A sport for highly skilled athletes, ice hockey requires a combination of aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The game is split into 3 periods of 20 minutes each, with frequent moments of high intensity. A study in the December 2014 issue of the “Journal of Human Kinetics” showed that, on average, the time a player spends in the high-intensity zone during a hockey game is less than half of the total game time, varying from 15 minutes for forwards to 18.5 minutes for defensemen.
Crunching the Numbers
Calorie burn depends on many factors, including body weight. For example, a person weighing 125 lbs can expect to burn approximately 475 calories after playing hockey for one hour, while a person weighing 190 can expect a burn of about 700 calories per hour. Calories burned are similar for field hockey, according to a July 2004 issue of the “Harvard Heart Letter.” Although an average hockey game lasts 60 minutes, only about 25 percent of that time is actually spent playing and actively burning calories. Because hockey has high-intensity intervals, however, the calorie burn continues well after the athlete is finished playing.