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Blading at Fort DeSoto
By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000
In the beginning, in-line skating appealed mostly to those with a wild streak, including practitioners of ice hockey and Alpine skiing, sports enjoyed primarily by speed freaks with a high tolerance for contusions.
Today the sport has gone mainstream. You'll see everybody from grade schoolers to grandmothers out rolling along. All you need is blacktop and an urge to roll.
While Tampa Bay offers a number of good skate spots, one of the most scenic can be found at Fort De Soto. There are not many places where you can skate and feel the salt air in your hair without worrying about getting run over by a snowbird in a Cadillac.
For low-impact exercise, it can't be beaten. It will help develop muscle tone, especially in the thighs and hips, and burn calories. Skating for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace will expend 285 calories -- nearly comparable to jogging or cycling. Interval skating -- alternating one minute of hard skating in a tuck position with one minute of easy skating in an upright position -- will burn 450 calories in a similar time period.
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