Women’s hockey is statistically one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and for good reason! It’s a fast-paced game, fun to watch and play and there are an increased amount of opportunities though programs and leagues for women to join in on the fun.
According to International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Women’s Committee Chairwoman Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer, in 2018 there were over 200,000 registered women playing hockey across the world, a 17% increase since 2010 (at approximately 170,000).
Now let us get down to why you need to sign up!
First off, as Canadians it’s stereotypically in our blood, and two, the benefits to our daily lives can be huge, not only for our personal development but for the social experiences we can get from it with friends and family. Here are a list of reasons women NEED to play hockey!
As expected, the benefits to your fitness and mental health are tremendous. According to healthfitnessrevolution.com, hockey can provide a long list of benefits to your health.
- Through the short burst of skating and long duration of games, the effect on your cardio and lung capacity is fantastic. After a few weeks of playing, you’ll notice your shortness of breath to be reduced and you’ll feel as good as new!
Metabolism Boosting and Fat Loss
- As we all get older, we do not digest our food as quickly as when we were young pups, and paired with inactivity, this can lead to an increase in weight. The quickness of the game, and short periods of rest provide that calorie burn and boost your metabolism.
- The short bursts are a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which push the body to use fat storage for energy rather than muscle, which of course greatly assists in body fat loss and that digestion of food to resupply your body with energy. As an example, 10 minutes of HIIT burns more calories than 30 minutes on the treadmill.
It’s a full body workout
- Skating, shooting, and passing requires multiple muscle groups to be utilized. Legs, calves, forearms, and back muscles along with hip flexors and your connective tissues are strengthened through activity. Along with that, through age, bone density can decline and lead to Osteoporosis; hockey has proven to strengthen bones and generally improve muscle mass which assists in body stability.
- We all have busy lives, with balancing work, family life and with children it makes it all the more difficult to get out of the house. Joining a league or development sessions can give you 1 or 2 days a week to get to the rink and spend time with friends who all share the same interest as you. Additionally, the locker room talk and occasional beverage after a game only makes the experience better!
- Tournaments also give that extra bonding time with the ladies. CARHA Hockey tournaments such as the Ottawa-based Hometown Classic, and CARHA Hockey World Cup in Richmond, BC, have women’s divisions available for all ages. For more women’s tournaments across Canada, you can visit our tournament finder!
Setting an example for the next generation of young female hockey players
- Often you hear pro players or NHL'ers talk about their relationship with their father through the sport of hockey, or having that idol to look up to when progressing though the game. A mother/daughter relationship is just as special, and as a young girl playing minor hockey her motivation to play will increase if she knows mom also plays!
Convinced yet? Here’s some frequently asked questions that may help you get started.
I never grew up playing minor hockey, how can I start playing as an adult?
Cities across Canada have adult leagues with women’s divisions available and often have development clinics for beginners. Both Co-Ed and women’s only are available, so see what is best for you!
I’ve never owned hockey equipment, where should I look to outfit myself for my first hockey season?
Canadian stores like Source for Sports and Play It Again offer second hand equipment that can be an affordable way to fill your hockey bag and get you started. Old equipment don’t cut it? The big name stores like Hockey Life and SportChek will always have options, varying in price and quality.
The game of hockey is incredible. Although we may be biased as a hockey organization ourselves, we guarantee you will have a wonderful experience and be itching for that next ice time with the team!