We already know that skating is a great way to get a no-impact aerobic workout. In an effort to quantify those benefits, Rollerblade has commissioned an in-line fitness study, conducted by the University of Massachusetts' exercise science department.
The study was performed to measure the amount of calories burned, comparing in-line skating, running and using a step machine. Ten men and women aged 18 to 30 were screened for skating proficiency. They then worked out for 15 minutes per exercise, repeating the sessions at low-intensity, high-intensity and self-selected speeds.
The study's results determined that skating at low speeds (defined at about 9 mph by the study) fell short of the calories burned in running and stepping. But skating at "self-selected" moderate or faster speeds results in a higher training heart rate--around 176 beats per minute. It burns almost as many calories as running, and well exceeds that of stair stepping. Unfortunately, the report never defined "self-selected" speed.
In another Rollerblade-sponsored study conducted a year ago, Dr. Carl Foster of the US Speedskating team concluded that in-line skating is better than running or cycling for burning calories and developing muscle tone. His study found that in a 30 minute workout, athletes doing interval training can burn up to 450 calories an hour. A recreational workout can burn up to 285 calories an hour.
As a result of the fitness studies, Rollerblade will soon release its new "Roll & Tone" pamphlet which includes a 10-week workout program.