Effect of Hockey on Human Health and Fitness

Daily Mail Sports

Introduction to Blog 

Hockey is fast becoming a popular sport in Canada and around the world, particularly amongst children. From its origins as a sport played indoors on ice rinks, hockey has evolved into several different variations and styles including Ice Hockey, Roller Hockey, Bandy (also known as Field Hockey), Floor ball, and even Handball. In fact, hockey is the only non-contact team sport that includes handball, and bandy often incorporates elements of both sports.

To say that hockey is a contact sport would be an understatement! A single hit to the head can result in serious injury to players, spectators, and even coaches! While many people enjoy playing hockey, others have expressed concerns about the long term effects of playing hockey on their health.

Does Playing Hockey Have Any Effects On Your Health?

Playing hockey does not cause permanent brain damage, but it may put you at risk for concussions, especially if you play at a higher level than you normally would. Concussion symptoms can vary greatly between individual athletes, however some general symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and memory loss. If you begin feeling any of these symptoms while you're playing, it's best to stop immediately and seek medical attention.

If you already suffer from concussion symptoms, then you should seek further medical advice from your doctor before continuing to play hockey. You could also consult with a physical therapist or a chiropractor who specializes in rehabilitation after a concussion. These professionals can help you safely increase your exercise intensity while working on balance and coordination exercises. Another potential consequence of playing hockey is overuse injuries, particularly to the knee, ankle, back, neck, shoulders, and wrist. Over time, repetitive motions of hitting, pivoting, turning, squatting, lunging, or skating can lead to muscle strains, sprains, or tears that require medical treatment.

However, the reality is that, while playing hockey may pose certain risks, it provides tremendous benefits to your body. It builds strength, endurance, flexibility, agility, speed, coordination, balance, and self-confidence. It also helps develop teamwork skills and leadership qualities, which are valuable assets in later life. Of course, the benefits don't stop once you retire from playing hockey. By incorporating regular physical activity into daily routines, you'll reduce the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, obesity, and depression. Regular exercise will also improve your immune system, making you less susceptible to illness.

In addition, research shows that regularly engaging in moderate aerobic exercise can actually enhance mood and cognitive function. As well, when combined with proper nutrition, exercise can stimulate production of chemicals called endorphins that help produce feelings of happiness, relief from pain, and calmness.

Athletes Who Enjoyed Longer Lifespan

Some scientists believe that playing sports can extend your lifespan. Studies show that those who participate in athletic activities live longer than those who do not. Other studies suggest that participating in sports can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, hypertension, atherosclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

Hockey and Its Effects on Fitness

Hockey requires a high level of cardiovascular fitness. It forces players to move their muscles at top speed, thereby increasing heart rate and oxygen consumption. Players expend approximately 500-600 calories per hour during play. Exercise intensity increases after each period, resulting in higher caloric expenditure. A typical hockey game lasts about two hours, averaging three points scored per minute. Thus, athletes may burn as many as 5500 calories during a single hockey game! In contrast, basketball and soccer require only half as much running time as hockey. As well, the average American consumes twice as many calories playing sports compared to those who do not participate in any physical activity.

Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay 

Athletes Fitness Due to Hockey

Athletes are often thought to have superior human performance due to genetics, training regimes, and nutrition. However, a recent study revealed that the human body's natural genetic potential was not enough to overcome the effects of over training. Another study reported that despite its popularity, exercise does not improve immune function. Instead, regular exercise results in increased susceptibility to infection. Researchers now believe that fitness is the best indicator of longevity and general health. Athletes have been shown to live longer than non athletes and have fewer medical conditions.

Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness occurs when the muscles become temporarily overloaded by strenuous exercise or injury. Most muscle injuries heal without intervention over a few weeks. However, some muscle injuries require surgery or prolonged rehabilitation. Soreness is different from pain, which is caused by inflammation. Pain signals the brain that something is wrong and should be treated. Muscular soreness is a sign that the athlete is healing. Soreness starts 24 to 48 hours postexercise and disappears around 72 hours later.

