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A Felixstowe hockey player claims the sport aided her in her recovery from breast cancer. Tanya Ruffles, who plays for Felixstowe Hockey Club, was diagnosed in November 2016 and completed courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to help her beat the disease. She returned to hockey after an extensive break in October this year when she took up her place in the Felixstowe Hockey Club Ladies second team.

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Thirty-seven-year-old Tanya says she originally started to play hockey in order to improve her health and fitness and for the enjoyment of being part of a close-knit team. She says her teammates are like family and she credits the support she received from them and the club during her treatment with helping her stay strong. She returned to training in July and has taken part in several fundraising events hosted by the club in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

Benefits of regular exercise

The NHS guidelines state that adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. This includes things like running, cycling, team sports and swimming. The NHS also recommends that adults incorporate strength training into their weekly routine and try and work all the major muscle groups at least twice a week. Sports such as hockey are a great way to fulfill these exercise requirements as they entail a full body workout. As well as cardiovascular exercise, training for field sports involves strength training to improve stamina and overall fitness.

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How to get into hockey

While hockey is growing in popularity, it’s still a long way behind sports such as football and rugby in the UK. If you’d like to try your hand at hockey, or perhaps get back into the sport after a long break, the resources at sites such as www.sportplan.net can help you with both the basics and more advanced techniques. Watching a field hockey training drills video is a great way to see what the game involves, and can help you improve your skills outside of formal practice sessions or with your teammates at training.

While no sport can cure serious illnesses, exercise, and particularly team sports, come with a huge range of physical and mental health benefits that can greatly enhance all areas of life.


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