Stomp, stomp stomp go the joggers feet pounding against the ground. Compared to the swift motion and glide of roller skating, running is not the best form of exercise or rehab for bringing your lower body back to full strength.
Not only is roller skating one of the most popular forms of exercise, burning 350-600 calories per hour (depending on weight) and having fun while doing it, but it has become a common form of rehab for strengthening knees and legs after surgery.
After you kiss your cast and crutches goodbye, look no further than a pair of roller skates to restore your joint strength and increase muscular mobility.
Jogging and running bears much more shock and impact to your knees than roller skating. When your goal is to repair muscle fibers and tissue roller skating is the best route to go.
After your doctor signs off on your ability to perform physical activity, it’s time to reach for the skates.
Here is a list of activities and guidelines to help you roll toward a healthy state for post-surgery therapy. Remember to consult with your therapist and doctor to get their consent to start skating after rehab.
- Always stretch. Your body needs to re-learn how to communicate with itself and your motor skills are very rusty after surgery. It’s important to stretch before skating in order to activate your muscles and to get the blood flowing. Roller skating will increase your flexibility over time so don’t worry if you can’t touch your toes at the start.
- Make sure your skates properly fit and that your ankle does not have too much room to move. The goal is to be stabilized and comfortable.
- Wear knee braces to provide support for your knees while skating and at the beginning of your rehab you should also consider wearing knee pads to prevent further injuries.
- Roller skating for rehab is great for post knee surgeries such as a torn ACL and also for rehabilitating a broken leg that spent up to three months in a cast. Your knee relies on the muscle support of your entire leg. Skating will strengthen your gluteal muscles, quadriceps and calves.
- Once you’ve gained your confidence and feel comfortable on your skates, you can add ankle weights that will make it more difficult to lift your skates to build strength in your quadriceps.
Roller skating is great for your health and recommended for post surgery therapy. The roller rink can be a more aggressive environment than your neighborhood or a stroll around a lake so consider your limits and the location where you will exercise. Stay safe and get healthy.