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GENERAL: Skateboarding is my favorite activity. Is skateboarding a good activity for building physical fitness?

Skateboarding can be a very good activity for building physical fitness and for meeting national physical activity guidelines. Skateboarding requires balance, agility, and coordination, all parts of skill-related physical fitness. Depending on how you do it, it can build different parts of health-related physical fitness, too. For example, if skateboarding increases your heart rate into the target zone and keeps your heart rate elevated (see page 41 of the Fitness for Life: Middle School text or page 165 of the Fitness for Life, Sixth Edition high school text), it builds cardiorespiratory fitness. It can also contribute to muscle fitness and flexibility. To build muscle fitness in both legs, you should alternate the pushing leg.

We pictured skateboarding on the cover of Fitness for Life: Middle School because it can be a good activity for teens. Meg Greiner, a National Physical Education Teacher of the Year, now teaches skateboarding at her school in Oregon. Many others teach skating activities as well. However, skateboarding can be dangerous if safety precautions are not taken. Proper safety equipment such as a helmet, knee pads, and wrist and hand pads should be used. Finding a safe place to do boarding activities is also important. Many communities are now building special skateboard facilities so that teens have a safe place for skateboarding.