Without the physical and mental break at work, school, or from your tasks, you can quickly experience burnout, affecting your performance. That is why taking breaks, be it the spring break, a holiday break, or an hour at lunchtime, is beneficial for you as it provides you with the opportunity for a reset to resume with more energy and motivation.
The problem is that not all are aware of what activities to do or how to use their break properly. Often, people resort to binge-watching, getting into lazy mode, taking naps, or browsing endlessly on social media, preventing them from maximizing their advantages.
You might be surprised but an excellent way to fill your break periods properly is playing basketball. It provides its own array of incredible benefits. Thus, making your break even more rewarding and fulfilling. Lucky for you, we’ve listed down these amazing perks. Read on below and discover many benefits of shooting hoops on your breaks – you’ll be happy to play ball in your free time.
1. Boost cardiovascular health
As playing basketball entails continuous movement, it promotes the well-being of your heart! You run from one side of the court to the other, pass balls, dribble, and shoot, which keeps your heart racing. Thus, working out and improving your heart condition. Consequently, you also build endurance and lessens your risks for heart disease or stroke as you age.
2. Improves balance and coordination
When you play basketball, you need to dribble, watch your opponent’s moves, pass when necessary, or jump and execute shots. All these require using various parts of your body simultaneously, from your eyes, arms, legs, to your feet. Along with these series of movements, you also need to maintain your balance as you run around the court. That’s one of the most significant benefits of basketball, helping you improve and balance and coordination as you engage in the sport.
3. Reduces stress
Doing any physical activity, such as shooting hoops, stimulates the release of endorphins, the so-called happy hormones in the body. It reduces pain, provides relaxation, and boosts your mood and self-esteem, which all in all reduces stress. In addition, the game requires your full awareness and focus, serving as an avenue for you to temporarily deviate from your stressors and deal with them better later.
4. Encourages mental development
Though basketball is often seen as a fast-paced physical sport, it’s also a mind game, which needs your concentration, quick thinking, and decision-making as you play on the court. You need to assess your opponent’s strategies, anticipate their next moves, and react quickly while trying to outsmart them and score for your team as well. As you map all these in your mind, it exercises and sharpens your mental skills in the long run.
5. Boosts Immune System
Playing basketball strengthens the immune system that protects your body from toxins, bacteria, viruses, and infections that can make you sick. Like any other sport, the benefits of the physical workout, stress reduction, and improved mood you get from playing works hand-in-hand in providing that immune system boost.
6. Improves Bone Strength
Various studies show that people who engage in sport have better bone strength than those lacking in physical activities. Shooting hoops allows more minerals to get to the bones and encourage the formation of new bone tissue, which leads to their strengthening. Having healthy bones is crucial, as they protect the internal organs, support the muscles, and make up the entire frame of the body.
7. Burns Calories
If you’re trying to shed some extra pounds, playing basketball is a great form of exercise that can help you attain your goal. With the running, dribbling, passing, jumping, and shooting involved, you burn huge amounts of calories. While calories are not bad per se, having extra calories than your daily recommended intake is what results in weight gain, obesity, and other key health problems.
8. Promotes Muscle Development
Your muscles also benefit from all the movements you do as you play basketball. For instance, running works out core muscles and lower body muscles, such muscles as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Meanwhile, ball handling, passing, and shooting exercise the muscles in the wrists, forearm, triceps, and quadriceps. Of course, all other movements stimulate other muscles in the body and develop and strengthen as you play the game.
9. Boosts self-confidence
Apart from the many physical and mental benefits, shooting hoops can also help in your personality development. Success on the court can give you that much-needed self-esteem boost, which can then transcend outside the court. As you trust yourself and your abilities, you get a better disposition, creating a positive impact on how you face real-life challenges and situations.
10. Become more social
Lastly, basketball is a team sport that allows you to engage with other people and build new friendships and connections, coming from different ages and backgrounds. You will learn how to communicate better, support each other, and play competitively but fairly. These will help foster a sense of teamwork and community within yourself, which in turn bring various advantages not only in your athletic but also in your personal and professional life.
Shooting hoops can benefit you in various excellent ways. Not to mention that it’s also a fun game to play. So, the next time you don’t have anything productive and exciting to do in your break, you know which activity you can resort to while giving you multiple benefits.