Rollerblading can be more than just a fun hobby. It can also help open the door to weight loss, something that an increasing percentage of Americans are striving for each year. Many of us know that exercise is an important component of any weight loss routine, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier.
If you find yourself dreading your next trip to the gym, it may be worth it to consider lacing up your skates instead. Rollerblading is one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise there is, and it may be something you’re already doing.
So how can you skate your way to your goal weight?
The science of weight loss
First, it helps to understand a little about weight loss. It is generally accepted that in order to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. This doesn’t have to mean counting every calorie, but it does require some amount of moderation and portion control. All the exercise in the world isn’t going to make up for a poor diet. That isn’t to say you can’t indulge occasionally, but if your goal is weight loss, aim to make the majority of your food choices more nutrient-dense than calorie-rich.
You can determine how many calories you need by calculating your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This tells you how many calories you need to maintain your weight without doing anything at all. This is calculated differently for men and women, and there are many online calculators that can help you figure out your personal rate.
Once you know your BMR, you can then adjust the numbers based on your activity level. Again, there are calculators available online for this. In general, though, the more active you naturally are, the more calories you need to eat to sustain your body. Even during weight loss, it is important to ensure that you are eating enough. Too few calories can result in starvation which can actually hinder weight loss in the long run.
Whatever your ultimate BMR is, that is the number of calories needed to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you will need to create a calorie deficit. In general, 3,500 calories equals one pound and it is safe to lose one to two pounds per week. Thus, you would want to cut your daily calories by around 500 to 850 calories per day to lose weight without adding additional exercise.
Rollerblading and weight loss
At this point, you may be a bit concerned. How can you possibly remove that many calories from your diet?
The good news is, you don’t have to. By incorporating exercise, you will burn some of those calories. A combination of diet and exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. For health purposes alone, it is recommended to get 30 minutes of cardio exercise five days per week. For weight loss, you may wish to get even more.
That is where rollerblading comes into play. Exercise doesn’t have to mean slaving over a treadmill or elliptical at the gym. It can also be fun and incorporate activities that you already enjoy, such as rollerblading. On average, a person burns around 250 calories per half hour of steady rollerblading. Of course, this may vary depending on intensity as well as your body weight.
That means if you want to lose one pound per week, rollerblading for one hour a day is an excellent way to get there.
Tips for skating away the pounds
If you want to incorporate rollerblading into your weight loss routine, here are a few helpful pointers.
Use a heart rate monitor
The best way to calculate how many calories you are burning is by looking at your heart rate. You can input your information into an online calculator to figure out approximately how many calories you burned during your skating session. You can also find graphs that provide target heart rates for different age groups and goals. If your goal is weight loss, you may want to stick within the fat-burning range for your heart rate.
If you already have a smartwatch or activity tracker, there is a good chance that your device comes with the ability to monitor your heart rate. If you don’t already have one, however, you may want to consider a basic heart rate strap. Wahoo’s TICKR Heart Rate Monitor is one budget-friendly option. The strap is Bluetooth compatible and can pair with your smartphone or GPS watch to provide you with real-time heart rate information.
If you want to achieve real results with your weight loss routine, you need to stay consistent. Simply rollerblading here and there isn’t going to cut it. Set aside time for yourself several days per week and really use that time to get your workout in. You may not notice any changes right away, but after a few weeks, you will likely start to feel better. You may even find that your clothes are becoming a little looser.
Don’t overdo it
If you want to lose weight fast, you may be tempted to start rollerblading for hours each day. It is much better, however, to build up to that kind of routine. If you start out too ambitiously, you will likely find yourself sore and unable to exercise for days afterward. Your plan may unintentionally backfire, especially if you wind up injured and having to take an extended break.
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Make it fun
The whole point of choosing rollerblading for your exercise is that it’s an enjoyable activity. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Instead, try and focus on what you enjoy about the sport. If it’s the social aspect, make a regular date with a friend to get out there and skate. Do what you need to do in order to make the activity something you look forward to.
Rollerblading is an excellent way to achieve weight loss without painful trips to the gym. By staying consistent with your rollerblading routine and monitoring your food intake, you will lose weight in no time. Thank you for reading our article on rollerblading for weight loss!