Skateboarding is both a sport and a recreational activity, which involves cruising and performing tricks on a skateboard. Some people, especially the youth, also use it as a form of transportation. As much as skateboarding appears like just an ordinary leisure activity, it also offers numerous health benefits. Here are some of the mental, physical and physiological health benefits of regular skateboarding.
Boredom, combined with a lack of physical activity can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. When the mind is not engaged, most people tend to overthink and stress over various happenings in their lives, both past, present, and future. On the other hand, if you are skateboarding, you will focus your mind on something else, thus helping to minimize overthinking. Skateboarding can also help you to think about something more clearly. For instance, if you are trying to make an important decision but you can’t seem to arrive at an answer, skateboarding will help to bring everything into perspective, thus helping you to make the right decision.
Skateboarding calls for a great deal of coordination and balance. Therefore, a single session will work various muscles in your body, thus giving you a good workout. Whether you are performing tricks or you are simply accelerating in one direction, skateboarding will work a wide range of muscles in your body such as:
Your body’s core muscles help to maintain stability as well as balance on unstable or uneven surfaces – which is a vital component of skateboarding. Core muscles include abdominal muscles, hip muscles, as well as the muscles surrounding your spine. Therefore, when you are skateboarding, you will be working all these muscle groups, which will in turn help with overall fitness.
Quadriceps are a group of muscles found at the front of the thighs. They also extend to your knee area. Quads also help to flex the hip joints. When you are skateboarding, you will be flexing your hips, knees, and other muscles in the upper and lower parts of your legs. Activating these muscles regularly will eventually help to make them bigger and stronger.
You will also use your hamstrings whenever you are skateboarding. The hamstrings are a group of four muscles, running from the glutes to the rear part of your knee. These muscles help to flex your knees, which comes in handy when you are crouching on your skateboard to maintain balance.
Apart from the hamstrings, the quads and the core muscles, you will also build and strengthen the gluteus maximus muscles as well as various muscles in your lower legs. Therefore, if you are looking for a physical activity that can help to activate, strengthen and build various muscle groups in your body at once, then you should take up skateboarding.
Improves Your Flexibility
When you are skating using a skateboard, you will be moving different parts of your body in different directions. For instance, you will be moving your legs and feet, while using your hands to maintain balance. Also, when you are performing tricks on the board, you will be twisting your body in different ways, to help you accomplish those moves. By the end of your skateboarding session, you will have activated and used almost all the muscles in your body, thus helping to make them more flexible. Muscle flexibility is extremely vital in helping to minimize occasional sprains and strains, which occur as a result of physical activities.
Boosts Your Reaction Speed
Skateboarding regularly can help to boost your reaction speed. Whether you are skateboarding on the streets or in any other place, you will have to make fast decisions and choices, so that you can avoid obstacles that can injure you. You will need to make split-second decisions on the best maneuver technique you should apply, depending on the challenges that you are facing. If you do it long enough, your decision-making skills will improve tremendously.
If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable means of losing calories, then you should consider skateboarding. When you are skateboarding, you will be increasing the level of demand in your muscles. Recent studies show that skateboarding for only 60 minutes will help a 125-pound person to burn approximately 300 calories while a 185-pound person will burn approximately 444 calories within the same timeframe. Even if you just do it casually, you will still lose some weight.
Builds Mental Strength
Skateboarding is not something that you can master in a day or a week. It requires countless hours of practice, trial, and error. And unlike other sports, you will spend most of the time practicing by yourself, without a coach. No one will be there to guide you on what you need to do or to slap you on the wrist if you do something wrong. You will make plenty of mistakes along the way, fall on hard, cold pavements, and even get injuries. In short, it will teach you to suffer the consequences of your actions, while giving you persistence. It will also teach you how to keep trying until you get things right. Skateboarding will also teach you tenacity, dedication as well as a strong will to keep trying until you refine your skills. Unlike team sports like soccer or volleyball, you are your own team – and there is nowhere to hide. In short, skateboarding will strengthen your mind, prepare you mentally for difficulties and teach you patience.
Improves Body Balance and Coordination
Whether you are performing a trick or cruising on your skateboard, you will need to maintain your balance. In fact, skateboarding is more of developing your body’s ability to maintain balance at high speeds. Therefore, it’s important to ensure there is synchronization between your eyes, hands, legs, and feet. Without balance, you will keep falling and getting injured. With practice, you will significantly enhance your coordination and balance, which will help you to enjoy skateboarding more. Furthermore, coordination and balance will also help you to carry out your activities efficiently and effectively.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases
Heart diseases are among the leading causes of death in many countries across the globe. As much as skateboarding may look like just an adventure sport, it can benefit your heart in several ways. When you are skateboarding regularly, you will significantly increase your cardiorespiratory endurance. Furthermore, regular skateboarding can help to lower your triglyceride levels, which is vital in helping to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Also, most health problems that people experience today like high blood pressure and coronary heart diseases are mainly caused by leading a sedentary life. When you skateboard, you will give your body a thorough cardio workout, which can help to reduce the risk of these diseases.
Increases Pain Tolerance
Falling will be a regular part of your training sessions, which means that pain will be inevitable. As a beginner, you will fall, get minor cuts, bruises, and other injuries. Veteran skateboarders, on the other hand, face serious injuries such as traumas and bone fractures from serious falls. With time, you will eventually learn how to ignore the pain that comes with these injuries and focus on perfecting your skills. In the end, your level of pain tolerance will increase, and you can transfer it onto other areas of your life.
Without a doubt, skateboarding can significantly improve your mental and physical health. But as noted above, skateboarding also carries the risk of injuries, especially for those who are new to the sport. Common skateboarding injuries include lacerations, sprains, and bruises. Therefore, if you are new to skateboarding, always make sure that you are wearing appropriate safety gear such as knee pads, wrist pads, as well as elbow pads. Also, it’s advisable to practice your skills in a flat, paved area, free from debris. With regular training, persistence, and patience, you will eventually become a master skateboarder.