11 Health Benefits of Skateboarding
There are obvious health benefits associated with any type of physical activity, most especially, skateboarding which for the longest time has been viewed as a dangerous sport. Skateboarding has been around since the 90s. Skateboarding for most pro skateboarders is a sport, an art form, a lifestyle, and a culture.
According to a sports injury case study, out of over 200,000 participants surveyed and 20,000 injuries recorded, skateboarding only accounted for 399 of the 20,000 injuries (2%).
While skateboarding has obvious health benefits associated with it, there have also been reportedly severe cases of trauma and injury that have occurred.
Disregarding the prospect of injury which can be prevented either in whole or in part by using protective gear, skateboarding is a pretty safe sport that has a lot of health benefits, let's take a look at some of the health implications of skateboarding.
Skateboarding can help you lose weight
There are many ways to lose weight such as going to the gym, going on a diet, and performing various mental exercises. Due to the physical exercise of running around and performing tricks, riding a skateboard can enable you to burn around 400 calories an hour, and about 800 calories if you skate aggressively. This depends on your body mass and the rate of your metabolism. This ensures that you have physical fitness while enjoying a huge calorie loss and the nice thing is that it happens while you are having to perform a fun activity.
Improved physical motor coordination of the body
Physical motor coordination is a motor neuron skill that enables people to combine spatial awareness with physical movement to perform some physical activity. This skill naturally develops in us as infants as we explore our environments and handle various objects.
For some people, this activity is not that intuitive. They struggle with movement and coordination like holding a pencil or brushing their teeth. This can occur as a result of disease, drugs, ADHD, Dyslexia, Friedreich's ataxia, or a motor neuron disease.
Skateboarders need to use their eyes to see the boards and measure the terrain, as well as use their hands, leg, and feet to main balance on the board. This helps you strengthen your motor coordination, decreases the risk of developing diseases, and enables you to skate more smoothly and perform tricks.
Skateboarding helps to strengthen your heart and improve proper blood circulation
Performing a physical activity such as skateboarding is a major step towards a good healthy heart. It is an activity that helps you in strengthening your heart muscle, keeping your weight under control, and warding off artery damage from high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure that can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Skateboarding being an aerobic exercise requires you to move your arms, torso, and legs during a session which improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Skateboarding helps improve your mood and mental health
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Issues with mental health can result in having low energy, eating or sleeping too much or too little, smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual.
Skateboarding helps put you in a positive mental state allowing people to realize their full potential, cope with stress, increase their productivity, be present for their family, friends and make meaningful contributions to their communities.
Skateboarding helps you relieve stress
In the society in which we live today, it is not uncommon to have high levels of stress. Feelings of stress are usually caused by undesirable things happening in your life such as feelings of pressure, worry, uncertainty, and so on.
Skateboarding is associated with feelings of freedom. When riding a skateboard, you are focused on a lot of things such as your balance and how to perform tricks, this means that you don't have time to worry about anything else that is causing you stress. Research has shown that a lot of stress is a build-up of small pressures. When skateboarding, there are no boundaries, you are free to express yourself in any way you can and you get the benefit of relieving a lot of pressure by performing a fun physical activity.
Skateboarding helps you build patience and endurance
As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. Having patience and endurance are essential for achieving any goal whether personal or professional. Success in any activity is the result of putting in the work necessary for the time that is required. This requires patience, endurance, and persistence.
Skateboarding helps to develop these skills in riders. You can't expect to pick up a board one day, and on the next become a pro skateboarder or the next Tony Hawk. It takes patient practice, trial and error to get good at performing tricks, and learning to ride a skateboard like a pro.
Skateboarding increases your creativity
Being creative in the society we live in today is extremely important. The ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, and to make connections between seemingly unrelated things is a skill that skateboarding helps to develop in riders.
All the tricks that have been developed so far in skateboarding have been as a result of skaters stretching their imagination and trying to see what was possible with their skateboards. There are a lot of new tricks that are developed every day. This is because the more creative you get, the greater your ability to significantly improve your skills. This is especially seen with freestyle skateboarding, where skateboarders maneuver through obstacles by making the most of their surroundings whether on the street or at a skatepark.
Skateboarding helps you develop pain tolerance
Everyone struggles with pain at some point, but how you tolerate pain can be up to you. It turns out that your pain tolerance is unique to you and is shaped by both biological and psychological factors that you can control.
"Pain is both a biochemical and neurological transmission of an unpleasant sensation and an emotional experience," Doris Cope, MD, an anesthesiologist who leads the Pain Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre.
While skateboarding, it is not uncommon for people to fall and have injuries, bruises, scratches, or muscular aches. The act of being injured is not a bad thing in itself, as it helps to increase your pain tolerance which can affect other aspects of your life.
Skateboarding eliminates loneliness and develops self-esteem
A research has discovered that loneliness is associated with social isolation, poor social skills, introversion, and depression. Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind.
The skateboarding community is made up of a large number of people of different types that love to hang out at skate parks and do things together. Picking up a skateboard and heading out to the park will enable you to meet a lot of people and ignite new relationships which you otherwise could not have had.
Skateboarding helps to improve your concentration
If you've ever found it difficult to study for an important exam, or you are very easily distracted from focusing on a challenging project, you might have wished you could increase your ability to concentrate. Your ability to concentrate can be affected by several reasons such as worry, age, or lack of sleep.
Research studies have shown that it is difficult to concentrate on multiple things at the same time. When skateboarding there are a lot of factors to consider in maintaining balance and preventing yourself from falling flat on your face. Concentrating more on a healthy activity like skateboarding trains your mind to concentrate because the penalty for not concentrating is that you lose your balance on the skateboard and fall to the floor.
Skateboarding helps improve your reflexes
Reflexes are your spider-sense. They are almost instantaneous movements executed in response to a stimulus. These are transmitted to the brain and enable you to respond fast before your brain has gotten the chance to bring to your consciousness the action being performed. Having good reflexes aid performance in sports, exercise, and everyday physical activities. For example, if someone throws a ball at you, your arms automatically move to a position to catch the incoming projectile, as a result, defending yourself from an attack. That is your reflexes at work. Poor reflexes can be an underlying reason for faulty movement and undue injury.
Pro skateboarders usually have really fast reflexes. Improving the reaction time takes weeks, months, or years of training, and the benefits acquired from skateboarding enable athletes to make split-second decisions to land more points.
Skateboarding is an activity with a lot of health benefits, you can pick up valuable and transferable skills that you can apply to other areas of your life. Even though there is a risk of injury, this helps to build your pain tolerance, also the risk of injury can be minimized by wearing protective gear such as helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads. You derive a lot of benefits as a skateboarder that enables you to live a healthy life.