Skateboarding is a fun, physically beneficial activity for all ages.
Any new endeavor takes time and patience. Learning a new skill, like learning to skateboard, requires dedication and effort. However, to stick with something long enough to understand it and do it moderately well, we need something to motivate us to keep going when pain makes us want to stop.
A primary reason people stick with things like learning to skateboard is the “why” they are doing it.
While there are many benefits we mention on this blog, we’ll start out with the physical benefits of skating. There are five valid reasons to learn how to skateboard, leading to improving a person’s health and physical well-being.
Whether a beginning skateboarder is six years old or thirty-six years old, balance is crucial to all of life. It helps you do the primary, basic daily things: get out of bed, brush your teeth, climb the stairs to work, and get something off the shelf.
However, according to Harvard Health Publishing, “While many people squeeze in a daily walk and may even do some strength training exercises a few times a week, exercises to build balance don’t always make the workout list. They should, according to experts.”*
One of the most accessible sports to take up and quickly develop the “coordinated action from not only your muscles, but also your eyes, ears, tendons, bones, and brain”* is skateboarding. To stand on the board takes practice. To push off takes more practice. To stay upright, you have to learn how to balance. And as you do, as you persist, your balance improves, and your life will improve as well.
This one is closely related to physical balance, but it’s worth mentioning seperately as well.
Coordination separates professional basketball players from people who shoot hoops in their driveway for fun. If the guy or girl shooting hoops with their neighbor had the level of hand-eye, feet-eye coordination Steve Nash had, they’d be in the NBA.
Skateboarding won’t get you to the NBA, but it will rapidly help you develop and strengthen your coordination between your eyes, your legs, your feet, your arms, and your brain. They all have to be working together to skate and stay upright. It gets the quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, and more working in unison. Not a bad way to get a full-body workout…which is the next benefit.
Full Body Workout
There are few sports out there that exercise every fiber of your being all at once, like skateboarding. Stepping on the board, your calves and thighs start working. As you push off and skate, your glutes and core work together to stabilize you and move forward. When you start doing tricks, your arms, shoulders, and chest come into play. Soon, you are burning calories and building muscles. Side note: if you have flat feet like me, you will notice a very special muscle you won’t usually pay attention to getting a workout: your arches. Don’t let the pain dissuade you from skating, though. Pushing through the pain and you find joy on the other side.
The whole body workout and consistent practice are a great way to strengthen your lower back muscles, tone your leg muscles, and build a solid core. As with any exercise, the more you skate, the more your muscles develop and strengthen, making it easier to skate longer providing a chance to build more muscle and get stronger. It’s the gift that keeps giving.
While this last benefit may not apply to children learning to skateboard, it definitely comes into play in adults who have spent far too much time behind a computer or laptop and have seen their bodies stiffen up. By improving flexibility, you can expect:
- to have fewer injuries because the muscles won’t be tight,
- to experience less pain because the muscles won’t be tense and prone to cramping
- to see improved posture and balance
- to have greater strength because the muscles will have the right amount of tension to support your body
So, learn to skate and see how limber you can become. As the muscles move and lengthen, the body will loosen up, and flexibility will return.
So, you’re looking for a way to get in shape, build strength, and develop balance and flexibility? Learn to skate. There are no two ways about it: it’s an excellent physical sport that requires nothing more than a driveway or empty street in front of your house.