No one enjoys going downhill in life (metaphor!), but if riding downhill is euphoric, longboarding definitely makes you yearn for it! With its constant comparison with skateboarding, longboarding is surely catching up!
Longboarding is now steadily rising up the ladder of popularity. It has become part of a long list of favorite physical activities, suitable for all age groups for an intensive and fun workout routine.
But can we truly count on longboarding to be good exercise? Keep reading to find out.
Longboarding and Cardio Exercise- The Health Benefits
When your body calls out for help, listen to it! Longboarding is fun. Check! Longboarding serves the adrenaline rush. Double-check! And as the best cardio workout, of course!
Now comes the main topic- how is longboarding a good workout? With stronger bones, better heart rate, increased stamina, more balance, and defined core muscles, longboarding is way more intense than any cardio workout you probably do at the gym or home!
Be it a cardio workout or lower body muscle strength training, longboarding takes the crown!
Ever heard of longboard dancing? No, it isn’t performing tap dance on the deck! Basically, using your core leg muscle strength, you gain speed by carving on the deck with the perfect rhythm and, in turn, burn fat and finally lose weight!
One of the major health benefits of longboarding is having a stable cardiovascular system. Cardio exercise increases the heart rate, enhances the heart muscles, and controls the blood flow to every cell of the whole body. So who wouldn’t love some free cardio?
Enhancing Lung Capacity
For the middle-aged group, more oxygen to the lungs prevents the lung capacity from declining. Supporting this notion, longboarding acts as your cardio guide towards fulfilling the demands of energy intake of the body.
Have trouble balancing with or without a longboard? Now that’s a bad sign! Doctors suggest a healthy diet and at least an hour of physical activity like aerobics to lose weight, build muscle and keep the body fit.
While soothing the heart, don’t forget the mind too! Your mind needs equal attention since good mental health is very crucial for the body to function. So for every vulnerable soul out there, longboarding is a real stress-buster!
Since your mind is alert and healthier with regular longboarding, you end up having a good night’s sleep. When the workout for the day goes great, your body automatically gets attuned to getting better sleep!
Joint Pain Relief
Osteoporosis is a major relief through cardio, which prevents many joints from aching and turning brittle.
One of the best benefits of longboarding is cholesterol reduction which is the actual enemy of the heart and increases calories.
Flexibility and a defined body are what everyone craves and longboarding does just that! Working on your core muscles, longboarding uses balancing and weight shifting to make them strong.
Longboarding- Dangerously Fun?
Learning longboarding is great, but there are two sides to the same coin! Once you ride the longboard, you wish your feet never touch the ground!
Save Your Gym Fees!
As the icing on the cake, your whole body ends up surviving the fiercely good workout, and that’s how your gym fees get saved!
Danger? Don’t Think So
Longboarding is not necessarily very dangerous unless you are not sensible enough to take precautions. Once you start longboarding downhill, the danger looms till you are no longer an amateur.
For those who have a history of heart-related issues, fluctuation of the heart rate through longboarding could affect the body, so crosscheck every move you make.
Many boarders take the risk of riding on steep hills without safety gears like helmets and knee pads, and that isn’t a smart move!
Too Cool for School
The fun turns fatal when ‘acting cool’ on the busy streets goes wrong, and you end up with grave injuries. Be alert and aware of your surroundings to prevent crashing into a person or a car.
Avoid skidding on the wet roads during the rain and follow the traffic rules since it is illegal to longboard on the sidewalks.
There are selected spaces or areas assigned for the longboards, like smooth driveways for safer longboarding.
Longboarding for Beginners
Want to learn longboarding? We have got it all covered!
For beginners, longboarding sounds like a much safer and technically easier option compared to skateboarding. Because the longboard has a variety of decks based on our needs, getting accustomed to the tricks isn’t time-consuming.
Even middle-aged men, en route to their fitness goals, can learn to ride these longboards in no time!
