Everyone knows that, in order to be effective hockey players, athletes need to have healthy bodies and healthy diets.
However, what exactly is a healthy body? Most would say it is a body with plenty of muscle and that is not overweight or underweight. However, weight isn’t always the best measure of “health.” A much better measure is body fat percentage.
If you have never had your young athlete’s body fat percentage tested, it’s a good idea to do so. From there, you can easily tell if it’s too high, too low, or just right...and then make adjustments as needed.
Ideal Body Fat Percentage
Ideal body fat percentage varies based on a person’s gender.
For young males, anywhere from 8 to 10% body fat is ideal. However, it is not unhealthy to have body fat at 11% or 12%. Anything higher than 12%, however, is not good. Female players can go up to 15% but no higher.
Going above this ideal body fat zone will reduce speed, agility, and stamina while on the ice.
Leanness is important for success in the game of hockey, so if your child has a too-high body fat percentage, it’s a good idea to monitor diet and incorporate more strength training and cardio.
Take a Gentle Approach
While it’s a good idea to help your child out if he or she has a too-high body fat percentage, take a gentle approach.
In fact, you don’t even have to let your child know about his or her body fat percentage being outside of the recommended numbers. Doing so could cause your child to obsess over the number and could lead to dangerous habits.
A much better approach is just to subtly focus on making healthier choices together as a family. If you can do that, your child should reach his or her ideal body fat percentage (and the benefits that go along with it) in no time at all.