Do you love basketball? Have you often heard your father say you will grow taller and stronger if you pursue this sport? Well, your father may have just been right! But apart from just growing taller and stronger, this sport also offers you a plethora of other health benefits!
Would you like to know more? Keep reading this post!
Basketball – A Brief
Basketball is a much-loved sport all across the world. It is popular because it can be played as a competitive sport or a casual game on the local court. It is also a great way to work out as it involves using your entire body (1). It is a fast-paced game that involves a good deal of jumping and running which is a fantastic way to exercise. If you want a sport that helps you stay fit and healthy, basketball is the perfect choice as it comes with more than a few health benefits.
Following are the health benefits of basketball.
1. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Basketball is great for your heart health! Because you keep moving, your heart rate increases. It also helps in building endurance, which is important when you want to make sure that your heart is healthy. It will help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease later in your life (2).
2. Burns Calories
Do you want to shed a few extra kilos? Play basketball! All the quick lateral movements, running and jumping, gives you an aerobic workout that in turn can help you burn a lot of calories. For every hour of basketball, a person who weighs 165 pounds can expect to burn about 600 calories while a person who weighs 250 pounds can expect to burn approximately 900 calories.
3. Builds Bone Strength
The physical demands of this awesome sport help in improving and building bone strength. Any physical activity that involves weight-bearing allows the formation of new bone tissue, and this in turn makes the bones stronger. Both the muscles and bones in your body become stronger with basketball as it is a physical activity that involves the tugging and pushing of muscles against bone.
4. Boosts The Immune System
When you play basketball or any other sport, it helps in reducing stress (3). When stress is decreased, you will have more energy and focus to complete tasks. It also makes you more social, which in turns helps in preventing depression. When stress is lowered, your immune system gets a boost as well.
5. Provides Strength Training
By playing basketball, you get an excellent full-body workout. This helps in the development of lean muscle. It can help develop your lower back, neck, deltoids, traps and core muscles. It also makes your legs stronger, and the movements like shooting and dribbling help strengthen your arms, hand muscles and wrist flexors.
6. Boosts Mental Development
Basketball may be a fast-paced game that requires a lot of physical skills, but it is also a mind game that requires you to think on your toes (4). It requires you to have a lot of focus so that you can accurately and quickly process the action on the court and make decisions that are effective with the ball. It also requires you to train yourself so that you can observe your opponents and teammates constantly and make quick decisions based on their actions.
7. Develops Better Coordination And Motor Skills
Basketball requires excellent hand-eye coordination as well as full-body coordination (5). When you play this sport, it gives you the training to help develop these skills. Dribbling gives you training for hand-eye coordination while rebounding shots that are missed gives you the training to develop full-body coordination.
8. Develops Self-Discipline And Concentration
As with other sports, there are rules that need to be followed when you play basketball. When you break these rules, it can lead to penalties for you as well as your team. It helps you develop self-discipline that is important as it encourages you to be more competitive and fair at the same time. It also keeps your mind focused and alert.
9. Improves Awareness Of Space And Body
Basketball is a game that requires spatial awareness. You need to know where you are positioned to make that perfect shot or play defense effectively. When you have an awareness of the space and body, you will know exactly where you need to be when your teammate or opponent makes a shot or passes the ball. When your spatial awareness is improved, it also helps in keeping you in balance.
[ Read: Benefits Of Swimming For A Healthy Body ]
10. Boosts Confidence
One of the best benefits of playing basketball is that it truly boosts one’s confidence (6). Being a good player and being a member of a great team can do wonders to increase your self-esteem and help you gain more confidence. When your confidence is boosted, your faith in your skills is also increased. Being confident allows you to face life with an improved disposition and has a positive effect on every aspect of your life.
The fast-paced action involved in basketball makes it one of the most exciting games to play and watch in the world. The fact that it provides numerous benefits is an excellent bonus. It is no wonder that the President of the US has made it a part of his regular workout regimen to keep himself physically and mentally fit. It is a great game for both adults and children. If you are looking to play a sport that gives you multiple benefits, both physically and mentally, this is the one for you.
- Always warm up and stretch your joints and muscles before you hit the court. Make it a point to stretch and cool down after a game as well.
- Basketball is a physically demanding game. It is important to have plenty of fluids on hand so that you can rehydrate your body at regular intervals.
- Because of the physical demands, it is important that you keep yourself flexible and strong.
With the many benefits of basketball, it is the perfect reason for you to pick up a ball and start shooting some hoops. It can be played alone or with friends – no matter what you choose, you get a great workout. By making this sport a part of your fitness routine, you ensure that you stay physically and mentally fit and active for many years.
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