What Are the Health Benefits of Longboarding?
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Longboarding is the sport of riding a longboard, a skateboard variant related to a surfboard or snowboard. Longboard skaters use their boards for cruising, racing, transportation and stunts. Some skaters would say it is addictive. But the element of fun that longboarding provides keep its participants engaged and motivated. This is a key ingredient to long-term success with any fitness regimen. Actually enjoying your workout makes it far more likely that you will stick with it.
Like all board sports, longboarding has its origins in surfing. During the 1950s, board skating was seen as a single sport. By the 1990s, it had branched off into two separate disciplines: skateboarding and longboarding. Unlike skateboarding, which focuses primarily on hills and grades, longboarding also involves significant cruising, or level travel. In addition to simply being enjoyable, longboarding is a challenging form of exercise, and it has many health benefits.
Cardiovascular conditioning is one of the most prominent health benefits of longboarding. As cardio sports, boardsports are a good way to get a regular dose of aerobic activity, strengthening your heart and increasing your lung capacity. Skaters who push themselves around on a longboard, across flat terrain or up steep hills, get an excellent cardiovascular workout. Longboarding regularly can help you build impressive levels of stamina.
Tricks, jumps and stunts further add to the fitness aspect of longboarding. Most stunts require a lot of speed, and skaters must work hard to achieve and maintain that speed. Squats, stands and jumps require solid muscle conditioning through a full range of motion, which adds to the workout. In addition to the cardiovascular conditioning, stunts add other fitness elements to longboarding. Stunts and jumps help you develop explosiveness, balance, coordination and timing -- all of which are important for the sport, as well as for overall fitness.
Strength and Flexibility
Your flexibility also can improve significantly from longboarding. Many people overlook the flexibility aspect of exercise; it is often overshadowed by cardiovascular conditioning and muscle strength training. But the ability to dynamically stretch and flex muscles helps you move more efficiently and powerfully. Longboarding, with its bursts of intense exercise interspersed with periods of more moderate exertion, helps you develop this dynamic flexibility and power
Joseph McAllister has worked as a writer since 2003. He has more than seven years of experience in training and coaching martial arts. McAllister writes for various websites on a variety of topics including martial arts, competition and fitness. He graduated from Liberty University on a full ride National Merit Scholarship with a Bachelor of Science in print journalism.