Do you want to stay fit and burn off that junk food without going to the gym or evening spin classes? Then kick scooting might be an excellent alternative. Kicking and pushing a simple scooter on the pavement on your way to work or school may be an underrated exercise routine, but it offers long-term benefits that you might have never thought of. But how can kick scooting help you to become physically fit? And how can your kids benefit from doing such exercise?
A study conducted by the University of Brighton revealed that scooting can potentially make you live a healthier lifestyle. It explained that riding and kicking on a scooter for 30 minutes a day at a speed of 4.6mph can help you have a heart rate of 115-120bpm. While another study implied that you could lose from 400 to 500-kilo calories if you drove for one hour. It shows that scooting helps keep your body active and healthy. But in what ways can it become advantageous for your health and your kids’ health?
Healthy Advantage of Scooting for Kids
Scooting offers many health benefits, especially for kids as they explore, learn and develop several skills. Like any other sport, it comes with a risk of injury. However, with the right protective equipment and supervision, your kids can get benefits that far outweigh bumps and scrapes. If you’re considering getting a scooter for your child, consider these advantages that contribute to improving your child’s health and development as well as the obvious fun and social elements they can provide.
1. Developing a sense of balance
What makes scooting so great for kids is that it helps them to learn and create a sense of balance – which is an essential key to their development. Riding a scooter requires the child to stand upright and balance with one leg while kicking with the other leg. Some scooters offer a ‘lean-to-steer’ and a steering lock feature which further promotes balance while leaning through a turn.
2.Motor skill development
Your child also needs to use their arms and legs independently from each other when scooting, thus helping them to fine-tune their motor skills. While one foot kicks the cooter, the other leg balances and the hand are balancing the scooter by holding the handlebar. They need to do it simultaneously while the head and eyes are focusing on where it is heading and looking around for possible bumps and obstacles. If your child wants to stop, they need to use one foot to press the fender brake pad in the rear part, while turning the scooter, or slowing it down to put the other foot on the ground safely.
Kick scooting also aids your child’s muscle development. When your child pushes off from a dead stop, the ankle, the calf, the hamstrings and the glutes are engaged. They also try to re-engage it every time they push and kick to pick up speed. Their core muscles, abdominal and lower back muscles are also working when they stay upright. Keeping the balance while riding also promotes core muscle strength and development and kicking requires leg strength and the quick decision-making skills require mental concentration.
While helping in motor skill development, it also improves your child’s coordination. Kicking, steering, and balancing all at the same time works wonder for our child’s coordination. Coordination development helps them to kick high gear as they start to make movements along with proper timing to sustain their momentum, avoid obstacles, apply brakes and stop and learn to do tricks.
Riding a scooter also requires critical thinking and decision making skills. Your child needs to make quick choices when driving, which includes – when to slow down, stop, turn, and how much to lean into the steer without falling over. Another example is when they look out for obstacles and decide how to best to avoid them. They also need to quickly think how much force to apply to the brake to stop in time. They also need to choose which way and when to turn to avoid it. Scooting can help your child learn to make quick decisions and weigh their options.
When your child upgrades from a three-wheeled scooter to a two-wheeled one and masters driving it, they tend to go faster and faster, which means that they need to kick harder. And as they kick harder, their hearts need to pump more blood, and their lungs would work more to get oxygen., thus, boosting their cardiovascular endurance. The real benefit is they’re having fun, and they don’t even consider it as an exercise.
Health Benefits of Kick Scooting for Adults
Investing time and money for a quality adult version is worth considering too since it doesn’t just offer an easier/quicker commute, it also provides additional health benefits. Here are the advantages of using a scooter in your daily routine.
1. It burns body fats
Scooting has a real benefit in keeping your body active and healthy. The study mentioned earlier observed that adult scooting at a steady pace can burn 300 kilocalories in one hour. The participant who maintained a constant speed of 12km per hour burnt 480 kilocalories in that period.
Another study observed that if you scoot for one hour, you could lose from 400 to 500-kilo calories which is equal to about a half kilo roasted meat (or a chocolate bar). However, it depends on the interval of travel and consistency. By looking at the results of the two studies, it is clear that you can lose weight in kick scooting. It’s an excellent alternative if traditional exercise has not worked for you.
2.Stability and Easy Recovery
Kick scooting is also beneficial for women at it helps to improve the body’s overall stability, most especially the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, the areas that get stretched and weakened in pregnancy. It’s essential to make those muscles work again after pregnancy for easy recovery and long-term physical well-being. Driving a scooter can also improve your stability because the neurological messaging between your brain and muscles improves when challenged. It’s essential to use alternate legs for an even workout, so try kicking three times with the left leg, then swap it with the right for another three kicks. Once you get used to the rhythm, the imbalances will even out as you feel your core muscles engaging.
3.Enhances aerobic and anaerobic fitness
Kick scooting on a flat surface also provides an opportunity to have a gentle aerobic exercise in a ‘fat burn zone’ by increasing your heart rate and burning some calories. But you can also perform an anaerobic challenge if you live near a steep incline. Climbing a hill with a scooter is more challenging than a bike, and that’s where anaerobic capacity comes in. You can have a high-intensity interval training session by challenging yourself in bursts and then, having a break. Doing such vigorous session offers more significant post-workout benefits, including elevated metabolism and prolonged fat-burning effects.
4.Good mental well-being
Scooting also enhances positive feeling and mental alertness. It’s also good for the heart and mind and spending time with your children while riding on a scooter enables more family time. It’s hard to resist a smile watching and scooting with your family. So, this activity is equally enjoyable and beneficial. Why don’t you try it with the family now? It’s perfect for creating a strong bond with them and improve your body at the same time.
5.Increase muscular endurance
Scooting is also a great way to keep your body active because all the muscles of your body are involved in the exercise. There are only a few exercise activities that get the whole body involved in the training. As for scooting, it helps with the following muscle:
- Back, Joints and Spine: Riding on the scooter helps to straighten and strengthen the back muscles, joints, as well as spine.
- Abs: Your abdominal muscle is also at work when you kick the scooter.
- Upper body: It involves pecs, biceps and triceps muscles work together to counteract the forward-backwards body movements that occur when you drive a kick scooter.
- Buttocks: Scooting movements which includes kicking, can strengthen and flex the flutes and buttocks.
- Hip muscle: When you’re in a scooting motion, your hip muscle tones and flex because of joint mobilization.
- Thigh muscles: Since you have to stand and balance in one leg, you must support your body weight which helps to tone the thigh muscles, making you stronger and more flexible. Engaging your bum and squeezing your glutes while you kick can also help your thigh and glute muscles to become stable.
- Knees and ankle: It also helps to strengthen your knees and ankle, which enables you to maintain the balance.
- Tendons, joints and ligaments: The movements of the scooter strengthen all these muscles.
Get your feet kickin’
So if you are looking for an exercise that can give you many health benefits and fun time, why not try kick scooting? You and your child will surely enjoy the long-term benefits of having a healthy and active body. So, get your feet kickin’ and get your kid’s mental and social skills developed by kick scooting now!