Skateboarding has long been considered a sport for fearless daredevils, but it’s time to change that perception. While it may not be the first activity that comes to mind when you think of exercise, skateboarding can actually provide a full-body workout that has numerous physical and mental health benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the various health benefits of skateboarding, debunk common misconceptions, and provide tips on turning this activity into a structured workout routine.
The Health Benefits of Skateboarding
Besides being a fun and entertaining activity, skateboarders reap a variety of health benefits. Among these benefits are improved balance, coordination, and flexibility. Skateboarding demands precise balance and coordination in order to pull off successful tricks, which can improve these skills over time. Additionally, the act of skateboarding requires a great deal of flexibility, as riders contort their bodies in all sorts of complicated positions.
Moreover, skateboarding can also improve cardiovascular health and increase endurance, especially if performed at higher speeds or for longer periods of time. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, which leads to better heart health. Over time, this can help skateboarding enthusiasts maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.
Skateboarding as Cardio
Not only can skateboarding lead to better heart health, but it can also provide an effective cardio workout. Skateboarding can get your heart pumping and breathing rate up, and it’s a type of cardiovascular exercise that most people will find fun, which is not always the case with running or cycling.
Additionally, skateboarding can be an excellent alternative to traditional cardiovascular exercises. Some people find running or cycling tedious, but skateboarding can be an exciting, engaging way to get their cardio in. By using their skateboard to travel across distances, skaters can avoid the monotony of running in circles at a gym or on a track.
From Head to Toe
Skateboarding is a full-body workout that works many of the body’s major muscle groups. Many muscles are engaged when a person skateboards, including the core, legs, and arms. The core is engaged as riders attempt to maintain balance, while their legs are used to push the board forward and to jump. Meanwhile, the arms are used to balance and stabilize the body while performing tricks.
This total-body engagement makes for an effective and efficient workout. There are many skateboarding exercises targets specific muscle groups. For example, practicing jumps or ollies can lead to stronger leg muscles, while performing handstands or board grabs can help build upper body strength.
The Mental Benefits of Skateboarding
Skateboarding not only benefits the body but can also lead to better mental health. Research has shown that engaging in physical activities can improve mood, reduce stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Skateboarding is no exception. When someone skateboard, the adrenaline from doing tricks can lead to a release of endorphins. Additionally, people who skateboard can feel a sense of accomplishment from learning and performing new tricks, which could improve mood and self-esteem.
Furthermore, participating in physical activities is linked to better mental health outcomes. Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as helps protect against cognitive decline as people age.
Skateboarding as a Low-Impact Exercise
Despite the high speed and intensity of the sport, skateboarding is surprisingly easy on joints and thus a low-impact form of exercise. Unlike activities such as running or basketball which subject the joints to a lot of pressure, skateboarding riders use their boards and wheels to absorb shock. For people with joint pain or injuries, skateboarding can be a great way to get their bodies moving without putting too much strain on their joints.
Tips for Turning Skateboarding into a Structured Workout Routine
If you’re interested in incorporating skateboarding into your regular exercise routine. Consider these tips:
- Start slowly and gradually build up endurance and skill. Don’t try to attempt advanced tricks without proper safety gear.
- Warm up with plenty of stretching and walking before you get on your board. It is essential for injury prevention.
- Start with small rides and working on basic tricks or movements. This can be done in a skate park or outside.
- Design a routine that includes a comprehensive warm-up, main workout, and cool down. Repeat the routine 2-3 times a week.
There are some common misconceptions about skateboarding, which could prevent it from being considered a legitimate exercise choice. The first is that it is too dangerous to be considered a suitable workout activity. However, if the correct safety measures are taken, such as wearing a helmet and taking proper precautions, most injuries can be avoided.
A second myth is that it’s only for the younger generation. In reality, skateboarding has no age limit and anyone can learn and enjoy the activity. There are older adult skateboard communities and senior skateboarders who continue to enjoy and benefit from the activity as time goes by.
Skateboarding is more than just a fun activity; it’s an excellent way to get in shape and help boost your mental health. It offers a low-impact, full-body workout and is an exciting variation to traditional cardiovascular exercise. Whether you’re an experienced skateboarder or simply looking to get more active, consider giving skateboarding a try. With plenty of benefits and just as many misconceptions, it’s clear skateboarding is a legitimate form of exercise that anyone can enjoy.