Longboarding Health Benefits – Is it a Good Workout?
I think I wouldn’t sound outrageous saying everyone wants to be fit. It’s not just about the looks, it’s also about being healthy. The benefits are there no matter how you look at it. That said, getting in great shape can take a ton of time. Hours, months or perhaps years spent in gym sweating, working, grinding, are not the type of things you would do out of a pure pleasure.
But what If I told you it’s possible to burn calories, get a good workout, develop your endurance while doing something that is really fun and puts the widest smile on your face. In this article we’re going to explore the health and fitness benefits of longboarding, comparing it to bike riding, walking and running.
Eager to learn more? Keep reading!
What health benefits longboarding has?
- Core strength. Just think about it – you’re pushing with your legs but keeping the balance with your core. As we all know developing core strength is the basis for any muscle building exercise.
- Better balance and coordination. When riding your board you’re either balancing on one leg or doing carves turns. (You’re shifting your weight to one of the sides so you can make the turn.) These are one of the best balance exercises you can get. Plus there’s a thing called longboard dancing, where you do different moves while being on a board. Such as standing on one leg, walking back and forth, riding facing backward. You can take your coordination “skills” to the next level.
- Endurance. Having a great endurance will help you in almost ahysical activity you’ll set out to do. Daily longboarding to work, school or a university can do wonders for your endurance. Even if it’s difficult at the beginning you’ll get better at it in no time. Just stick to it.
- Stronger legs. Longboarding works out a variety of different leg muscles starting from foot muscles & lower leg muscles ( when you’re tilting your heels downward to push and shifting your weight when changing your board’s direction) to hamstrings which bends your knee, to glutes, which helps to keep your balance steady while straightening up when pushing. The intensity of your leg workout would depend on your riding style and length. I like to ride fast while pushing really hard. So at the end of the day, my legs feel like they’ve been through a decent workout.
- Better agility. Ever felt clumsy doing things that require a higher level of agility? Don’t worry. Longboarding can help you with this skill. Let me paint you a picture – you’re riding a board on a pavement where there are people walking, different edges, curbs, poles and what not in your way. You’ll quickly develop a skill to carve around these obstacles which in turn will ameliorate your agility.
- Stronger abs. Besides the fact that riding itself will require work from your abdominal muscles and strengthen them, there’s a thing called longboard workout. Where basically you use the board to do different exercises that don’t directly require riding the board. A video could explain this 5 times better than I ever could. Pay attention how this girl does things like squats and body extension exercises. Oh wow.
How many calories can you burn longboarding?
So I went through multiple calorie calculators you could find online and compared their results for calories burnt longboarding. Turns out that for an hour-long longboard ride you can burn 450 calories on average. For contrast, Mcdonald’s big mac has 540 calories. (Maybe longboarding to Mickey D’s isn’t such a bad idea.)
Now, I have to point out that the number of calories you’ll burn longboarding will depend on the way your ride. You can ride laid back and burn 450 calories or you can ride more aggressively and burn more.
Longboarding vs walking vs bike riding?
Using the same calorie calculators I found that in a 1-hour long walk you could burn 215 calories, while in a moderately paced bike ride you could burn around 685. And yes, you can burn more calories riding a bike, however, the nature of the activity makes it more difficult to do it daily. Think about it, when biking you need to consider things like where will you place the bike so it doesn’t get stolen, what will you do if it will suddenly start raining etc. With longboarding, you don’t have to worry about any of this, which is why you can do it more often. Plus a little-known fact – bike riding can get be dangerous. According to National Highway and Traffic Association, it contributes to around 700 deaths per year in the US alone.
Can daily longboarding replace running?
Running has some crazy benefits. And depending on your pace you’ll burn more calories on average. That said it’s not meant for everybody. It might be too intense and bad for your joints If you’re overweight. While longboarding is perfectly suitable.
Also, the fact that running makes you constantly pound your feet against the surface can pose some foot injuries later on.
I’m not saying you should stop running and start longboarding, but taking up a new physical activity is always positive.
Which are some decent longboards for beginners?
There are many longboard brands out there some are better some worse. The price range varies as well. Assuming you’re in it to cruise below I’ve listed 3 boards that are available on Amazon.com and that you, my dear reader, might enjoy. (To find out more about beginner longboard, read our guide.)
|Quest Super Cruiser|
Longboarding won’t get you the gym body that you’re dreaming about. I’d suggest going to a CrossFit box or to create your own home gym. That said, it’s definitely a good exercise and If done regularly longboarding can give you noticeable health benefits, improve your physical shape. Plus it’s ridiculously fun and I’m 99.9% sure you won’t regret it when you’ll try it out.