Roller Skating Vs. Roller Blading: Which Is The Better Workout?

Roller skating and roller blading are both excellent methods of exercising, and they're two of the most fun ways to exercise, too! Princess Diana was known as a fan of roller skating, and those close to her have revealed since her death that she contemplated moving to the United States at one point to raise her boys, as they'd have plenty of room to do things like roller blading. Some restaurants, like the fast food chain Sonic, even utilize roller skating to create a fun aura around their establishments.

Roller skates and roller blades have been around for centuries, and it's understandable why they stay relevant in mainstream media and everyday workout routines. According to Skate World, the first roller skates were crafted in 1735, but they weren't patented until 1819. In the early 20th century, skating declined in popularity, but it later reached its all-time peak in the 1970s and 1980s when skating rinks and discos blew up in popularity and they began being used by servers at restaurants. While they're not as popular today as they were a few decades ago, skating and blading are still done today, and one may be better for your workout than the other.

While both options work for workouts, one edges out its counterpart

The main difference between roller skates and roller blades is simply the positioning of the wheels. According to Slick Willie's, roller blades, which are also called inline skates, feature a single line of wheels — they range from three to five wheels depending on the style and brand — while roller skates feature four wheels, with a horizontal pair near your toes and a horizontal pair near your heel.

Both types of skates have their own benefits. Four-wheeled roller skates are easier to navigate and can often help you go longer distances, but roller blades are faster, even if a little trickier to master at first (via Inline Skate World). Traditional roller skates are typically better for children or anyone who needs a little extra stability, but you should reach for roller blades if you want a better workout.

"With enough persistence and a good enough habit, either one can help you get a bit fitter than you are now," Inline Skate World explained. "Though arguably the speed rollerblades permit with relative ease outdoors makes them a slightly better choice for 'getting fit' because you can skate long distances over outdoor terrain a bit more practically." Moreover, they added that marathon skaters also all wear roller blades.

Ultimately, you can choose whichever option you're best able to control, as your safety always comes first. But if you can handle roller blades, they're the superior option for fitness uses.