Roller skates are not just for kids. Many grown women find roller skating a satisfying and fun way to get in a good cardiovascular workout. Roller skating is a low-impact sport that puts less stress on your knees and joints than running. You can improve your balance while burning calories -- all it takes is a little coordination and practice!
Interval training on skates involves alternating high-intensity skating with a more moderate pace. Begin at a slow speed, warming up for about five minutes or until your muscles are warm. Then kick into gear, skating straight and hard at a rigorous pace for a full 30 seconds. Slow down and skate at a moderate pace for the next minutes. Alternate your speed at different intervals for a total of 30 minutes. As you get stronger and more comfortable in your skates, you can increase the time as well as the pace of your high-intensity sessions. To be effective, try interval training on skates at least twice during a week, letting your body recover between sessions.
Skating exercises that involve long distances or more than 30 minutes in your skates can help increase your lung capacity while improving your muscle endurance and strength. Select a paved trail or sidewalk that is several miles long. Vary the terrain of your workouts to include hills and climbs, which will challenge your stamina and make your workout more interesting.
Vary your skating workout by implementing cones into your routine. As you navigate between cones you will engage the muscles of your lower body, strengthening your thighs, claves and glutes. In addition to toning your legs, you will also improve your balance and coordination. Line up five cones about 4-feet apart. Skate in between the cones, weaving in a pattern. Vary your pace and challenge yourself to new speeds. If you are confident skating backward, try navigating the cones in reverse.
Skating with a teammate or friend will make your workout more fun and allow you to challenge each other to achieve faster speeds. If you are exercising alone, you can still skate competitively by timing yourself on a stopwatch. Race around a rink, setting new goals for yourself as you break your fastest record. Increase the distance to improve your endurance as you race.
Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.