Whether you enjoy shooting hoops by yourself, playing a game with friends or competing at an elite level, basketball offers many health benefits. This fast-moving sport will have you working up a sweat while improving your agility, coordination and speed.
Here are five health benefits of basketball.
1. Supports Cardiovascular Health
Basketball is a fast-moving sport that gets your heart pumping. It’s an excellent cardiovascular workout that will improve your endurance and potentially reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease.
2. Improves Bone Strength
Basketball is a physically demanding sport that can help build stronger bones. Any type of weight-bearing exercise will help strengthen your bones and potentially prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Basketball involves a number of skills that help promote this effect, including jumping, shooting and dribbling.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Playing a sport is a great way to burn calories while having fun. Basketball is no different. The running, jumping and quick lateral movements help deliver a great cardiovascular workout that burns calories and fat.
A person weighing 150 pounds can burn about 204 calories playing basketball for an hour. The harder you work and longer you play, the more calories you’ll burn.
If you enjoy playing basketball, you’ll be more motivated to continue playing and burning calories. Exercising regularly will help you maintain a healthy weight and fitness level.
4. Encourages Goal-Setting and Self-Improvement
Whether you play competitively or just with a group of friends, basketball promotes goal-setting and self-improvement.
When playing on a team, you’re encouraged to give every practice and game everything you have, and you’ll work to set new achievement goals as you progress in your skills. On a professional level, coaches use analytics systems to help their players (and team as a whole) better improve their game.
The self-improvement and goal-setting aspects of the game will set you up for success later in life. After all, these are the foundations of success in virtually every aspect of life. To reach your goals, you must be disciplined and prepared to improve yourself.
These traits will carry on into other areas of your life, helping you enjoy more fruitful academic and professional careers.
5. Boosts the Immune System
Playing basketball or any other sport can help reduce stress, which ultimately helps improve your immune system function. Stress puts a strain on your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
Playing an active sport that gives you an aerobic workout will lower levels of cortisol and adrenaline – stress hormones – to give your immune system a break.
6. Improves Mental Development
Basketball is more than a physical sport – it’s also a mental sport that requires you to think on your feet.
To progress in this sport, you must stay focused and aware of the action on the court to make quick decisions. The wrong move could put your team behind.
Basketball also requires you to train yourself to be observant of your teammates and opponents, predict their actions, and take actions based on those predictions.
7. Improved Coordination and Motor Skills
Like many other sports, basketball requires excellent hand-eye coordination. Each time you practice or play this sport, you’re developing these skills. Dribbling improves hand-eye coordination while shooting and rebounding missed shots improves full-body coordination.
These improved skills will further enhance your fitness level, agility and endurance. Having better coordination can also help prevent injuries that could keep you off of the court.
8. Improved Confidence
Playing sports is a great way to boost your self-confidence. As you improve your skill and progress in the sport, you improve your self-esteem. Confidence will help you face life with a more positive disposition and overall outlook on life.