Roller Skating or Roller Blading for Beginners

Your whole family can have fun roller skating or rollerblading. Sometimes called inline skating, rollerblades are roller skates that look a bit like ice skates – the wheels are in a narrow line along the bottom of the skate. In fact, some say rollerblading was invented to give ice skaters something fun to do outdoors in warm weather. Now, though, it’s an activity that has earned a reputation for being fun, family-oriented and excellent exercise.

What You Need

To get started rollerblading, everyone in the family needs skates and pads. Some sources recommend special socks as well.

* Knee, wrist and elbow pads help reduce injuries to these impact-prone areas.

* Helmets are essential to minimize head injuries.

* The skates should fit well without your heels and toes slipping about inside the skate. Adjustable skates are recommended for children to accommodate their growing feet.

* Socks specifically designed for use with rollerblades may be of benefit. They tend to be seamless and help your feet fit properly in the skate.

Workout

Families are looking for ways to get in shape together these days. Rollerblading is good exercise – various sources suggest you can burn anywhere from 815-915 calories per hour. Even if your family just skates for half an hour together, that’s still significant calories. And you’ll get some fun bonding time.

Rollerblading is not just a way to burn calories; some toning can take place, too. Rollerblading works the leg muscles and the muscle groups involved in balance.

Avoiding Accidents

It’s impossible to avoid all falls and accidents. However, you can make some smart choices to help minimize the possibility of accidents. For one thing, choose a safe location for your skating (more on locations below). Here are some other tips.

* Practice on carpet at first. When you move up to concrete, make sure you have someone or something nearby to break your fall if you lose your balance. Practice until you are confident.

* Wear protective gear, even when practicing.

* When you skate, stay low to the ground with your knees bent and flexible and your arms out low in front of you. This posture lowers your center of gravity and helps increase your balance.

* Take the time to learn how to stop correctly in your rollerblades.

Locations for Rollerblading

Many communities have rollerblade parks or areas. These are nice because you don’t have to worry about street traffic – a particular concern if you have children. Empty parking lots and quiet neighborhoods are also possibilities.