Basketball provides the opportunity to showcase a variety of fundamental skills. At its most competitive level, it is a fast-paced game with an abundance of running, jumping and lateral movements that provide an incredible physical workout. The short bursts of running up and down the floor, quick cuts and physicality required to play effective defense, basketball is a suitable workout not only for your muscles, but for you heart and lungs as well.
The Benefits of Cardio-Respiratory Exercise
Basketball gets your heart pumping and forces your body to use its lungs to full capacity. Playing basketball causes your heart to pump blood out to the arteries. This blood delivers nutrients such as oxygen to your body's working muscles and cells. If you play regularly, your heart will become more efficient and will be capable of delivering a more ample supply of nourishment to working muscles and tissue with less stress.
How Basketball Affects Your Heart
While playing basketball, blood flow is directed toward the muscles that are being used at a much quicker rate than it would if they were not being used. Since blood is traveling more quickly than it does while you're at rest, it means that increased blood volume is returning to the heart, which enlarges the left ventricle. The larger the left ventricle becomes over time, the more blood it can hold and the more it ejects per beat. If you play a lot of hoops, this causes your resting heart rate to drop, putting less stress on your body.
How Basketball Affects Your Lungs
Since your lungs are working overtime if you are playing as hard as you possibly can, your brain sends a signal to your heart to send more blood to and from your lungs via your pulmonary vessels. Athletes in top physical form can see their breathing increase from around 25 breaths per minute to approximately 60 breaths per minute. During a workout, the lungs can actually take and release an incredible 40 gallons of oxygen per minute.
Other Health Benefits
As a cardiovascular workout, basketball can provide plenty of health benefits. These benefits can improve your health, cut down on your risk of disease or illness and even increase your lifespan. With decreases in bad cholesterol, body fat storage and symptoms of anxiety and depression, basketball is a convenient way to improve your health. The game also increases heart function, good cholesterol and aerobic work capacity, making you an overall healthier person.
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