When you think hockey, you think body checks, fist fights and missing teeth. But there’s so much more to hockey than the rough contact sport it’s known for.
Samir Becic, 4 times Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the world and HFR’s “Top 10 Health Benefits of Hockey”:
- Helps burn fat and calories: The fast pace of the game requires short bursts of energy that help burn a huge number of calories. Each player burns about 0.061 calories per pound, per minute. This amounts to a huge loss of body weight in the long run.
- Develops the cardiovascular system of the body: The energy and muscular strength required in hockey help in the development of cardiovascular system, which supplies the muscles with oxygen. Pumping of sufficient quantities of oxygen helps to improve the breathing and cellular activity.
- Metabolism boosting: Because of the start-stop nature of the game, where fast skating is broken up by periods of rest, you may get to enjoy even greater cardio benefits. This pattern mimics high intensity interval training, which can burn more calories and boost your metabolism.
- Is a full body workout: Playing hockey is an excellent way of developing the leg muscles, such as the hamstrings, calves and hip flexor muscles. It also aids in developing the endurance of triceps, forearms and shoulder muscles.
Enhanced muscular strength: The enhanced muscular strength gained from hockey can reduce the risk of injury, improve bone strength, strengthen connective tissues and increase muscle mass. All of these contribute positively to a healthier, stronger body that is less prone to injury and has improved overall function.
- Develops hand-eye coordination: Playing hockey involves the coordination between the hands and the eyes. It also improves the spontaneous responses and reactions of the players during the game. Practicing this game aids in developing coordination abilities, improves hand-eye reflexes and improves agility.
Improved body coordination and balance: In ice hockey, players must pass and receive pucks that are traveling quickly across the ice, and field hockey players must do the same with a ball. In either version, players must react quickly in order to accurately respond to or make a play. Developing these skills can lead to improved overall balance and agility, and hand-eye coordination is also positively affected.
- Develops the spirit of team work: Playing with a team of 11 people develops a sense of teamwork as everyone works towards successful achievement of goals and victory.
- Improves communication: Playing hockey involves the communication of messages through eyes and gestures. Being able to effectively communicate with a teammate in the middle of a fast play not only leads to success on the ice, but it also leads to the overall improvement in the communication skills of the players.
Brain boost: Exercise itself can improve your mood because of the endorphins that are released, easing feelings of depression, stress and anxiety. As a form of exercise, hockey provides this benefit, but there’s an added brain boost that comes with the sport as well. Hockey demands good decision-making, and honing these skills on the ice or field can also be transferred to everyday life.