Do you play basketball? Checkout the health benefits of playing basketball, one of which is that you could grow taller and much stronger. This is one of the major advantages of being a basketball player. Why is basketball important for your health? There are several reasons, for instance, it helps you burn calories, improves body endurance, balance, concentration and helps build body muscle.
Basketball is a favorite sport for many all over the world. It is a team sport, where there are 5 active players in each team attempting to score points by throwing the ball into a basket at a height of 10 feet. It can be played as both an indoor and outdoor sport.
The game of basketball involves activities like shooting; dribbling; passing the ball; defense; and other aspects. Some play it as a casual game while others play in competitions. It is a great exercise for the body and is an ideal sport for those who want to stay fit.
Let’s Check Out The Top 10 Health Benefits of Playing Basketball
Healthy Heart with a Basketball Workout
- There is a lot of running, dribbling, jumping and shooting involved in this game. This leads to a healthy heart.
- Breathing is enhanced and this improves the oxygen supply to the heart.
- You can prevent problems like high blood pressure by playing this game regularly.
Playing Basketball Helps in Burning Calories/Fat
Do you know that you can burn about 650 or more calories by playing just an hour of this fast paced game? The exact amount of calories that you burn will vary from person to person and also with the kind of basketball activity that you are involved in.
- One of the top advantages of basketball are that you can burn more calories in a full court, five on five basketball game, compared to a half court practice by yourself.
- For a 155 pound player, shooting hoops can help you burn around 300 calories an hour. A half court game could increase it to 558 calories an hour whereas a full court game would result in burning around 750 calories.
Tip: There are many benefits of playing basketball everyday. One single game of basketball cannot help you reduce fat. Be patient. Play it for many days in a week and use basketball as a strategy for reducing fat in the long run.
Note: The more you weigh, the more calories you can burn. Calculate the calories burned when playing basketball.
Making Your Bones/Body Strong
According to study published by Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, men playing basketball for fours hours in a week have increased hip bone density by 1.3% in 5 years. By playing basketball from a young age, you will have stronger bones when you get older!
- Bone density increases as the sport involves a lot of jumping as well as fast starts, stops and so on. This is one of the top basketball benefits for health.
- Such activities put a pressure on your bones and this results in new bone tissues being formed.
Note: Benefits of playing basketball for youth: It is important to play the sport from early on in life to improve bone density, as most of us reach peak bone pass prior to 30 year.
- One of the benefits of playing basketball is that as you jump and run back and forth several times, you end up strengthening your body.
- The game involves body positioning and maintaining the position. This can help strengthen the arms, neck, the lower back and all the core muscles of the body.
Body Workout/Physical Fitness
It is truly a full body workout! And it’s fun as well.
- Running up and down in the court offers the cardio part.
- The plyometric part comes from jumping as well as sudden change of direction
- The strength part comes from leaning on another player, setting picks as well as holding opponents off. You have to box opponents out, rebound, deal with strong defenses, leading to core fitness, shoulder strength.
- It involves sprinting; squatting; eye hand coordination and so many other elements.
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Building Muscle – Health Benefits of Playing Basketball
It is one of the best cardiovascular exercise and therefore helps in building muscle. You may not be able to win bodybuilding championships by playing basketball, as this requires training in heavy resistance, but you can surely be strong.
- The wrist flexors of the forearm are responsible for the power when dribbling, passing and shooting. When these flexors contract, you strengthen the muscles of your forearm. You also strengthen the triceps on the upper arm.
- The running involved in the game helps strengthen the muscles of the lower body, such as the hamstrings.
- Jumping increases the strength of the jumping muscles, such as the glutes and the calves.
Note: One of the major advantages of sports is that it helps strengthen the most important muscle of your body, namely, your heart!
- When you handle the ball and dribble, it improves the motor skills of the body.
- It improves coordination skills, as it involves intense coordination of the hands and the legs with the eyes.
- The posture and balance of the body is also maintained.
- Develops focus and discipline
- Catching a rebound missed shot is also a skill that needs complete body coordination, as the player must keep an eye on the ball and jump to catch it at the correct moment.
Focus and Discipline
One of the important reasons to play basketball is that it increases body discipline and enhances focus.
- You become more focused and agile when you dodge other players and navigate with the ball through the court.
- Exercise reduces stress. This will help you focus better and you have more energy for completing tasks on the court as well as off it.
Training Motor Skills/Body Awareness
- Dribbling enables the body to get trained in motor skills, making it one of the positive effects of basketball.
- It helps you improve spatial awareness. Do you know why a cat lands on its feet perfectly? It’s the body awareness that helps you keep your balance.
Mental Fitness – Mental Benefits of Basketball
In addition to all these physical benefits of basketball, there are also some mental fitness benefits.
- You have to constantly think while playing the game. The training involves keen observation of teammates as well as opponents, evaluation of what action to take, how to respond and so on. This helps you make decisions in a real life situation.
- Things are happening at a fast pace and you have to react and respond in a short time, by figuring things out mentally. This poses an immense mental challenge.
Social Benefits of Basketball
It helps reduce stress as well by offering the perfect opportunity of socialising with others while playing the game.
- This kind of socialising reduces stress.
- You are less likely to suffer from loneliness and depression
- This translates into better health.
- By playing a team game like basketball, you keep pushing each other to do better as well!
Whether you are just playing a fast game of hoops in the backyard or playing as a team with professionals, basketball can offer you all these health benefits and many more. In addition, you can maintain a fun and active lifestyle and socialize with others.
Why basketball is important? It can help you lead a healthy lifestyle. You could become a great athlete and even travel across the world. You may not be the next superstar, but you sure will be a happy and healthy person. You don’t need much money to get started on basketball, that’s the best part. All you need is a ball; a good pair of sneakers; and of course a court and a hoop. If you want some inspiration, President Barack Obama is known to play the game as a daily aspect of his fitness program. So, are you ready to emulate him?