Basketball is one of the most popular sports and is played commonly in playgrounds and sports facilities around the world. It is a sport that can be played by all ages, both recreationally or competitively. A regulation basketball side has five players, but you can choose to play two-on-two, three-on-three or even on your own. Basketball is played both on indoor as well as outdoor basketball courts. 

Basketball is a great way to stay both physically and mentally fit. Here are 10 physical and emotional benefits of playing basketball:

1. Strengthens muscular endurance

The quick movement and directional changes required in basketball create short-duration, high-intensity muscular contractions. The repeated use of certain muscles during basketball improves your ability to use those very muscles for longer periods, creating what is known as muscular endurance.

2. Improves coordination and balance

Both hand-eye and foot coordination is tested during a game of baseketball. The jumping, pivoting and changing direction involved in the game requires you to maintain good balance. Passing, dribbling and shooting improves your motor skills.

3. Builds healthy bones

A 2018 research study shows that playing basketball and other team sports positively impacts bone strength. 

4. Enhances fundamental movement skills

Playing basketball in childhood helps develop critical movement skills. Kids are able to improve their motor skills, flexibility and endurance. Developing these skills has a positive effect on promoting a healthy body weight.

5. Boosts cardiovascular health

Frequent physical/ outdoor activity helps improve your cardiovascular health and promote a healthy lifestyle. A research study from 2019 shows that basketball raises resting heart rate, which has a positive effect on heart health. By playing basketball regularly, you considerably reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

6. Improves body composition

Regular basketball sessions will have a positive effect on your overall body composition. 

7. Relieves stress

All physical activity releases endorphins or happy hormones which improve your mood, reduce pain and promote overall relaxation. Endorphins also reduce depression, improve productivity at work and boost your self esteem. Basketball is also shown to improve concentration, which might help you develop mindfulness.

8. Develops self-confidence

Team sports are great at boosting your levels of self-confidence. Team members encourage, motivate and support one another. You might find a surge in your belief in your own abilities as success on the basketball court extends to other areas of your life.

9. Develops communication skills

You will find newer and more effective ways of communicating with your teammates both verbally and non-verbally. Your teammates will strategize and you will have the chance to hear other opinions and voice your own. 

You may choose to speak up more or stay silent more often, depending on what the situation on court demands. Positive communication skills will benefit your athletic, professional as well as personal life. 

10. Builds team spirit 

Playing basketball and other team sports makes you part of a larger community. You broaden your perspective by interacting with your team members who may come from various backgrounds.

Once you find a basketball court, the only thing you’ll need is a ball and some sturdy sports shoes. If you do not have a group of friends ready to play with you can shoot hoops solo. Basketball really leaves no room for excuses.