Skating: A Well Rounded Exercise

Posted on Apr 06, 2017

Posted in: Healthy Lifestyle

Do you need to change up your cardio routine?  Have you ever considered roller skating?  I know what most people think, “Roller Skating? Yeah that was fun at my best friend’s birthday party when we were 10 years-old, but I hung up my skates a while ago”.  I can identify with the above statement; as a child of the 80s I used to cruise all over town in my skates.  Unfortunately like most, skating fell by the waste side as I aged.  After researching this article I’m sad I let that happen.  Read on to see why roller skating deserves a spot in your repertoire.

During my research I found a great piece on the site Health Fitness Revolution titled “Top 10 Health Benefits of Skating”.  For the sake of space I am going to bring you my favorite four:

  1. Calorie burning- An average sized person can expect to burn 500-600 calories an hour.
  2. Great cross training exercise- Skating is equal to jogging with respect to health benefits and caloric consumption.
  3. Works simultaneous muscle groups- Skating builds strength and endurance in your leg muscles while also using your arms and core for balance.  Stronger muscles and better coordination helps prevent injuries and keeps you limber.
  4. Strengthens the heart an improves endurance- Roller skating is recognized as an aerobic activity that helps strengthen the heart.


If you are interested in skating, but the last time you strapped on a pair of skates was 7th grade, you might want to know some of the different varieties so you can pick one that works best for your needs.  speed skates

Speed Skates-These are exactly what they sound like, skates built for speed.  They are low top for easier cornering and have wheels that are designed to spin faster.

Skating: A Well Rounded ExerciseOutdoor Skates-They are similar to speed skates with the exception that they have a “softer” wheel allowing for a smoother ride over uneven terrain.

Inline Skates- There are several varieties of these, but the type most people use are recreational skates.  They feature a high boot for foot and ankle support.  They are usually more comfortable than Speed or Roller Hockey inline skates allowing you to skate longer distances.  roller blade

Of course you wouldn’t be complete without a helmet and protective pads.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, most people are itching to get back outside.  While winter may be done with us, we still have to deal with those April showers.  Roller skating is versatile and can be done indoors as well as outdoors.  If open skate at the rink isn’t your thing, our area boosts a number of paved trails that are great for getting your skate on.

While writing this piece I became inspired to seek out some people active in the skating community, these woman not only found their way back to skating, it has become a major part of their lives.

St. Abby von Shanks and Derrierness are skaters in the Fox Cities Roller Derby.  They were kind enough to take off their skates and answer a few of my questions:

What interested you in roller derby?

St. Abby von Shanks (AVS)- “I was a 3 sport athlete in high school and wanted to get back into a team sport.  I was watching TV when a documentary, “Roller Girls”, came on.  It looked like fun.”

Derrierness (D)- “I saw the sport on a morning show and realized I knew the lady that had started the league.  I had not skated in 17 years when I signed up.”

How much training is required?

AVS- “I attend 7 hours of practice a week.”

What are some strengths needed to compete in roller derby?

AVS-” Core, balance and leg strength.  You also need upper body strength for bracing.  People think derby is skating, it’s more like a combination of hockey and NASCAR.”

D- “Cardiovascular endurance is key, one of the league requirements is being able to skate 27 laps in 5 minutes.  Being strong mentally is also a must, when you’re skating your 27 laps and you feel like your lungs are bleeding you have to be able to focus and keep going.  Also, you will get hit.  Be prepared- my job is to knock you on your butt.”

Any injuries?

D-“Torn ankle tendons, broken nose, 2 concussions and a dislocated coccyx”

AVS- “My foot dislocated causing me to fracture my ankle in three places.  It required some plates and screw to put back together.”

How do you think the public views roller derby?  Is it accurate?

D- “I think the general public remembers the roller derby of the 1970s, and thinks we’re staged like WWE.  We are not staged.  Roller derby is less like skating and more a collision sport like hockey.”

Both of these ladies exuded the camaraderie that goes along with this sport.  Their passion for roller derby was evident while interviewing them.  They have an event coming up this Saturday April 8th,  head over to Skater’s Edge and check them out!


Hopefully you found this post informative and eye opening about the world of roller skating.  Now strap on a pair and get out there!