The first recorded skates were invented WAY back in 1760 by a chap called John Joseph Merlin – they looked like little bicycles for your feet – absolutely hilarious, and terrifying!
My maiden voyage was on a pair that were adjusted with butterfly nuts and fastened by laces on top of my plimsolls. Ah, I loved those skates. That was about, ahem, 40 years ago…
I’m going to blame my lack on long-term skating success on those skates, or maybe my Mam’s tuition – sorry, Mam. Inline skates were all the rage when my eldest son was the same age, and he was brilliant on them. Strangely, although I was slightly envious of his fluid skating, it never occurred to me to get a pair for myself. There were three things got me ‘back on the wheels’, as it were, no.1, the need to get fit, no.2 wanting to skate with my daughters, and no.3, yes, that ol green eyed monster again. There’s a couple who skate around our park every morning – all weathers, and the look fabulous.
The fun with my daughters notwithstanding, I really did need to find an exercise that I enjoyed doing so that I would stick to it. I hate the gym. Skating is a perfect fit for me.
Skating actually offers at least 8 great health benefits that I can list:
2. Roller skating is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits and caloric consumption, reduction of body fat, and leg strength development.
3. An average-sized man can expect to burn about 10 calories each minute of roller skating, while an average-sized woman weighing can expect to burn about 9 calories per minute. That may not sound much, but a good skate round the park can quickly add up to between 300 and 600 calories if you skate for a full hour.
4. Don’t skaters always look happy, if not a little smug? That’s because being fun is in itself a great health benefit. Roller skating is one of the most fun workouts!
5. Skating is aerobic and works the legs and glutes as you skate. Your arms and core get a full workout as you balance your body during the movement. Stronger muscles and better co-ordination work together to prevent injuries and keep you active and limber as you age.
6. Roller skating helps improve balance with the strength of abdominal and lower-back muscles, since you must maintain a steady core to stay upright. Co-ordinating balance and leg movement improves co-ordination.
7. In addition to increasing muscle strength, roller skating can help increase muscle endurance. Adding a few uphill climbs to each skating session trains your muscles, along with your cardiovascular system, to use the body’s energy stores more efficiently. This means you can skate longer distances – and do other intense workouts – without becoming exhausted.
There are no age limits. Whether you’re 5 or 50, there’s nothing stopping you getting your skates on.
I opted for a pink pair of roller skates, but Proline Skates have a brilliant range to choose from.
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