Skating is one of the most popular fitness and recreational activities in the world. Many cities have established clubs, ice rinks and parks where people can gather to skate as well as socialise.
There are many forms of skating such as roller skating, ice skating, skateboarding, etc. and those who skate can’t speak enough about how it has changed their lives.
“Skateboarding has been a huge part of my life for the last eleven years; it has helped me to open up and be more confident,” says Kevin Anish Christopher, founder and coach at WeSkate Co, Bengaluru, India.
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Here are ten benefits of skating, making it an easy, accessible and fun way to maintain fitness:
1. Skating is for everyone: Skating can be taken up by anyone – across gender, young or old, seasoned athletes or complete beginners. You can adapt your skating style to match your abilities. “People of any age can undertake it, given they do not have any injuries or major health issues. Elderly people can also try skating,” says Manikandan Kandili Sivaraj, a Limca record holding roller-skater from Bengaluru.
2. Low-impact activity: It is easy on the joints, making it a great choice for people who may have joint pain or other issues that prevent them from taking part in high-impact activities.
3. Skating improves balance: It improves proprioception (the body’s ability to perceive its position and movement) which helps in maintaining balance. Regular skating can result in one having a better sense of balance.
4. Skating burns fat: Skating can be a fun way to get rid of excess calories as one hour of skating burns roughly 500 to 600 calories.
5. Improves cardiovascular health: “It is great cardio and works every muscle in your body. It has a good impact on cardiovascular health,” says Mumbai-based Eshna Goenka, India’s first quad park skater.
6. Activates dormant muscle: Skating lets you reactivate the little stabilising muscle that safeguards your joints. It requires your abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves to work together. It is ideal for toning up and building muscle all over the body.
7. Stressbuster: Skating is fun and helps to reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
- Reduces stress and anxiety by providing a platform to focus on something different. “Humans were not made to sit in one place and work out of a box. Overtime, that gets to you and makes you sad. When you skate, your body feels better,” says Goenka.
- Improves mood and self-esteem through one’s accomplishment of learning new tricks and improving skill in the activity.
- Sense of community and social support is one of the benefits of skating. “Apart from the obvious health benefits that skateboarding has given me, it has also created an outlet to perceive the world in a more inclusive manner and with an open mind,” says Christopher.
- Improves cognitive function, focus and concentration which are needed for learning new skill or memorising lines in a skatepark.
- It is a therapeutic activity, which provides an active outlet for negative thoughts. “Skating in the morning or evening is quite therapeutic. Like any other exercise or physical activity, it helps you to wind down and relax. It has a calming effect,” says Sivaraj.
8. Skating is versatile: There are many forms of skating (ice, roller and inline skating). Every form requires unique skills and techniques that can be enjoyed in various settings like a rink or a park.
9. Improves coordination: Skating requires many muscle groups to work together. The act of pushing off and gliding on skates requires coordination between the body, eyes and ears. It requires the ability to navigate and manoeuvre through space, thus improving spatial awareness and coordination.
10. Improves flexibility: Skating needs good balance and flexibility. The continuous movement and stretching of muscles can help to increase the range of motion and flexibility in the legs, hips and core.
- Skating can be taken up by anyone, young and old, men and women, and experienced athletes or complete beginners.
- There are many benefits of skating such as improved balance, flexibility, cardiovascular health and more.
- Skating boosts mental health and well-being. It also reduces stress and anxiety.
- Skating is a social activity and helps us to meet people with similar interests.