Benefits of playing hockey

Written by Neil Becker

The great thing about playing hockey is that you can start at any age.

It doesn’t matter if you’re athletic or not; there are leagues available at every level for kids to adults who either want to play competitively or have that burning desire for learning how to play.

A huge benefit for playing hockey, is that it teaches players how to work together as a team in learning what it takes to achieve that collective goal of winning. Learning to work as a team is a way to build character.

One of the highlights of playing hockey is the social aspect of swapping jokes with teammates and laughing with them in the dressing room. Post-game, another huge benefit is the tradition of going out with teammates or even players from the opposing team to a sports bar where over beer and drinks, they get to share some more laughs and tell some tall tales while recapping the games. Basically, hockey is a great social outlet where players can relax with peers while forgetting about the outside pressures of things like work, school or family pressures.  

Naturally, a huge benefit for hockey is the overall exercise which includes developing or improving their cardiovascular system,(lungs and heart) which supplies the muscles with oxygen. As a sufficient amount of oxygen gets pumped through the body, it helps maximize the player’s overall breathing along with burning fat and calories; this can lead to a longer & healthier lifespan. It also maximizes the player’s cellular activity.  In the long run, players can lose a lot of body weight, as on average a player burns roughly 0.061 calories per pound, per minute.

Another health benefit of hockey is the overall workout one gets from the sport. The skating, bodychecking and shooting are great ways to strengthen the leg muscles, hamstrings, calves and hip flex muscles. Meanwhile, the shooting and checking helps to develop the forearms and shoulder muscles. Hockey is definitely a way to burn a ton of calories.

Hockey also improves one’s overall coordination techniques between their hands and eyes when it comes to receiving a quick pass, or making a quick decision with the puck. The more one plays, the quicker will be their overall hand eye coordination along with spontaneous responses with the puck.

One specific benefit for playing hockey or any other sport which is often overlooked is what it does for that athlete’s mental health. Sports such as hockey can improve your mental outlook and make you feel positive due to the brain releasing endorphins which take away stress or feelings of depression or anxiety.

Overall, playing hockey is fun. As opposed to the monotonous routine of lifting weights or pedaling on a stationary bike, playing hockey is an addictive fun sport which brings social interaction, and offers a full body workout. Also, with leagues available at every level, anyone at any age can start to join in the fun of playing hockey. 

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