When you think of the great Canadian sport of hockey, you likely think of a competitive sport that offers a great physical outlet for you or your child. Which is true. However, there are also many mental health benefits to hockey that NHTC would like to share with our reading audience.
During a time when mental health care remains a top priority across our community, finding ways to positively promote this care is important – and we want to help do our part in any way we can!
Hockey: Improves Brain Function and Alleviates Anxiety
Exercise overall is an excellent way to improve your mood. It helps to release endorphins, which – in turn, helps to combat depression, stress and anxiety.
In addition to the overall exercise benefits hockey offers, the need to make quick decisions also assists in developing the brain. Add to that the competitive comradery of the sport, building social networks and a team spirit – and you have the recipe for both a healthy body and mind!
Hockey: Helps to Develop a Positive Body Image
Whether seeking to lose weight in a fun way, or helping your son or daughter achieve a positive body image while strengthening their mind and body; hockey is an excellent fast paced sport for all of the above.
Short bursts of energy quickly burn maximum calories, while building muscle to prolong the positive benefits. As well, the cardiovascular nature of hockey pumps oxygen through the body, improving lung capacity and cellular activity throughout.
Hockey: Develops Positive Communication
Effective communication is key to many factors in life. From a productive work environment to a positive school experience; knowing how to communicate effectively can alter the mental stress or discomfort of having to interact with individuals.
Thinking on your feet is a big part when playing hockey, and both body language as well as verbal communication with teammates leads to success on the ice, as well as off the ice accordingly.
Hockey: Develops a Winning (and Losing Graciously) Attitude
Whether on the ice or off, parents should be encouraging their children to have the mindset of winning, and the attitude of accepting failure as an opportunity for growth. By having these conversations leading up to hockey training or ringette, it will better prepare your child for both, and help them accept either scenario.”
In our blog post Key Ways to Prepare Kids and Parents for Minor Hockey, we discuss how… “we train our athletes to win, and a large part of winning also involves the right attitude.
Learning how to lose graciously and win in the same manner, will provide a positive mental health benefit that you or your child can take into the real world and utilize daily. After all, we are faced with a lot of ‘losses’ in life, so learning to have a good attitude when that happens can help in navigating the world with a more positive mindset. Accepting that we often can’t control the outcome – but we can control how we respond to it.
If you are looking to invest in your child’s mental health through hockey – we are here to help, and our hockey arena in Langley is equipped to create the space from which to do so in a healthy and positive way!