Burn Fat

Burning fat is crucial for athletes to lose weight and maintain lean physique. Cardiovascular exercises promote the burning of fatty acids. Weight lifting causes muscular contraction, and thus increases blood flow as well as oxygenation of muscle cells. Aerobic exercise burns more fat than anaerobic (without oxygen) exercise. Sports requiring endurance, such as swimming, cycling, and jogging, burn more energy than sports that do not require long periods of continuous exertion, such as jumping rope or playing tennis.

Better Balance

 Balance is critical for maintaining good posture and preventing falls. Research shows that athletes have greater balance control than nonathlete adults. Many athletes make use of special footwear designed to increase stability while decreasing risk of injury. For instance, skater shoes provide extra cushioning, ankle braces prevent ligament damage, and knee pads protect knees.

Improved Flexibility

The flexibility of muscles, tendons, and joints increases with age. An estimated 30% of people 50 years old have poor flexibility. By the time someone reaches 70 years old, they are likely to have lost 10 degrees of range of motion. When joint flexibility decreases, the likelihood of injury to joints increases, especially among older individuals. Improving flexibility reduces the risk of injury and helps prevent arthritis.

Stronger Bones

Bone mass increases throughout adulthood as bones develop, remodel, and strengthen. Bone density also changes depending upon gender, race, and ethnicity. According to research, menopausal women experience bone loss faster than other groups. Menopause accelerates bone loss by reducing estrogen levels and causing a rapid decline in calcium intake. In addition, low vitamin D levels may contribute to osteoporosis. Vitamin C supplements help build collagen, which is the chief structural protein in bones and connective tissues.

Hockey is a game played between two teams where they use sticks (pucks), skates, and their bodies to move the puck around the playing surface. The object of hockey is to score goals by shooting the puck at or past the opposing team's goal. Most often, the ball or puck goes into the opponent's net, resulting in a point being scored. However, in some situations, scoring may result in the puck going out of play; this is called a goal-against. If the puck enters the opponents' goal, then a goal is credited to the player who was closest to the puck when it went across the line.

The sport requires physical fitness because players need to have good agility, speed, endurance, balance, and coordination. In addition, they must possess great hand-eye coordination. There are several sports that require similar skills, including basketball, soccer, rugby, and American football.

A few interesting facts about ice hockey

There is no official figure for how many people are involved in the sport. Estimates range from over 10 million to over 100 million worldwide.

  • Ice hockey is the second most popular winter sport after skiing/snowboarding.
  • In Canada, ice hockey is the national winter sport and is officially known as Canadian professional ice hockey.
  • The National Hockey League (NHL) is considered to be the best league in the world and is the only major professional ice hockey organization to feature teams in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
  • Canada is home to the NHL, the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and the IIHF World Championship.
  • The Montreal Canadians are the oldest continuously operating franchise in professional North American sports.
  • The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the winner of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It is named after the English explorer and Royal Navy officer Sir John A. Macdonald.

Hockey is a sport that requires intense physical activity for many hours per week over a long period of time. Playing hockey involves various types of exercise including sprinting, jumping, throwing, shooting, stopping, passing, etc., and takes place in ice rinks, outdoor fields, and/or artificial turf. Players wear protective equipment including helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, shin guards, shoulder pads, neck guard, and mouthpiece. Ice hockey players may use sticks (also called skates) to move around the rink and score goals on the opposing team's net. A goalie wears a mask to protect his head and face while playing, and goalies may also wear gloves to provide extra protection.

Hockey is played at all levels of competition, ranging from youth leagues to professional teams. In North America, Canada includes professional hockey leagues and is considered a popular winter sport; the United States hosts amateur leagues. There are also international competitions between countries. National teams play exhibition matches and qualify for world championships.

I hope you have enjoyed this article!!!


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