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Do You Know the Various Health Benefits of Playing Basketball?

Health Benefits of Playing Basketball
So, you love playing basketball, and are interested to know how it can help you stay healthy?
Mukulika Mukherjee
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2017
Did You Know...
... that an hour of active basketball can help you burn 650 to 750 calories!
Basketball is a fast-paced game that is fun to watch, and if you ask the players themselves, even more fun to play. No wonder it is one of the most-played, as well as the most-viewed sport in the world. It is a game played by two teams comprising 5 players each, and their objective is to throw or shoot the ball through a hoop that is 18 inches in diameter, located at a height of 10 feet, following a defined set of rules.

Talking about player positioning, the center, power forward, and small forward positions are mostly meant for the tallest players in the team, while the Point guard and shooting guard are positions meant for players who are adept at handling the ball. The game was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian-American physical education teacher.
How Playing Basketball Keeps You Healthy
Playing basketball on a regular basis can reward you with a plethora of health benefits. So, let's have a look at how your favorite game can go a long way in helping you stay fit and healthy.
Keeps You Physically Fit
Basketball player
Basketball is a great sport to play for total body fitness. Activities such as handling the ball and dribbling, enhances your motor skills. Since a player needs to work with his hands, legs, and eyes in close coordination, playing basketball helps you improve on your coordination skills. It also improves your posture and balance, and makes you more agile, as you master the art of navigating through the court by avoiding other players.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Basketball dribbling
Basketball is a fast game, that involves a lot of running, dribbling, quick turns, passing, jumping, and shooting. This serves as an effective cardiovascular workout, which accelerates breathing, and increases the supply of oxygenated blood to the muscles of the body. Thus, a game of basketball can keep your heart healthy, keeping cardiovascular ailments, including high blood pressure, at bay.
Builds Muscle Strength
Basketball player
Basketball is a physically intensive contact sport, and promotes muscle build-up and strengthening. Running up and down the court uses all major muscles in the legs, including the calf muscles, the hamstrings, the quads, and the gluteus maximus.
Basketball, being one of the toughest games out there, the intense workout causes these muscles to become stronger. Shooting strengthens the muscles of the upper body and the arms, including the biceps and the pectoral muscles. It's an effective core body workout.

However, this can make certain muscles of your body prone to injuries, making it essential that you warmup and stretch your muscles before a game.
Improves Stamina and Builds Endurance
Basketball Team
Endurance is defined as the ability of the body to stay active for longer durations. During your initial days of playing the game, you would probably find yourself short of energy. But with regular practice, you'll develop endurance and improve your stamina. Basketball challenges players to push themselves further, and the longer you play, the stronger you become.
Helps You Lose Weight
Basketball player
Basketball is a fast sport, and involves a lot of quick and sharp movements, not to forget the running around. This helps burn calories and keeps you fit. An average player runs 4 to 5 miles during an hour of full-court play. In fact, research has shown that an intense session of basketball can help you burn 650 - 750 calories per hour. So, if you're seeking an activity that can help you lose weight real fast, nothing can get better than playing basketball.
It'll surely prove to be a fun way to shed a few extra pounds and stay in good shape. Research shows that playing basketball significantly reduces the risk of obesity.
Reduces Stress
Teenagers playing basketball
When I say that playing basketball can serve as a stress-buster, it is because playing the game releases endorphins (small molecules of protein) in your brain, that can make you happy and feel good about yourself. Whenever you're stressed-out after a day at work, a game of basketball can make you forget your worries as you focus on the game. What's more, a few successful stints at shooting can boost your confidence and give you a high. All in all, playing basketball promotes mental wellness.
Other Benefits of the Game
The many health benefits apart, basketball can teach you a few important life lessons too, and shape you into an individual who is better equipped at dealing with the challenges of life. Need more reasons to initiate yourself into this much-loved sport? Well, then you'll be glad to know that you'll never be short of them.
It's a team sport that inculcates team-building skills.

Kids who play the game from an early age learn to be more assertive. They also learn the value of self-discipline, along with effective time management skills.

Helps improve concentration and teaches one to focus on the task at hand.

Enhances confidence.

Helps you make new friends and improve on your social skills.
A game of basketball can be a good excuse to bond with your family, and all you'll need is a ball and a hoop! So, what are you waiting for? Do you need still more reasons to go ahead and indulge in this beautiful game?