Let me remind you that longboarding isn’t all about just the tricks you perform or how fast you can speed down a hill. The safety of the ride and overall health always comes first!
Here are some tricks that need awareness and, well, common sense too!
Right Board Type
Firstly, begin by choosing the correct type of board based on your age, skills, body weight, riding style, etc., and you can never go wrong here!
Start building your stance by understanding which leg to place on the board since body balance is the key to riding it.
Small Space for Practice
Start slow. Begin practicing in a less crowded area like your parking lot or a small park.
Master The Feet Movement
Before turning into Flynn Rider, keep a watch on how your feet help move, slow down, stop, apply a brake, and maneuver through the bustling streets of your city.
Save Your Head First
Prior to becoming a pro and bombing the hill, make sure to use protective gear like knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, etc. DO NOT start to show off your skills at the skate park if you have no wishes to lose a leg or two!
Unlike skateboarding, you have a diversity of choices ahead of you while choosing your favorite deck. While most Longboards are generally wide, long, and have smooth wheels, it’s the material, style, and shape of the board that is the primary focus. Wonder why?
At the end of the day, it isn’t just some random sport but an excellent alternative to a hardcore workout routine like developing a flexible body, bettering your balance skills, building muscles, burning fat, and making your leg muscles as strong as the Hulk himself!
As a recreational activity, you need the deck customized as per your requirements instead of wasting money on popular ones just for show!
For example, Maple and Bamboo are commonly used by boarders, while Carbon Fiber is the most expensive one of the lot! Since this material is much lightweight yet sturdy, many longboarders rely on carbon fiber on their deck for dangerous hill trails.
Terrain-Based (Shape and Style included)
Two classes of longboards are the most well-known: the Twin (both ends raised to change position for travel) and the Directional (one end raised to indicate travel in a single direction).
Each of these classes signifies specific longboards for specific reasons- ‘Downhill’ for racing on the rough terrain of the mountainous regions, ‘Cruisers’ for navigating past obstacles on the road, ‘Freeride’ for speeding across the city, etc.
Longboarding vs. Skateboarding
Skateboarders and longboarders are always at loggerheads! Because skateboarding is extremely technical and far more dangerous, the rivalry between the longboarders and the ‘shortboarders’ is a serious one since longboarding isn’t restricted only to youngsters!
Just ‘Mere Posers’?
In the eyes of a skater, longboarders are ‘mere posers’ who lack tricks, commute and skim through pedestrians across pavements, and merely ‘dance’ on the board while bombing down the hills.
Since skaters have their own parks and tracks for themselves, the territorial behavior becomes more evident as they discriminate against longboarding as ‘child’s play.’
Skateboarders using ollie and backflips as their weapons consider longboarders unlikely to be at par with them. Although the truth is otherwise, watching downhill longboarding can always keep you on the edge of your seat every single time!
Precise pre-drifts and power slides at 50 miles per hour need technical accuracy in longboarding and are very uncommon in skateboarding.
Beating The Odds
Unlike the short and narrow skateboard, the longboard becomes your best friend in need when you decide to burn those stubborn chunks of fat, leading to the best workout possible in hand!
In comparison to skating being just a sport, you could count how many calories you lose per day while longboarding for just an hour, thanks to the intense cardio workout that leaves your body fresh and ready to go! Sadly, this balance between fitness and fun is what skating fails to strike.
Longboarding on The Popularity Scale
Since 2020, longboarding has become the endgame for every sports freak who enjoys many health benefits from this aerobic activity. A large section of the youth, mainly students, prefer longboarding for easy transportation on university campuses.
Now, even weight longboarding is an upcoming trend that has been an attraction for adults looking for a good workout to lose weight.
After years of ups and downs, Beijing Olympics announced its introduction as a major event that saw the participation of several players from different countries.
Longboarding is the current bombshell that has been winning hearts globally for its perfect combination of adrenaline rush and energetic cardio drill.
So get on board the longboard and simply roll with your soul!