give you a good idea of whether you find it enjoyable or not.

Safety is an important aspect of rollerblading, so be sure to wear at least a helmet and knee pads. Elbow pads and wrist guards can also be purchased fairly inexpensively.

For those who have skated on traditional roller skates, the transition to rollerblades should not be difficult. And for those who are used to ice skating, it should be a very easy adjustment. Begin in an area that is not crowded and has flat, even sidewalks, streets, or paths. If you have never skated or rollerbladed before, find a tennis court, a basketball court, or some other type of open area to practice in. Do not attempt rollerblading up and down hills or through crowds of people until you have become proficient on your blades.

Gliding Along

Once you have gotten the hang of it, you are ready to get out and about and enjoy yourself while burning off mega amounts of calories. Studies have shown that rollerblading at a comfortable pace can burn as much as 570 calories per hour, while interval rollerblading (one minute of vigorous skating followed by one minute of easy skating) can burn over 900 calories per hour. Compare that with running, which on average burns around 700 calories per hour.

Rollerblading does not provide quite the level of aerobic benefits that running does, but it has been found to be more aerobically beneficial than bicycling. Rollerblading will also tone and sculpt your legs and buns – just do not forget to pump some iron to keep your upper body strong.

Another great benefit to rollerblading is that you can do it almost anywhere. Keep your skates and helmet in your car, and strap them on whenever the opportunity arises. It is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Take in the scenery as you glide along, giving yourself a mental boost as well as a physical one. When you are done, you will be ready to step back into the office and get back to work.

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