playing basketball health benefits

10 Basketball Health Benefits for Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Hoping to shoot some hoops? There's no better time than now. Here's why

If you want to improve your health, playing basketball offers so many benefits.

Basketball is not only an enjoyable sport, it benefits you in several ways.  

Basketball can help you to prevent certain health problems.

At the same time, it offers you some real-life qualities that improve your general well-being, including:

  • Promoting muscle development
  • Improving hand-to-eye coordination, and
  • Fostering values of teamwork

In this post, we’ll discuss the most impactful health benefits of playing basketball.

Finally, we’ll also share how, as an exercise, playing basketball benefits our mental wellness.

Let’s dive in.

1. Improves cardiovascular health

Basketball is a great choice of sport, considering the well-being of your heart.


Running up and down the court when in possession of the ball gets the heart racing.

Ultimately, this improves heart conditioning and overall fitness conditions. 

One study shows that various training techniques can increase cardiorespiratory.

One of these training techniques is circuit training. Circuit training is a series of training exercises that are carried out in a training sequence.

It can entail a series of push-ups, bench crunches, skipping, squatting, jumping over the bench, thrust squats, and more. 

While constantly exercising, basketball helps you build your endurance. This also gives a chance at evaluating the health state of the heart. 

That way, you can reduce the risk of a stroke or any heart disease at a later age. 

2. Promotes muscle development and endurance

Playing basketball involves running, jumping, dribbling, and shooting.

All of these movements stimulate the muscles at work and help in their development. 

Basketball is a sport that requires a great deal of agility, strength, and stamina.

It involves swift movement with the ball in your hand. You must swiftly move in directions while flexing your muscles to take advantage. 

You also learn muscular endurance which is the ability to apply force for a longer period repeatedly.

This takes place most especially when you play basketball frequently and exercise to build on your lower and upper body strength. 

Likewise, you practice how to guide the ball from your opponent during a game.

This further improves your muscle development and enhances endurance. 

3. Enhances coordination and balance

Just as we have eye-hand coordination in tennis playing, we have hand-eye and foot coordination in basketball.

This is one of the significant health benefits of basketball, here’s why.

Playing basketball helps to develop better hand-eye-foot coordination while maintaining a balanced movement throughout the game. 

When playing, there is a need for a series of sharp and smooth body movements.

This occurs as you run in different directions, dribble, jump and shoot the ball.

Playing basketball requires full-body coordination and this skill can only be acquired through constant practice.

Dribbling in basketball also helps to develop hand-eye coordination.

You are always alert and watching out for the moves to make with the ball in your hand.

Related: Balance Workout Exercises: 7 Best Drills for Stability

4. Improves mental development


Basketball is a game of thinking, anticipation, and witty movements.

Playing basketball might seem like it’s only a high-speed game that does not allow for much deliberation. 

But here’s the surprising thing:

The game is mapped out in your mind while you are on your toes.

Just like an architect trying to build a mighty building, the plan starts in his mind. 

Basketball requires a lot of physical strength and skills. However, you have to play out these skills based on the strategies you have in your head.  

Basketball trains you to concentrate and stay focused so that you can adequately execute plans you have in your mind as you play on the court against your opponent. 

It helps you to study your opponents and teammates and be able to predict their actions and also react quickly.

5. Enhances spatial awareness

As we mentioned earlier, basketball is a game that requires a great deal of balance.

Basketball allows you to be aware of your space and be able to maintain your body composition. 

To take a perfect shot or to play defense effectively, you need to know where and how your body is positioned. 

Only through constant basketball practice can you learn more about your body composition and utilize your space effectively.

6. Helps to burn calories

All the continuous workouts help to burn out calories in the body.

For every hour you play basketball, there is the assurance that you will burn out large amounts of calories. 

You don’t want to be having too many calories in your body, and not burn it. This may bring about some health complications.

A person who weighs 165 pounds is likely to burn about 600 calories within an hour of playing basketball.

Also, a person weighing about 250 pounds can burn approximately 900 calories within the same timeframe. 

All the fast side-to-side movements, dribbling, running, jumping, and others serve as an aerobic workout that burns calories. 

Related: Weight-loss Plateau: 21 Easy Ways to Break a Plateau

7. Lowers stress

Reducing stress is one of the most important benefits of playing basketball benefits.


You must have heard of endorphins, the chemical released by your body when you exercise

Endorphins are biologically known as happiness hormones. They help to boost your mood, promote relaxation and reduce pain in your body. 

But that’s not all.

Endorphins can also help in alleviating depression, boosting self-confidence, and enhancing your work performance. They are also essential in pain management

When stress is prevented or lowered in your body, your immune system gets a boost.

A healthy immune system prevents bacteria, viruses, and toxins from causing damage to your immune system. 

The immune system is the body’s first line of defense, and playing basketball helps to make it formidable. 

8. Promotes self-confidence

One of the important health benefits of basketball is psychological.

Let me explain.

You can extend progress made or lessons learned on the basketball pitch to certain areas of your life and improve on your self-confidence.

Basketball helps you to develop overall self-confidence. These skill sets give you much higher self-esteem while on or off the basketball court. 

One research tested the effect of basketball on the self-esteem of youths and adults alike.

It was recorded that twelve (12) weeks of basketball training have helped children gain a higher self-confidence level. 

Playing within a team of basketball players can also boost your self-confidence and level of concentration, both of which are needed as adults.

9. Encourages teamwork skills

The more you play basketball at a competitive level, the more your chances of positively interacting with people from different social settings.

You will learn to play well as you create skills and tricks when you play with more players on the court.


You and your teammates can always strive to be supportive and work together towards the final goal.

The values and team-built skills that you acquire are the types of skills that are of lifetime benefit.

They can help you in other sports, in your businesses, or even in your personal life.

10. Improves reflexes

Defense play in basketball has to do with you countering your opponent’s movements. The more you play, the sharper and faster your reflexes will be. 

You will be able to make quick and offensive moves that will get you past a defender.

With the help of reflexes, you would be able to catch a ball that would have likely hit you on your face. 

When it comes to improving in basketball, reflexes become an inevitable skill that is acquired.

When you are faster at reacting and making better decisions within split seconds, you become a better player all-around and even a better person in reality. 


Playing basketball benefits your health in several ways.

It is one of the most effective ways of burning calories, it improves your cardiovascular health, and much more. 

It is a fun game to play, and you should try it out if you look to improve your general health.