What Are the Health Benefits of Playing Hockey?
A boy play hockey on a frozen pond. Photo Credit vanhoffen/iStock/Getty Images
Hockey, whether played on ice or on a field, is a sport that offers a total-body workout that includes both aerobic and anaerobic elements. The fast-paced nature of the sport provides aerobic exercise, while the reliance on all of the body’s major muscle groups also makes it an anaerobic activity. The result is a number of health benefits to the body, both physically and mentally. But with benefits come risks. Hockey is no exception, and safety should always be a priority when practicing the sport so that health benefits are not negated.
Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise occurs when your movements cause your breathing and heart rate to increase, resulting in calorie burn, fat loss and improved cardiorespiratory health. This type of exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight and keeps illness and disease at bay. Hockey is a form of cardiovascular exercise, and whether you’re skating or running, your body benefits from the activity. Because of the start-stop nature of the game, where skating or running is broken up by periods of rest, you may get enjoy even greater cardio benefits. Alternating vigorous activity with moments of recovery, known as high intensity interval training, can burn more calories and boost your metabolism.