Bringing Back the Blades

So this week I have rediscovered a great past time. Rollerblading! When I was younger it might have been one of my favorite things to do. My grammar school had rollerskating parties at a roller rink and I would always love going to them. Not only did rollerblading this week remind me of some childhood memories, but it also reminded me how GREAT of a workout it is!! My neighbor and I went out to a nearby forest preserve trail and, man oh man, it was such a great cardiovascular workout. We were cruising on the path and, I will admit, I had to get used to it again; but kind of like bike riding…. you never really lose the skills needed to rollerblade. You just have to awaken those muscles again! Something people don’t always realize is that in order to live a active lifestyle you NEED to find activities you have fun doing! So if even the slightest part of you wants to see if you would enjoy rollerblading again, go into your garage, crawlspace, attic, or where ever you have those blades hidden and get out there!!

Rollerblading can be a huge benefit to one’s health both physically and mentally. A couple things I noticed after my rollerblading extravaganza included:

1. A Great Cardiovascular Workout

You can really pick up speed when you are on a trail rollerblading, the tricky part is maintaining that speed. Keeping your heart rate up is the best way to get a more intense cardiovascular workout. Make your heart work so it can become stronger; that way you can push yourself harder the next time!

2. Stimulating Infrequently Used Muscles

I  could definitely feel some muscles working in my gluteal and inner thigh areas that haven’t been worked in a while and I LOVED IT! The main muscles used while rollerblading include quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors. While most exercises involve your quads and hamstrings; it’s the adductors that don’t get worked as much. Stimulating these muscles will work your muscular endurance.

3. Improved Balance and Coordination

There is no doubt that rollerblading takes some balancing skills, especially if you come around a curve, or a bump in the road/path/trail. Although rollerblading is mainly a linear activity, you are still pushing laterally in order to move forward. The movement is different from riding a bike or going for a jog so you end up working more accessory muscles when controlling coordination and balance.

4. Release of Endorphins

All exercise releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters which aid in us feeling good, comfortable, and relaxed. Rollerblading is a great activity that can keep a consistent flow of endorphins moving through your body to help you feel great after you are done.

5. Low Impact Activity

Unlike running, rollerblading decreases the pounding impact on the ankles, knees, and hips. This could be very beneficial for people who do not have the best joints. The gliding movement makes it more natural to build hip and thigh muscles. Not only is it low impact, but it is also intrinsically easier for most people.

Here are a few tips to improve your rollerblading experience:

– Find a Friend

Recruit a friend to join in on your ride.  You can challenge one another to get an effective workout.

– Bring Some Music

Having music is always a great way to keep a positive mood and increase motivation. It keeps your mind off the intensity of the workout and you go for a longer duration.

– Go on a Sunny Day

Now that the weather is finally nice and sunny, go get a tan and soak in some vitamin D!! Many people might not know this BUT vitamin D helps make you happy… and who doesn’t want to be happy during a workout 🙂

Some cautions to have while engaging in this activity:

– Protective Equipment

If you are worried or cautious about falling, don’t be embarrassed to wear wrist guards, knee pads, and a helmet. Also make sure your rollerblades are in good condition so that no injury occurs when out blading.

– Clear Path

I won’t lie, I almost had a couple spills when I came up to gravel or a pot hole on the road; this is why I would recommend going to a forest preserve trail or clear path where there is the least amount of danger.

– Proper Footwear

Wear high socks. Your feet might sweat more but your calves and skin will be happy you wore some extra padding.

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