PHYSICAL Health

Initiatives to treat obesity (after the problem has occurred) result in medications that do not battle the continuous illness and overall economic burden associated with obesity. Illnesses such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, certain cancers, and heart attacks, all centre on being overweight and obese. These illnesses result in the diminished ability to perform activities of daily living in older age such as reaching for a shelf and walking up steps. On the other end of the physical activity spectrum, it is evident that active kids perform better in school in regards to tests scores, attendance, and behaviour in class.

Skateboarding is Positive view on health is rooted in preventative based approaches. By using a tool such as skateboarding, which acts as forms of exercise, we can help individuals become physically active to prevent weight gain. Preventative measures to avoid the onset of childhood obesity must be put to use as opposed to treating obesity after the damage occurs. The government spends a great deal of money and resources on treating illnesses that can be prevented by being active. Using skateboarding as a preventative based approach we can avoid the existence of obesity which is more economically friendly than treatment based approaches.

Many physical activity initiatives revolve around the physical activity to be done with weights and exercise machines. The truth is that not all individuals are interested in or have the resources to visit a gym. Instead of verbally demanding for individuals to get off the couch and into the gym, we should take advantage of their interest in skateboarding, which we know is a form of physical activity, to maximize adherence for being active. For the population of individuals who are interested in skateboarding, this is how their daily physical activity can be accomplished. Skateboarding is the master of disguise as it allows individuals to enjoy their time all the while keeping their bodies healthy. There are many suitable forms of exercise; however, skateboarding helps in this case for these individuals because it results in the greatest adherence to physical activity. The greatest adherence occurs because to since skateboarding is catering to their interests, doing physical activity (skateboarding) seems to be less of a chore. Individuals don’t feel that it is a serious workout because they are having fun, but indeed it is a serious workout.

A study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that regularly skateboarding, and other action sports such as rollerblading and biking, work better to prevent weight gain as children get older compared to organized, traditional sports. The study was done on 3345 mostly healthy weight teens in grades eight through twelve. The teens completed surveys describing their participation in physical activity after-school. After 5 years, the researchers followed up with the teens to measure health indicators such as height and weight. At 5 years post initial survey, the chances of having excess weight (overweight or obese) decreased by 48% for teens who performed action sports, such as skateboarding, for more than four times per week. This is compared to teens who played organized, traditional sports, also four times per week, but decreased their chances of excess weight gain by 20%. Read the full study here: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2008-02-28/features/0802280084_1_skateboarding-rollerblade-jimi

Skateboarding is an all-around exercise for the body that stimulates mental and physical body systems. The high intensity of skateboarding gets the heart and lungs heavily involved to build-up an individual’s endurance capacity. With the prolonged bouts of movement that skateboarding allows, calories are constantly burned and in turn result in less body fat.

Michele Olson, Professor of Exercise Science tells the NY Times,

“Your glutes, hamstring and quads work with all that pushing off the ground; your abs and back help you balance; and you use the small muscles in your calves, the stabilizing muscles in your hips and the ones in the arches of your feet, which is great because these weaken and flatten out as you get older.”. See more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/nyregion/skateboards-for-work-and-working-out.html?_r=1

The lift-off motion from a skateboard resembles a squat position for lower body muscle recruitment in addition to the impact of landing from an elevated position for bone development. The abdominal and shoulder muscles work together to rotate the entire body while ankle flexibility positions the feet in order to execute desired manoeuvres. Coordination and balance are strongly required by skateboarding to achieve the proper timing of movements and consistently land on the board. Since skateboarding encompasses balance, both hemispheres of the brain are equally stimulated. Skateboarding naturally combines physical exertion with precise muscle coordination and balance all at the same time. The brain is put to work to discover how to perform tricks which stimulates new cell growth in the brain.

All of these health benefits regarding the benefited endurance, muscle, bone, balance, and coordination measures are simultaneously satisfied by skateboarding to keep the human body in proper functioning form. When individuals are capable of proper functioning form, able-bodied, physical limitations do not arise and activities of daily living can continue to be performed. Maintaining activities of daily living are particularly important in older age because once motion is impaired, the negative side effects of illnesses accelerate.