Are you a basketball aficionado? Does your father often tell you to play the sport to grow taller and stronger? Well, your father was right.
Whether you are an expert basketball player or someone who has recently picked up the sport, playing basketball has lasting health, mental, and social benefits that can help you live a happier and healthier life.
However, before jumping straight to the benefits, let’s take a look at the sport itself.
Basketball – A Quick Overview
A much-loved sport all across the world, basketball is popular because it can be played as both a casual game on the local court or as a competitive sport. What’s more, it is a great way to move your body and work out as it involves using your entire body.
A fast-paced game, it involves a whole lot of running around and jumping, which is an excellent way to exercise. So, if you are looking to pursue a sport that helps you stay fit and healthy, there’s no better option than basketball. After all, it comes with more than just a few health benefits.
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Now, without further ado, here are the five benefits this sport offers you apart from growing taller and stronger.
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Did you know that basketball is great for your heart health?
Playing basketball is similar to doing an aerobic workout. You run up and down the court during possessions and other movements that increase your heart rate—a crucial way to decrease your chances of falling prey to heart diseases. It also helps build endurance.
Alongside playing basketball, eat a heart-healthy diet that contains low cholesterol foods, and you will be easily able to steer clear of stroke and heart disease later in your life.
- Builds and Improves Bone Strength
The bones in your body form the basic framework that protects your internal organs and supports your muscles. Basketball is a physically demanding game—there is a lot of tugging and pushing of muscles against bones involved. All these weight-bearing movements enable new bone tissue formation, thereby making your bones and muscles stronger.
Additionally, building healthy bones at a young age will reduce your risks of breaks and osteoporosis. Furthermore, it will help you grow taller as all the jumping involved stretches your bone and helps promote bone development.
- Burns Calories
Basketball is one of the many sports that revolve around the movement of players on the court. As a basketball player, you will have to run, jump, and do rapid lateral cuts throughout the duration of the game—all of which results in your body getting a great lot of exercise and thereby calorie burn.
While having calories isn’t essentially bad, having too many calories and not burning enough will lead to weight gain and ultimately other health problems. So, if you are looking to shed a few extra kilos, playing basketball is the ideal way to burn a lot of calories.
An average person who weighs 165 pounds can burn nearly 600 calories an hour playing basketball, while a person weighing 250 pounds can expect to burn about 900 calories.
- Boosts the Immune System
Just like playing any other sport, playing basketball results in reduced stress. When stress decreases, you will have more energy and focus on finishing tasks, which means you will have more time to be social, consequently preventing depression.
Furthermore, lowered stress also boosts your body’s internal defense system. A strong and healthy immune system will protect your body from disease-causing pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
- Better Coordination and Motor Skills
Basketball demands the players to have excellent hand-eye as well as full-body coordination. So, as you play this sport, it trains you to develop these skills. For instance, when dribbling, you are developing hand-eye coordination. On the other hand, rebounding shots that are missed help you develop full-body coordination.
Tap into the Benefits of Playing Basketball
Perhaps, the best thing about basketball is that you can easily play it all year round. You can also play the sport at community parks, recreational centers or even set up a basketball goal at your house, making it easy to practice while preparing for a tournament. Additionally, basketball is a sport you can practice alone—you don’t have to wait for other players to join in. What better reason do you need to start playing basketball?