Old Man Winter Can’t Keep Us from Being Active

As winter approaches and the weather grows colder (and holiday meals and sweets become more prevalent), I fall back on an inside activity that never disappoints….roller skating. It is a family favorite; most Tuesday nights you will find my husband, son, and me at our local rink ($3 per person Family Night Special) skating circles around each other….literally. Physical activity and merriment for less than $10.00.

Admittedly my preferred form of physical activity, roller skating combines aerobic activity and fun. It can be done outdoors or indoors. With music or without. Inline skates or traditional four wheels (also called “quad skate”). Alone or in groups. At all ages. With all levels (skill does improve with practice!).

Historians tell us that roller skating has been around since the mid-1700’s, growing popular in America in the 1880’s. Roller skating continues to evolve as a hobby and a sport. Inline speed skating is a non-contact agility sport, and roller derby is a high-energy contact team sport. Roller hockey was featured in the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona. We see servers on skates at restaurants, and skating has been featured in numerous movies and even inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the musical Starlight Express. Singing on skates? Count me in.

Even recreational (moderate) roller skating offers aerobic exercise to improve cardiovascular health. It has a low impact on bones and joints, builds strength and coordination. A person can burn approximately 350-600 calories an hour, depending on size and speed of roller skating. It is hard to skate with a frown on your face. I always feel my mood lighten after an hour or two at the rink with my family.

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