Inline skating doesn’t just look cool – it’s also good for your health. The sport builds muscle strength and endurance, improves balance, coordination and heart health, and is recommended by many fitness professionals as a good cross-training tool for skiers, mountain bikers and runners. It’s low impact as well, making it a great way for those recovering from injuries to stay in shape.

Trail runners need strong lateral muscle strength and coordination from the adductor muscles on the inside of the thigh and outside of the hip. This allows for stabilizing on rocks and rugged terrain, and leaping across mud puddles or other obstacles. For running steep terrain, they also need strong posterior muscles to climb hills and strong quadriceps to control the descent. Skating helps strengthen all of these muscles by moving side to side and creating “muscle-confusion” that will leave you sore in all the right places. As your skating improves, your ability to run technical trails will too.

rollerblade_01Rollerblade’s 2014 lineup includes a skate for everyone from the serious athlete (Powerblade GTM 110) to the fitness fanatic or cross-trainer (Macroblade 90) and the urban skater (Maxxum 100). Consider wearing pads and a helmet if you are either new to inline skating or rolling at high speeds. – Maria Wyllie

Rollerblade Women’s Macroblade 90 Skate

I am amazed how much inline skate construction has advanced since I last rollerbladed more than a decade ago. Rollerblade’s Macroblade 90 is smooth and fun for all levels and will give you the support and control needed to truly progress. This skate is incredibly comfortable, and offers a high performance aluminum frame, seamless construction and a lace lock system to keep your foot secure. The 90 mm supreme series wheels handle well on many surfaces, and provide a higher rebound when pushing off. The women’s specific model has a higher instep, narrower heel and lower cuff to put you in the right stance. Whether you’re just starting out, or want to skate more aggressively and advance your fitness, this is an outstanding all-around skate. $199.00Kelsey Dzintars