Basketball is a globally favoured sport that suits many skill levels and ages. This game of continuous rhythm of bouncing, throwing, and quick situational decision-making is gaining much popularity among youths. It’s a perfect blend of physical and mental indulgence, which keeps you fit and helps bring discipline to your life.
You can play basketball with a playful spirit or with a competitive mindset. Either way, it’s an incredible way to gain strength, coordination, and muscular endurance. Playing basketball has many physical, emotional, and social benefits and can improve our overall health and well-being.
Health Benefits of Playing Basketball
Strength and endurance
Basketball is a highly physically-demanding game and requires agility, strength and stamina. Rapid movements and changes in direction require quick and intense muscle contractions. And therefore, playing basketball regularly can help build muscle endurance.
Improves balance, coordination and motor skills
Playing basketball improves hand-eye coordination and balance as it involves quick movements and sudden direction changes. It has been observed that children who play basketball regularly have enhanced fundamental movement skills.
Bone density in our body erodes with ageing and a sedentary lifestyle. However, with adequate nutrition and playing regular sports like basketball can help build stronger bones. Research has shown weight-bearing exercises and activities like running and brisk walking help to increase bone strength.
After skipping and yoga, basketball is generally considered to be helpful in increasing height if pursued in the pre-adolescent age group. The tip-to-toe continuous physical movements and rigorous workout of the legs contribute to significant physical growth. Hence, more teens and children are recommended to play this game depending on their interests.
Improves heart health
Living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to elevated blood pressure; meanwhile, daily exercise or other regular sports help keep blood vessels healthy and blood pressure in control. Research has suggested that playing basketball regularly increases the resting heart rate, which leads to improved cardio-respiratory fitness.
Focus and concentration: In a basketball game, no pre-decided strategy can ensure favourable outcome, as one quick move by the counterpart can change the entire game. Playing basketball helps a person to stay in the moment and be more focused. This regular practice also reflects in other daily tasks as well.
Develops self-confidence and lowers stress: Playing basketball regularly can help bring out certain aspects of one’s personality, which helps boost confidence and a positive outlook on life. Regular physical activity has also been shown by research to release endorphins which lower stress, elevate mood and alleviate depression.
Encourages team spirit and develops communication skills: Being a team game, basketball promotes camaraderie and a sense of bonding. Interaction with teammates also helps develop communication skills and gain newer perspectives on life.
Dos and Don’ts
Following are some points to keep in mind while considering or playing basketball:
Take extra care of your knees and other joints: Ensure proper physical training before getting into the sport, take a coach’s help and never ignore any excessive joint pain or niggles experienced while playing.
Take proper diet: Any fitness journey or sports routine without a proper diet is futile. A more active lifestyle schedule seeks more nutrition. Ensure adequate calcium and vitamins intake, and increase the consumption of milk, green vegetables and other protein rich sources.
People with comorbidities: People with joint pain, knee health issues, and comorbidities need to be more conscious while choosing basketball as their game. While jumping and continuous running may increase heart rate, the same may affect your breathing pattern if you already have asthma or other respiratory issues. Similarly, continuous running may add to already existing joint pain as well. Ensure to take your doctor’s suggestion before training, don’t play if advised against; instead, choose other sports that suit your physical condition.
Dr. Rohit Lamba, Head of the Department & Senior Consultant
Bone, Joint Replacement And OrthopaedicsBook an Appointment