Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Benefits of Longboarding and Running

On a college campus or in a city park, you can usually spot someone jogging and someone gliding along on wheels. While running is a familiar form of exercise and locomotion, wheeled means of personal transportation take various, evolving forms. As cycling is increasingly embraced as mainstream urban transit, skateboarding is branching out into more varied forms. The longboard, a large-wheeled, elongated type of skateboard, gets attention for its ease over long distances, with many enthusiasts comparing it to surfing even before skateboarding.

Benefits of Longboarding
Basic longboarding is not nearly as physically demanding as running, making it an easy hobby to adopt if you're somewhat less physically fit. Longboarding also serves as excellent training if you're looking to develop your balance and coordination, mimicking the movement of a surfboard without the waves. Unlike traditional skateboarding, longboarding doesn't focus on fancy tricks but on propelling yourself. As a result, the learning curve is somewhat faster than for standard skating.

Benefits of Running
Running offers an extremely efficient means of burning calories for individuals looking to lose weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies running as a vigorous activity, one that burns more than 7 calories per minute. Running is also an extremely practical and inexpensive hobby, requiring no special equipment other than running shoes. Although the sport is also widely practiced without any training, it's advisable to consult with a trainer at some point, should you pursue running seriously. This allows you to avoid inefficient form, ensure you use proper footwear and keep your goals realistic for your ability level.
Drawbacks of Longboarding
Although longboarding isn't as high-impact as running, longboarders do face their own perils. Given the high velocities you can reach on a board, the risk of collision is as serious as that of cycling or traditional skateboarding. Longboarders who perform tricks, similar to standard skateboarding, expose themselves to substantially greater risk of injury. In addition, longboarding doesn't offer the same calorie-burning potential as the same amount of time spent running; the Centers for Disease Control ranks skateboarding as a moderate activity, burning 3.5 to 7 calories per minute, on average.

Drawbacks of Running
The major downside of running is the high-impact nature of the activity. With every footfall, your entire body weight comes down upon the ground with considerable force. As a result, individuals with weak bones or joint problems, especially around the ankle, knee or hip, may prefer a lower-impact form of exercise. In addition, though running requires relatively little technical learning, the intensity of the activity can make it challenging for those unaccustomed to regular physical activity.

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