Your Favorite Heart Doctor Explains the Health Benefits of Playing Basketball

The Heart Doctors at South Denver Cardiology is always happy to hear when our patients are involved in any team sport. Team sports are a great way to have fun, be sociable and best of all, be active in a cardiovascular activity. Basketball is no different, and the physical benefits of playing basketball are well documented.

First and foremost, consider what is involved in a simple pick-up game of basketball. You are required to run back and forth between two sides of the court. There is a lot of jumping involved, as well as considerable arm movement to dribble, throw, catch, and block. When all these activities are paired with the amount of time a typical game will take, which is usually just under an hour. That’s almost an hour of intense cardiovascular activity. The running back and forth is a given, as cardiovascular activity typically invokes images of running on a treadmill. Also the constant motion of your arms also contributes to the cardiovascular system, requiring excessive blood flow, forcing your heart to pump more and more blood, and strengthening it in the process.

But basketball isn’t just a cardiovascular activity. There are several instances where strength is required over endurance. For example, in basketball, you’re never really casually jogging back and forth, you are typically sprinting to make the lay up or to cover your opponent as fast as possible. You’re also jumping arbitrarily. Your arm movements aren’t usually in consistent patterns either. Often you look like you’re flailing your arms erratically in an attempt to block the ball, or you’re giving the ball a strong push to make the pass to a teammate. The point is, you are also doing activities that are typical of strength exercises, and when combined with cardiovascular activity, the benefits are enormous.

Working several portions of your cardiovascular and the musculoskeletal system at the same time is very taxing on the body, forcing it to burn considerable amounts of energy to keep pace. In order to find that energy, your body will often draw from both fats and carbohydrates to maintain the level of energy required for such activity. Tack on the amount of time you’re playing, and you’ll have a great workout on the court. If you’re playing a pickup game even just twice a week, the benefits will manifest. Your heart, and body, will thank you for the work out, by burning calories at a delightfully shocking rate. If you start playing more often, you could even begin to see an increased metabolism. Why do you think athletes look like they can eat anything and still look amazing? It’s their increased metabolic output which is necessary to sustain their high-level of play. So get some friends together, and get a good game of basketball going.

How To Use This Information

 Exercising on your own can get boring sometimes. So why not get some friends together and play a pickup game of basketball once or twice a week? Surely you’ll be able to find the time, and both your body and your cardiologist will thank you. Just ask any one of South Denver Cardiology’s esteemed cardiologists; we’ll rave about the benefits of team sports. So contact our Denver cardiologist today, and get on the right track towards a happier, healthier, you.