Skates and Exercise Benefits
By Peter Kudlacz -
PopularFitness.com Inline skating is a
fun way to get in shape and stay fit especially on warm sunny days when it's a
lot more enjoyable to exercise outdoors than on a treadmill or exercise bike
indoors at the gym. These days most cities have nicely paved paths through
parkland, beach and waterfront areas to make your rollerblading experience more
enjoyable. Unfortunately depending on where you live, you may not be able to or
want to rollerblade all year round.
There are many benefits to be
derived from inline skating. It's much easier and safer on the knees and back
than jogging since your legs aren't taking as much pounding against a hard
surface. You don't have to travel as far as cycling to get maximum benefits.
Along with a great cardiovascular workout, blading provides you with a
fantastic lower body workout by strengthening and toning your thighs, gluteus,
calves and hamstrings. It's like doing thousands of lunges using your own body
weight without even realizing it or getting bored!
I also recommend
that you combine blading with strength training exercises with weights such as
leg extensions, leg presses and calf raises to name a few. This will ensure
that your muscles and bones remain strong and it helps to prevent any possible
injuries from occurring.
Before you begin inline skating for the day,
you may want to do a little bit of light stretching particularly focusing on
your thighs and hamstrings. Right now there is debate over whether or not to
stretch before exercising. I believe you should do what feels best for you.
Also, the first few minutes should be done at a slower pace as a warm up for
I find that roller blading is extremely safe once you get
proficient at it. Rarely will you fall by yourself. If you do, it's usually a
result of your surroundings. No different than cycling or walking on a
sidewalk. To prevent injuries and scrapes, you may wish to purchase elbow,
wrist and knee pads plus a helmet.
What should you look for when buying
a pair of inline skates? If you're new to this sport, I suggest you either
borrow a pair from a friend or rent a pair just to try it out, get a feel. When
you're ready to buy a pair there are a few things to look for. If you're going
to buy a really cheap pair I'll guarantee you that you will not enjoy inline
skating. What I suggest that you buy a pair in the mid-price range.
What should you look for in a pair of inline skates? The obvious being
that the boot fits your feet properly in a pair of sports socks. If you feel
the boot rubbing against your ankles or your toes rubbing inside the boot, try
another pair because ill-fitted boots will result in blisters and soar feet.
Just like a badly fitting pair of running shoes.
I prefer laces for the
boot with one plastic or velcro strap at the top and soft boots with plastic
heel and bottom moldings for extra support. Soft boots with no plastic molding
support usually give way to your ankle over time. Wheels should be in the
76-78mm range. 80mm is too big a wheel for most people. Look for bearings with
ABEC 4-5. Most quality inline skates come with ABEC 5 bearings nowadays anyway.
I've tried several different makes of inline skates over the years. I
find I like K2 the best and highly recommend them. I like their sleek design,
they fit my feet very well and have great support. K2s are also very
comfortable and light in weight. Ultra Wheels are also very good and I hear
that Salomon are quality blades too.
Inline skates are easy to
maintain. The wheels need to be rotated every once in a while to prevent uneven
wearing out. So if you use them 3 times a week, monthly is fine or take a look
for how much wear there is on the wheels. The bearings need to be lubricated
too. I do this by removing the wheel bearings assembly and wiping the surface
of any dirt and then spraying the entire wheel bearing assembly with lubricant.
I don't remove the bearings from the assembly casing any more since I find very
little dirt gets in there and it's a lot of work.
In this article I've
discussed the cardiovascular and strength training benefits associated with
inline skating. What you should look for when purchasing a pair of inline
skates and their proper maintenance.
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