Hoop For Health: Basketball’s Top Health Benefits

From driveways and parking lots to gymnasiums and arenas, basketball is watched, played and enjoyed by millions of fans around the globe. However, the sport is truly at home in Indiana.

Every Hoosier grows up with a passion for the sport, and Indiana basketball fans are invested like no other. Whether it’s Indiana’s highest NBA player per capita rate, proud professional basketball heritage, or exceptional high school and collegiate programs, our attitude can be best summed up by the adage “In 49 states it’s just basketball… but this is Indiana.”

Whether practiced alone or played in groups, part of basketball’s appeal lies in its adjustability; it’s nearly always possible to have a fun playing experience around the hoop. As a competitive and intensive sport, basketball represents a nearly total body workout that provides multiple health benefits to people who play regularly.

These benefits can range from the obvious to some which may be less noticeable on the surface but improve health all the same. Basketball is a great way to stay in shape and a fantastic healthy alternative to less engaging workout activities. So, can your basketball hoop be a gateway to better health?

Develops Strength

Running up and down the court and around the hoop, jumping to shoot or pass, and muscling up against opposition are all essential parts of the sport. With regular playtime, you can greatly strengthen muscle groups including your back, neck, deltoids, traps and core muscles, often more difficult to strengthen by activities like running. The sport’s running and leaping strengthens your legs, and shooting the ball builds arm and wrist strength. Basketball is one of the most complete workouts you can give yourself while having a great time.

Builds Endurance and Heart Health

Throughout any game, whether running or shooting, blocking or jumping, you’re almost constantly in motion. Maintaining that intense rate of motion keeps your heart rate up and is fantastic for building endurance and a strong basis for heart health. A healthy heart can drastically reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke over your lifetime, leading to greater longevity and better quality of life.

Burns Calories

With the total body workout and near-constant motion that basketball brings on the court and around the hoop, expect to burn off the calories like never before. At full intensity, a full hour of basketball can burn anywhere from 600 all the way up to 900 calories. For those looking to drastically increase their caloric burn, basketball can be a top-quality athletic option. For those looking just to have fun alone or with friends, burning calories and losing weight is just a hugely beneficial side effect.

Strengthens Bones

Basketball’s constant pivoting, leaping and weight shifting throughout the body can improve more than your muscles. Regular physical activity putting load-bearing responsibilities on the bones can spur on the formation of new bone tissue, and in turn, lead to greater bone strength and density. Don’t push yourself too hard at first in order to avoid injury, but as time goes on, your bones will strengthen alongside your muscles with regular time on the court.

Improves Coordination and Spatial Awareness

With the main goal of shooting (or dunking) the ball through the hoop to score points, basketball relies heavily on a strong basis of hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. Gauging factors distance from the net, the trajectory of teammates and defenders, and your own momentum before deciding to pass or shoot is happening constantly while playing. By training your brain to recognize these factors and their likely outcomes, as well as repeating this training during practice and playtime, your balance, coordination and spatial awareness skills will improve. Everyone has room for improvement in their level of coordination, and it is an invaluable skill that can improve your everyday life in countless ways.

Reduces Stress

From adults to children, nearly every person deals with stress on a daily basis, and there often aren’t enough outlets to help relieve that stress. The physical activity contained in basketball can do a great deal toward removing the body’s overall levels of stress, and practicing alone can help provide quiet and mental focus to find calm on the court. Excessive stress can be a dangerous health factor, so keeping it to a minimum is as important as the physical benefit that the workout provides.

With fun on the court creating so many health benefits that carry over into the rest of your life off the court, basketball is one of the easiest ways to make social connections and improve your health.

To take the next step toward better health and more fun, contact American Eagle Goals today at sales@aegoals.com.