Bored of Your Fitness Routine? Take Up Rollerblading—the Fun and Healthy Activity That's Making a Comeback
An enormously popular activity in the '90s, rollerblading is rapidly rolling back into style, and for good reason. At the start of the pandemic, the brand Rollerblade saw a huge uptick in sales of skates, and the demand continues to this day. "The top benefit [of rollerblading] is exercise in ways that are fun, soul-filling, and mental health-enhancing," says Trish Alexander, executive director at Skate Journeys, a nonprofit whose mission is to teach and transform lives through inline and roller skating. "We have more students now than we can possibly teach, so we're working on certifying as many qualified instructors as possible," Alexander adds, reiterating the recent rise in rollerblading.
From improving posture, to burning at least 600 calories per hour, and getting you outside to breathe fresh air, it's proven that this fun outdoor sport is incredibly beneficial to your mind and body. Plus, a solid pair of inline skates starts at only $180. "Rollerblades cost a lot less than a bike," says Kim Brown, recreational inline skater. "You can easily do 10 or more miles and still make it to local destinations in the summer." They're portable, too. "Similarly, you can carry your blades with you, meaning you don't have to worry about someone stealing them." Plus, the sport is very easy to add to your daily routine. But before we go further, let's get to the basics.
Fun fact: The sport you think of when you hear "rollerblading" is formally called inline skating. Rollerblade is a registered trademark and the industry leader that started it all decades ago—hence why many people use the brand name generally when talking about the activity itself (a good analogy to this would be Kleenex, which is actually a brand of tissues, or Band-Aid, which is really a brand of first-aid bandages). So, technically, it's referred to as inline skating or skating. How do inline skates differ from roller skates? The positioning of the wheels is the primary difference. Inline skates have one central frame and a line of wheels, whereas roller skates have two horizontal rows.