Hockey is India’s national game. In 1928, India won its first Olympic Gold medal and till 1960, the Men in Blue remained unbeaten in the Olympics. India won 6 Gold medals in a row. In 1975, the Blue Brigade also won the World Cup held in Malaysia.
India has produced some exceptional hockey players. Dhyan Chand, Dhanraj Pillay, Balbir Singh Sr, Udham Singh, Leslie Claudius were some of them who made the country proud.
Lately, Hockey has lost the mass popularity it once enjoyed with Cricket being more revered now. Youngsters are more inclined towards taking up cricket bats than the hockey sticks. Parents are also of the opinion that cricket is a viable career option because of its financial rewards and Hockey is neglected as a result. Nonetheless, hockey involves a lot of running, stamina and communication as compared to cricket.
It goes without saying that the rigours of hockey have multiple health benefits and life skills that help children evolve as a complete sportsperson.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of Hockey:
- Good Cardio Workout:
Unlike Cricket, Hockey is a fast-paced game and there isn’t any time for relaxation. Here you need tremendous strength, agility, speed, and endurance which makes it a good cardiovascular workout. Such training improves your oxygen carrying capacity which boosts the blood circulation.
- Promotes Weight Loss:
Hockey helps reduce excess and unwanted body fat. The speed of the game requires short bursts of energy that helps burn calories and boost your metabolism. Roughly speaking, each player burns 0.061 calories per pound, per minute. This helps to considerable body weight loss in the long run.
- Enhanced Muscular Strength:
Hockey enhances muscular strength. It can reduce the risk of injury, improve bone strength, strengthen connective tissues and increase muscle mass. All of this contributes for a healthier, stronger body that is less prone to injury and has improved overall function.
- Enhances agility and balance:
Hockey makes a player more agile and flexible. It also enhances the stamina and endurance of the players. The game also requires a player to have quick reactions.
The development of these skills leads to an improved overall balance and agility, with the hand-eye coordination also being positively affected.
- Improves brain power:
With exercise itself, your mood can be improved because of the release of endorphins. It relieves one of depression, stress, and anxiety. Also, Hockey involves a lot of strategizing and planning, which improves concentration and observation power to a great extent.
Hockey necessitates one to have good decision-making. Honing these skills may also be transferred to everyday life.
- Develops Hand-Eye Coordination:
Hockey involves quick responses. Sometimes you need to even bluff the opposition by aiming at a direction and hitting the ball at other. You need to pass the ball accurately towards your team member. The spontaneous reactions of the game develop coordination abilities and hand-eye reflexes.
- Team Work:
Unlike Chess, Tennis, Weightlifting, Hockey is a team sport. You need all the eleven players playing with the mindset of winning then only a team could achieve success. It’s impossible to win a game of Hockey when there is no teamwork. As a team, you must be happy for the success of your team member and sad for his failure. Hockey develops a great sense of camaraderie as everyone works towards achieving goals and victory.
- Improves Communication:
Players while playing a game of hockey involve a lot of verbal and nonverbal communication through eyes and gestures. This results in an overall improvement in the communication skills of the players. This, in turn, boosts the team’s chances of winning.
- Full body workout:
Playing Hockey is a full body workout. It develops the leg muscles, such as the hamstrings, calves and hip flexor muscles. It also helps in developing the endurance of triceps, forearms and shoulder muscles.
- Boosts confidence:
With being fit and fine, agile and good in communication, naturally, a players’ confidence shoots upwards. It not only helps in the game but in everyday activities as well.
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