Yes, its true and you heard it here first. This notification is from the department of middle aged physical activities.
Tired of the dead-fish sound of sneakers slapping against pavement? Why run, when you can strap your feet into a pair of slippery jets that make you feel like the ground is constantly sliding out from under you? Not quite as fast as bikes, but much less stable and lacking any mechanical braking system, inline skates are SUPER FUN!
Skating is great cardio and builds leg and core strength. Additionally, it makes you a lot more sure-footed since you are constantly re-stabilizing and shifting your balance. My knees and ankles aren't in the greatest shape, so the lack of joint impact suits me very well. Two of my favorite circuits from my house involve the riverwalk on the Chattahoochee. Going south to Bull Creek bridge is about a 6 mile loop (I think) and going north to the whitewater and returning through town is usually somewhere around 3 miles.
Part of the joy of sport is geeking out about your equipment. My first pair of skates got completely destroyed, from then on I bought better gear with aluminum frames. I spent about ten years of my youth skateboarding, and inline skating reminds me a tiny bit of that since I am still cruising around on urban pavement with plastic wheels. There's a lot of wheel rotating and wheel changing involved in this, they do get ground down.
There are going to be falls, but you can be smart about what you are doing and train to avoid injury. Some level of risk is inherent in remaining active, but I also feel that speed and a sense of risk can be very motivating. I pulled an abdominal muscle once falling and tumbling, I had never done that before. The bloody knee pictured here was due to a bonehead mistake on my part. I didn't check my skates out properly and a loose buckle fell into my wheels.
I actually got into skating because of a certain mysterious stranger. He was interested in ice skating, and we both learned it together. Later we both got into skating outside, which can feel fast and athletic, or it can just be a relaxed way to explore your neighborhood. You never know when you might stumble upon an illogical urban iceberg, for example.
Of course, that same mysterious stranger is a lot bigger now and he's been playing ice hockey for a number of years. For him, street skating is an off-season activity and a poor substitute for ice. When he does strap some wheels to feet, however, he can skate circles around me.