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We all know the benefits of a good workout, but for some, staying motivated can be challenging. Joining a fun workout group can help keep you motivated, hold you accountable and help you develop a sense of camaraderie. Try a ‘crossover’ from your normal fitness routine and do as the Charlotte Roller Girls do: roller-skate!

Adding roller-skating to an exercise routine renders several health benefits. Skating builds endurance and strength while improving balance and coordination. It can also provide an aerobic workout that improves cardiovascular health. According to Jessica Drummond, trainer for the Charlotte Roller Girls, “Roller Derby is a full-contact, full-body sport, and the health benefits are incredible,” Drummond said. “Most practices I burn around 1,000 calories or more an hour, and you push your body without even realizing it.”

Drummond started skating after her second child and enjoys the few hours a week she can dedicate to her team. She knows that endurance is the key to safe and effective skating. “You really have to train your body to exert a great deal of energy, but be able to sustain that energy throughout the whole game. That endurance is what keeps injuries from happening,” Drummond said.

The Charlotte Roller Girls focus on different skills during their daily practices. “We have a practice that is strictly speed and endurance, one that is more team strategy, one that is more for improving skating techniques in general and then scrimmages to help put it all together” Drummond said. The girls also cross train individually or in small groups.

Legs, ankles and core play a big role in roller derby fitness. “We really try to do agility workouts to help prevent ankle injuries, which are common. You have to invest the money to protect yourself, especially once you start bouting on a team,” Drummond said. It is wise to wear safety gear such as a helmet, elbow, and wrist and knee guards to help prevent injury.

One of the greatest outcomes of a group workout setting is the bond you develop with your class or team. “Because we all come from different fitness levels and places, we do a good job of pushing each other in a positive way,” Drummond said. With group fitness, you get involved with people who share a common bond and a desire to get fit.

Roller skating is a good fitness option if you are new to exercise or if you want to keep your workout routine fresh and fun. It allows you to exercise at your own pace and increase your speed and duration gradually. Even if you don’t try out for the Charlotte Roller Girls, roller-skating just might be the best activity around to keep you engaged while meeting your fitness goals.

The Charlotte Roller Girls hold meet and greets and open tryouts each year. Find out more about the team, meetings and bouts here.

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