The 5 Health Benefits of Rollerblading You Probably Didn’t Know
If Barbie can do it, then so can you.
Hi Barbie! Hi Ken! If you were one of the many fans who contributed to the $351.4 million box office success “Barbie” saw in its first two weekends according to Variety, then it may have inspired you to don more pink, call up your mom or even revisit a nostalgic fitness favorite featured in the movie: Rollerblading.
“Rollerblading is a great low-impact exercise that can improve cardiovascular health,” says Florence Comite, MD, founder of the Comite Center for Precision Medicine & Health. “It can help reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and stroke, as well as increasing blood circulation throughout the body and brain.”
If seeing how cool Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling looked wasn’t enough to get you to strap on your skates, here are some of the other health benefits of rollerblading according to doctors.
1. Strengthens the lower body
As you can probably imagine, since both rollerblading and roller-skating engage the legs, it’s only fitting that this activity can strengthen your lower body.
“Both activities generally use the same lower-body muscles—the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles,” says Dr. Comite. “Skating calls all the muscles, ligaments and tendons supporting the knee into play, so it will improve overall leg strength and tone.”
If you have pre-existing injuries, then you’ll want to consult with your physician before taking on this trendy exercise modality.
2. Keeps bones healthy
As the aging process progresses, bones tend to lose their definition and density. Rollerblading is a form of exercise that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
“Unlike running and other high-impact activities, rollerblading reduces the stress on your knees and ankles, a suitable exercise option for people with joint problems or those desiring a gentler workout,” says Dr. Comite.
Since rollerblading is a low impact exercise, it can be helpful to get people moving who might have a hard time otherwise.
3. Improves balance
Rollerblading requires use of an individual’s core muscles to keep them upright and balanced.
“Inline skating uses a greater side-to-side striding motion which incorporates hip adductors and abductors,” Dr. Comite says. “Both types of skating require using your arms and balancing which involves your core muscle to stabilize your spine.”
According to a 2021 review in the Orthopedic Research Online Journal, exercises that target the core such as rollerblading and roller-skating have been shown to improve functional mobility and balance among older adults.
4. Burns calories
Not only is rollerblading fun, but it can also burn a lot of calories in a short period of time. According to Harvard Medical School, an individual can burn upwards of 600 calories per hour when rollerblading.
Because of this, rollerblading can be a great workout option if weight loss is one of your fitness goals. However you’ll want to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself, especially during the warm summer months.
5. Boosts mood
After rollerblading or roller-skating for a significant amount of time, it’s likely that the body will release endorphins, or “feel good” hormones that will have you feeling just that—really good. Plus, if you love the feeling of rollerblading, the benefits may be even better: A 2017 review published in Brain Plasticity indicates that enjoying your workout can make its lift to your mood last up to a day after you’re done breaking a sweat.
So be like Barbie and grab a pair of rollerblades or roller skates for some much needed movement—especially after spending a day at the movies.