Bloomberg (Manuela Davies/Getty Images)
Photo: Bloomberg (Manuela Davies/Getty Images)

Only 50% of American adults get the physical exercise necessary for disease prevention. The CDC further reports that inactive lifestyles cost us $117 billion per annum. The severity of this problem cuts across races, ethnicities, social classes, and ages. But, leading active lifestyles is significant in improving health across these groups. What better way to do this than through basketball? While other forms of exercise, like aerobics, are useful, basketball is more rewarding. The sport is rigorous, and brings forth several benefits; take a look.

Burns Calories

Our bodies only need a specific amount of calories every day. The Dietary Guidelines note that this number varies by age, height, and sex. The physical exercise you engage in also matters. So, when a person consumes more calories than their body needs, they gain extra weight. Physical exercise helps to get to a healthy weight or maintain it over time. Many ask what does basketball help with because they doubt its rigor. Here is one fact to dispel any uncertainties. Captain Calculator confirms a person burns about 575-775 calories/hour when playing shooting hoops. 

Taking part in your favorite sport alone doesn’t complete the trick. Wendy Cooper, a fitness expert who works with, warns us also to watch our diet. In the meantime, choose what works for you. One can shoot hoops for a low impact exercise and burn almost 300 calories/hour. Then again, playing half a court for the same duration burns about 250 more. So, what if you play in the entire court? How many calories will you burn? Fitness experts say that you get rid of up to 775 calories in an hour. Increase the level of activity for more impact. 

Build up muscle

Your muscles, joints, and bones are the supporting structure of your body. So, strengthening them through an active lifestyle guarantees the ease of task completion. Players often run, jump, and make lateral movements. This fact doesn’t guarantee an increase in the size of their muscles. But, among the top benefits of basketball is that it strengthens and tones your muscles. Getting into this game can be the inspiration you need to get into a weight routine. If your goal is to become muscular, lifting weights is more practical. 

Boosts Mental Development

Basketball is not only rigorous but needs much concentration. Evidence reports that any form of physical exercise sharpens a person’s mind. A playing child achieves psychological stability faster than a sedentary kid. As a result, they develop better personalities and traits when they age. Angie Olson, a psychologist who cooperates with, confirmed improved academic performance among active students. An active child has the following characteristics.

  • A high attention span
  • Excellent memory
  • Higher levels of concentration when studying.

Intellectual development occurs at different rates in learners. One notices much change in a playing child than in an adult. Of course, there are other factors besides age that influence how individuals develop. Basketball Manitoba reports that coaches can tailor their practice to suit the needs of the learner. So, how do you know that exercise improved the way someone’s mind works. Here are other mental health benefits of basketball.

  • Improved mood
  • Ability to comprehend consequences
  • Demonstration of logical thinking

Develops Better Coordination and Motor Skills

Are you still asking why basketball is important? To convince you further, consider this question. How well can you use the different parts of your body together in an efficient way? Well, coordination and motor skills are essential in everyday life. You use them for simple tasks like cleaning to complex ones, such as making an art piece. Learning these two skills takes time. If you are an adult, you have been doing it all your life. Children also need to learn them. Basketball is an excellent way to sharpen these skills. Various physical exercises and drills improve how you perform in these two areas. Take a peek.

  • Throwing and catching the ball- improves hand-eye coordination
  • Dribbling- improves multi-directional coordination
  • Jump and lateral movements
  • Strength training

Develops Self-Discipline And Concentration

When it comes to fitness, we often ask, is basketball good cardio, or must I hit the gym? Though cardio and weight are vital, we overlook improving discipline and concentration. In basketball, one learns to keep emotions under control. Coaches often train players on how to react under stressful situations. Individuals also learn how to concentrate on their passing to avoid making bad calls. These two learned values apply to academics and life situations. Many successful athletes and entrepreneurs list them as the top principles for success. 

Helps you to make new friends

Individuals with common interests, despite their age, can become friends. Players work in the same space under the same set rules. So, they know more about each other on a professional and individual level. A team learns to complement each other. Since everyone understands the strengths and weaknesses of each other, they become better. Dorothy Gibbs, a trainer who works with claims that basketball works for all ages. Adults must not feel shame to visit community centers or parks for adult sports programs.

It is fun!

Evidence suggests that people of all age groups love competitive sports. When you match players against other teams, thousands turn up to watch. Winning after working hard brings joy to players, coaches, and fans. Some players find the act of working with others in a team enjoyable. Others relish the thrill that comes with the game. Have you been to a basketball match? Remember the dying minutes when the shortest guy makes a 3-point shot and secures a win. How wild did the crowd go? Such a thrill prompt many to ask, does playing basketball make you taller? It is not like the shortest man in the pitch grew extra inches to make that shot. But exciting enough, research suggests that players can add an inch or two from playing the sport. This new evidence just made the sport more fun.

Getting started with physical activity is tough for people who have been inactive for a long time. You can start slow with low impact physical exercises. Build your momentum by engaging in a more challenging activity every day. Consider this example. The CDC recommends working out 150 minutes a week. How about you break down this large chunk of time into sessions of 25 minutes a day. In case you encounter distractions, set a daily routine. Such small but achievable goals motivate people before they set long-term goals. By the time you are two weeks in, you are ready to start playing basketball. Call your friends and keep that form going.