Playing basketball is a fun way to blow off steam and hang out with your friends or family, but did you know it is also incredibly healthy for your body? Basketball encourages good physical, mental, and emotional health. Read on to learn the many fitness benefits you will reap from shooting hoops.
1. Builds Motor Skills
When you think about it, basketball requires a lot of hand-eye and full-body coordination. Dribbling the ball, shooting, and catching rebound shots all take a lot of concentration and communication within your body. You might not have great ball control at first, but after lots of practice and play, you will soon develop the strong motor skills and hand-eye coordination that make a great basketball player!
If you need help developing your motor skills for basketball, try following along with a drill video like this one.
2. Burns Calories
All the running and jumping in basketball make it an awesome aerobic exercise. For every hour of basketball, you can expect to burn between 600 and 900 calories, depending on your body size and type! Because of all the calories you will burn, playing basketball is a more fun alternative to a traditional gym workout. If you love being outside or playing with friends, basketball is a great way to get your daily exercise without dreading it or thinking about it; you will just feel like you are having fun!
3. Strengthens Body
A game of basketball requires jumping, running, shooting, passing, and holding your body in one position. These things make it a great full body workout! Basketball can strengthen your legs, arms, neck, core, and back. Unlike lifting weights, doing body weight workouts like playing basketball builds lean muscle, not bulk. You will get strong and fit without realizing it!
4. Encourages Mental Fitness
Basketball not only strengthens your body, but your mind too! Following the fast pace of the game requires intense concentration and quick thinking. Watching your teammates and opponents and anticipating their next moves helps build your attention and decision-making skills that will translate to real-life situations like work or school.
5. Reduces Stress
Shooting hoops with your friends or family members is a great way to socialize in an active environment. It allows you to focus any negative energy into the game and lets you spend time with people who make you happy. Hanging out with people who share your interest and exercising both reduce stress and boost your immune system, plus getting praise for a good shot can increase your self-esteem!
6. Develops Cardiovascular Endurance
A fast-paced game like basketball is perfect for building a healthy heart. The running and jumping increase your heart rate and give you a cardio workout. To make the game even more beneficial, keep moving even when there is a stoppage in play; this keeps your heart rate elevated and builds up your cardiovascular strength. Having a healthy cardiovascular system can help reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack later in life.