It’s incredibly important for all kids, but especially young athletes, to learn good physical fitness habits early on. Young hockey players who are overweight, who don’t exercise regularly, or who have poor eating habits are going to have a harder time on the ice than their healthier teammates. Fortunately, instilling good habits isn’t all that difficult, especially if you start at a young age.
One of the best things you can do, as a parent, is to make eating right and being physically fit a family affair. Your hockey player and your entire family can benefit from being healthy and fit, especially if you engage in fitness activities together.
An easy and fun activity for the whole family, for example, is to go on a nice hike. Most cities and towns have walking trails and parks where you guys can walk, run, or even bike together. Not only is this a good way to squeeze in some fitness, but it also provides a nice time to talk and check-in with your little player.
It can also be fun to just get out in the yard for a few hours and play! Whether it’s playing tag, tossing a ball around, or anything in between, being active outdoors is a simple way to get exercise without your kids even realizing they’re doing it. They’ll just think they’re having fun, and they will be!
And, when it comes to hockey-related physical fitness, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure that your young player is stretching out and warming up before each and every game. Not doing so can lead to an increased risk for injury or other problems. Do some stretches together or even a few warm-up exercises, like jumping jacks, right before the game. That way, even if the coach skips them or you’re running a little behind, your healthy player will still be ready to go!