Benefits of Shooting Hoops | 15 Reasons To Start Playing Basketball
Shooting hoops is always a lot of fun, so much so that it is one of the most popular sports in the entire world. While you may not be close to becoming the next Lebron James of the league, the game still holds a ton of benefits that even the average baller can enjoy.
15 Slam Dunk Benefits of Basketball That Will Have You Shooting Hoops in No Time
1. Develops Bone Strength
Shooting hoops is a great weight-bearing workout, a kind of exercise that forces you to hold your own weight up. These workouts are fantastic when it comes to strengthening one’s bones.
In a way, weight-bearing workouts are similar to doing dumbbell curls – you train your muscles by putting weight on them. This forces not only your muscles but also your bones to grow bigger and stronger.
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Putting weight on your bones causes the osteoblasts to develop greater bone mass. Similar to your muscles, they too, become denser, thicker, and stronger.
Having denser and stronger bones are especially useful in old age. They help prevent breaks in falls and lessens the risk of degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis.
All those running, jumping, and diving for loose balls involve the pushing and tugging of your muscles against bones.
2. Great for Cardio
Whether it’s a full-court or a half-court game, any game of basketball will involve lots and lots of running. And running, as we all know, is one of the best cardiovascular exercises out there.
Basketball will have you sprinting, jogging, and running up and down the court for an hour or even more, an activity that will definitely get your heart rate up. Just like those biceps you love training so much, your heart and lungs are also muscles that get stronger with exercise.
Having a strong cardiovascular system allows you to pump more blood and oxygen into your muscles. In turn, this allows your muscles to work for longer periods of time. Having a healthy heart also lowers your blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart diseases.
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3. Burns Lots of Calories
Because it makes for a great cardio workout, it goes without saying that shooting hoops is also great for burning calories. If you want to get rid of those love handles, then you can easily burn some 600-900 calories off with a game of basketball.
Plus, the calorie-burning benefits extend to after you play the game as your exercise post-oxygen consumption or EPOC also goes through the roof. This means that you will continue to burn more calories after playing compared to your normal calorie-burning rate.
Pro Tip: If you can, try to avoid eating before a game. This will force your body to burn fat stores and convert them into energy for your exercise.
4. Supplements Your Strength Training
If you’re a hoops fan, then you know just how strong and unstoppable Shaquille O’ Neal is. The man is simply unguardable inside the paint and is a terror on defense. This is the aspect of the game that really helps develop your strength – defense.
While it might not seem like a lot of effort at first, playing defense, especially against bigger men, will require you to hold your ground using your arms, core, back, and legs. In time, this will improve your strength and will definitely help make you a brick wall that’s perfect for setting up those screens.
5. Helps Develop Muscular Endurance
Shooting hoops requires more than just strong muscles and a healthy heart. It also needs you to have agility and stamina for you to be able to move and change directions quickly with short-duration but high-intensity muscle contractions.
These motions, in the long run, will help you build muscular endurance – the ability of the body’s muscles to apply repeated force for long periods of time.
6. Develops Fundamental Motor Skills
For children, playing basketball is also great for the development of basic motor skills. It helps improve endurance, flexibility, and motor coordination, especially among children.
If you have kids, try enrolling them in a basketball clinic next summer. It will be a great exercise that they’ll definitely enjoy. Who knows, your child might be the next Stephen Curry!
7. Improves Balance and Coordination
A game of basketball will require you to have so great hand-eye-foot coordination as it involves more than just shooting and dunking. It will have you passing, catching, faking, and even diving for loose balls!
Having good coordination comes in especially handy when it comes to learning and improving those dribbling skills. In turn, having good balance will also prevent you from falling for your opponent’s awesome moves.
Learning how to dribble the ball and run at the same time, even without those crossovers and fakes, is hard enough to learn. With practice, however, you might even come close to having dribbling skills that even Kyrie Irving will be proud of.
8. Increases Cognitive Function
When you watch basketball on TV, one of the terms you might often hear is “basketball IQ.” This is because basketball requires more than just having strength, agility, and height.
The sport’s GOATs like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James are often praised for having a high basketball IQ. This means that they are able to analyze situations easily and predict what the next play will be.
They have quick mental reaction times that allow them to disrupt the opponents’ plays and win games. They are able to see the situation, think on their feet, and make great decisions that end in winning plays.
This is a skill that y1ou, too, can develop with time and practice. It’s also a skill that will come in handy in the real world as you take tests, work your job, deal with your kids, and handle various situations and tasks that will require you to process things quickly.
9. Helps Develop Spatial Awareness
Shooting hoops also helps you develop spatial awareness as the game requires you to be especially aware of where everything is. At all times, you have to be aware of where the ball, the other players, the net, and all these other elements are in relation to your own body.
In the real world, this also translates to fewer falls and bumps on things that you didn’t know were there to begin with.
10. Instills Self-Discipline
Basketball, especially for children, is great for instilling self-discipline. This is a skill that is important for everyone to master from a young age.
Having self-discipline will come in handy in your job, in reaching your fitness goals, in achieving your aspirations… in pretty much every aspect of your life. Training for basketball, like all other sports, will require you to have a strong sense of self-discipline if you really want to be able to master the craft.
As Michael Jordan once said, “Heart is what separates the good from the great.” Having the heart to attend practice, the heart to wake up at 3 in the morning, and the heart to continue pushing yourself to be better than you were yesterday.
11. Builds Self-Confidence
Of course, as you get better and better, playing basketball will eventually develop your confidence in yourself. As time goes, you’ll find your own voice in your team as you learn to fit in different situations.
This self-confidence is a necessary skill to develop for everyone who wants to achieve success both on and off the court. As your confidence grows, you’ll notice that you’re less afraid of trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone, which allows you to grow positively.
12. Encourages Team Spirit
It goes without saying that with basketball being a team sport, shooting hoops will definitely help you make new friends and build a sense of camaraderie.
It helps you develop important social skills like respect as it also fosters a sense of teamwork and community. Just like in the real world, you will also have to broaden your perspective as you work with people from different backgrounds in order to achieve victory.
13. Develops Communication Skills
As with any other team sport, you will also have to learn to communicate well with your teammates verbally and nonverbally. This is a skill that will come in handy not just in your workplace, but even in your personal relationships.
You have to know when to speak up or stay silent. Equally, you’ll also have to learn how to communicate with different people especially if you want to achieve the same results.
14. Reduces Stress
One of the biggest benefits of shooting hoops, like most other exercises, is that it goes a long way in improving your mood and reducing your stress. It promotes the production of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel happy and gives you a sense of elation.
The feeling of elation you get from exercise can last all day long. It will have a positive effect on your mental health that will extend to the other aspects of your life.
15. Boosts Immune System
While contact sports isn’t exactly the most suggested form of exercise during this pandemic, playing a game of basketball also helps boost your immune system.
A decrease in stress not only gives you more energy to complete tasks but also leads to a boosted immune system. If you can, save the tip for after the pandemic though? For now, it might be better to drink your vitamins and do those workouts at home instead.
If you’re not yet shooting hoops on the regular, then you really should start to. If you’re still asking for reasons why, then scroll back up and ask yourself, “Why not?”
Are there other benefits of shooting hoops that we may have missed? Let us know in the comment section below!
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