Why Skating's as Good as Running

If your daily four-mile jog is wearing on your joints, you could switch to walking – or, for something a little more exciting, try inline skating.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that the aerobic fitness and endurance levels of 35 study participants were the same at the end of nine weeks whether they skated or ran. Meaning, former runners can derive similar physical benefits from blading – if they skate vigorously, adds Wayne Westcott, PhD, national strength-training consultant for the YMCA. “Pushing off a few times and rolling won’t make you break a sweat. You’ve got to work really hard on skates.”

And remember to strap on the pads. Researchers from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control found that roughly 1 in 225 inline skaters – only 7% of whom wore safety gear – sought emergency-room treatment for skating injuries during a six-month study.

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