I have been skateboarding for 8 years now and I started when I was 13. When I stopped playing basketball at 15 skateboarding became my main source of exercise. I would come home sweaty, beat up and tired almost everyday from being out skateboarding, and I loved every second of it. Skateboarding is a very physically demanding activity. Riding the board alone takes a lot of balance and having to keep pushing while riding the board can take a lot of stamina. Skateboarding also builds muscle in your legs since a vast majority of skateboarding tricks are done using your feet and legs to be able to “pop” the board into the air. This pop is known as an ollie and it is the basis of all other skateboarding tricks. An ollie is when a skater pushes their back foot down on the tail of the skateboard while simultaneously sliding their front foot up the board and sucking their feet into their chest. This causes the board to come up with the skater’s feet. Below is a picture demonstrating what the ollie looks like when it is done properly and here is a GIF of an ollie so you can see what it looks like in motion.
Source – http://www.hotel-r.net/im/hotel/fr/ollie-23.jpg
So now that you have a general understanding of some of the physics that goes into skateboarding it should be easier to understand why skateboarding is a very healthy activity that burns many calories and can keep you in shape. According to an article (http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/health-benefits-skateboarding/) at healthfitnessrevolution.com (“The Health Benefits of Skateboarding”, 2014) skateboarding can burn 150 to 500 calories per hour. That number can fluctuate depending upon your size, where you are skating, and how hard you are skating. For example if you are skating in a skatepark for an hour you will burn much more calories than riding to the store for an hour. Skateboarding also improves your flexibility since you use every part of your body to perform a trick. Even though the pop of the skateboard is done with your feet and legs every part of the body is used in skateboarding. As seen in the picture above the skateboarder is using his arms to help him ollie higher. Arms are also used to help with balance and rotation. Skateboarding also improves your flexibility, especially in the ankles. Skateboarding requires you to be loose so you can move your body and bend your knees to absorb impact when you land. If you remain rigid it will be much harder skateboard. Along with improved stamina, flexibility and overall health one of the most important things skateboarding has taught me is how to fall properly. Falling happens A LOT in skateboarding and injuries do happen but after skateboarding and falling over and over again I have learned how to fall in a way that I reduce my chances of being severely injured. The most important part to falling in skateboarding or in general really, is to keep your momentum moving so one part of your body does not absorb a large amount of impact. When I fall I try to roll and this keeps my momentum moving in the same direction. Knowing how to fall is a useful life skill that can help you out if you find yourself falling down for whatever reason. The last health benefit of skateboarding I want to touch on is a mental one and that would be stress relief. Skateboarding allows me to forget about all of life’s stressors and problems for a while. When I am skateboarding I am focused only on skateboarding. Nothing else really matters when I am riding my board and it allows me to focus and have fun. In conclusion skateboarding has many different health benefits such as improved physical endurance, coordination and overall health. In my opinion having fun is the biggest health benefit to skateboarding.
GIF Source – https://media.giphy.com/media/7HVhRsKOxGzD2/giphy.gif