When getting organized to begin your inline skating exercise program there are a few things you will need. Focuses on proper safety equipment that can protect from injury. Even the best skaters in the world fall, and pretty frequently! Don’t allow yourself to suffer an injury. While skaters may not be prone to the ankle-rolling, knee-spraining, impact cardio injuries that runners have, a bad fall could be devastating. Be sure to protect yourself with gear to keep yourself safe.
When you fall down, you are likely to land on your knees. Invest in some quality knee pads to take the impact and protect your bones and muscles from a painful fall. You can find knee pads online, or at your local Target or Wal-Mart superstores. Knee pads don’t have to be expensive, but pay attention to the size.
Be sure to find a knee pad that is going to cover your knees entirely, flex with you as you move, and fit snugly around your leg. Be sure that the pad is not constricting (ie, is not too tight) so that blood may move freely through the working muscles in your legs. If you plan to skate in the early morning, late evening, or at night, it is probably a good idea to find knee pads with reflective elements, to enable drivers to see you in the dark.
Ouch, the broken wrist! When we fall, we tend to throw our arms out in front of us to “break” the fall. Well, something often ends up broken—the delicate bones in your wrist! Wrist injuries are common, and they can make your life extremely difficult. In today’s world, we use our wrists more often than we realize—for typing, texting, driving, cooking, etcetera. A wrist injury is a painful nuisance! Protect yourself with a pair of quality wrist guards.
Like knee pads, they can be found online, at a sports store, or even at a superstore nearby. Be sure to find a wrist guard with a hard shell that protects your palm and secure straps that keep your wrist straight and firm. Your hands and palms have an extremely high concentration of nerves, and skinning your palms can be very painful! The hard shell prevents even a fall on gravel from harming your hands. By strapping your wrist straight, you prevent your hand from bending back in a fall and snapping the delicate bones of the wrist.
Next to smack into the pavement are the elbows. Elbows are often forgotten by those participating in balancing sports, but they are the line of defense that follows your wrists to the ground. Your elbows are protected by caps similar to your knee caps, and a layer of thick skin. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need extra padding! Whether you fall forward or back, your elbows can hit the ground hard or be painfully scraped.
You can purchase elbow guards similar to the pads that you’ll wear on your knees—only smaller. Usually, you can find elbow pads that match or even come with the knee pads that you purchase. Make sure that the pads are thick, are protected by a hard shell, and are not too constricting on your arms. Make sure that they are comfortable to wear and move in!
Skating pad sets will often leave out protective gear for the tailbone. Tailbone gear is more optional for those that are accustomed to inline skating. For those that anticipate frequent falling, especially if you are just learning to skate, it may be a good idea to purchase padding for your bottom. A tailbone injury, like a broken wrist, is a painful nuisance.
The nerves in your spine taper down to your tailbone, and the presence of these nerve endings can make a broken or bruised tailbone particularly painful. Sports stores and online markets will often have underwear or shorts with extra padding that can be worn under your clothing to discreetly pad your tailbone and make yourself safer in a fall.
One excellent option are the sliding shorts used by softball players—they look like padded spandex, and can easily be worn under a pair of loose athletic shorts or pants.
If you refuse to wear any other protective gear, at the very least be sure to put on a helmet. Even a simple fall and a light bump can lead to a serious head injury. For years, health experts have battled to convince people to wear helmets. Skaters protest that helmets don’t look “cool,” that they’re bulky, that they’re a pain.
Remember that you are using inline skating to reap its health benefits. Those benefits are cancelled out if you fall and receive a life-changing head injury. Whether you are an experienced skater or not, you are going to fall, and if you fall, you may very well hit your head. Head injuries can cause a range of symptoms, from a painful concussion to death. Depending on where you hit your skull, a serious head injury can lead to personality changes, brain dysfunction, emotional dysfunction, and disabilities that will follow you for life.
A serious head injury can lead to expensive medical bills or even a more difficult time purchasing insurance in future years. The risk isn’t worth it! Sports stores have stocked up on inexpensive, fun safety helmets. They come in a range of styles and colors, and most are under $30. If you do not have one already, buy a helmet! It’s the most important safety gear you can own as you set out on your inline skating adventure.
Not all safety equipment is for protection in the event of a fall. You also need to consider preventative safety equipment. If you are going to be skating near cars or other skaters, especially at night, you need to be sure that people can see you. This is easily done. You can purchase sports clothing with bright colors and reflective surfaces. You can also seek protective gear that comes equipped with reflective strips. When skating, never wear dark clothing.
Have you ever been out driving and narrowly missed a pedestrian/biker/skater who was dressed in black? Thought to yourself, ‘wow that was close, I didn’t even see them!’? You do not want to be that skater out near the road. Thousands of individuals are killed every year when they are hit by a driver who didn’t see them. Protect yourself with bright, reflective clothing and gear.
You must be excited to begin your inline skating adventure! Remember, no matter how excited you are, purchasing a pair of skates is not enough. Be sure that you have all of your protective gear in place before you stand up on those wheels. Now that you are ready to make safety your first priority, it’s time to get going and start losing weight!