Many people give up on cardio because they find the treadmill and the other solo exercising boring and tedious. If you feel like that but still want to lose weight and stay in shape, you should try a team sport, such as basketball. You may ask yourself – is basketball a good cardio exercise?
The answer is – yes, but there are some factors and rules you need to keep in mind, if you want to shed pounds while playing basketball:
- As with any other form of sports, exercising or diet, weight loss is possible only when there is a deficit in the calories consumed as compared to those burned. Even if you play intensively, the only way to lose fat is through a calorie deficit. One pound of fat is about 3,500 calories, so you need to create a deficit of these 3,500 calories while playing basketball regularly as well as when resting, in order to lose that 1 pound of fat.
- Basketball cardio workouts:
If you want to speed up the fat burning process, you may want to engage in more basketball games, rather than just shooting hoops. Running around the court will definitely burn more calories than standing around and shooting hoops. 1-2 hours of intensive game playing will burn even more calories than simply running on the threadmill.
A rule of the thumb for cardio and other forms of fat burning is to get to the 300 minute mark of training per week. So keep that in mind when planning your basketball games and sessions.
- Studies have shown that for a person who weighs 200 pounds, one hour of full-court basketball can burn an average of 996 calories, half-court basketball helps burn 744 calories and shooting hoops will burn 408 calories. The conclusion is that for the best results, you should play full-court basketball several times a week.
- What you eat is very important. No matter how often you play intensively, if you eat the wrong things, you may not be seeing any results soon. Stay away from trans fats and sugary foods and beverages. Try to eat less processed foods, and definitely think about decreasing the portion sizes. Remember that calorie deficit is crucial for losing weight and getting your body into better shape.
Conclusion: Is playing basketball a good workout?
Playing basketball on a regular basis will help you burn calories and stay in shape, but it will also improve your endurance, concentration and coordination, plus it will help you build muscle.
Basketball can be good for the heart and cardiovascular health too, because of the endurance it builds of the increased heart rate during the game. It is also known to help improve the strength of the bones, because of the jumping and running which causes the bone tissue to grow and become stronger along with the muscles.
Last but not least, playing basketball with friends on a regular basis can be fun, and can be an excellent way to release the stress from a long work day. You will definitely become more confident and happy with yourself the more good shots you make and the more points you score. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pair of the most comfortable basketball shoes, call your friends and start training!