If you’ve not been on Tik Tok recently/ever, we’ve got news for you: rollerblading is cool again. Both quad skates (four wheels arranged two-by-two) and inline skates (four wheels in a straight line) are making a comeback. And the trend isn’t just being driven by Gen-Z-ers; older guys are lacing up for the first time since the heyday of roller discos. Sales rocketed to a five-year high back in May.
And that’s not as surprising as you might imagine when you consider the science. As well as providing a great excuse to get outdoors and exercise – both of which are proven mood boosters – skates are a way to sharpen your focus and achieve true mindfulness.
Just like rock climbing, rollerblading switches on your proprioception (the sense of self-movement), forcing you to concentrate on the body and its surroundings. Just try doing the moonwalk on wheels without giving it your full attention and you’ll see what we mean. This has the beneficial effect of shifting your focus away from negative thought patterns and anxieties; the risk of face-planting on the tarmac is all the incentive your mind needs to forget work deadlines and, oh yeah, that global pandemic thing.
And that’s not the only reason to be cheerful: roller-skating can burn up to 600 calories an hour and is recognised as an aerobic fitness sport by the American Heart Association. The shock impact on your knees is also 50% less than you experience when running, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts. So trust us, it’s time you caught up with the latest wellness trend. Get your skates on.
4 More Kids Sports with Health Benefits
These old-school pursuits are no less fun than they were in the 90s, but they’ll also build you a better body. We’re not kidding around.
Bouncing around on one of these is hard work for your quads and glutes – you’ll burn around 600 calories in an hour, if you can stick it that long.
According to NASA scientists working with astronauts, the added G force you experience when rebounding can strengthen bone mass and help prevent osteoporosis.
It might take you hundreds of attempts to nail the perfect trick, so it’s not a surprise boarding can improve mental health and resilience, according to a USC study.
Good for brains and brawn, this climbing frame classic not only builds your delts, biceps and lats, but develops your motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
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