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Exercise and Basketball

April 17, 2019 AT 12:00 AM

Keeping fit through the game

Beyond its competitive merits, basketball has become a popular form of exercise among fans looking to keep in shape. Although fitness is a necessary prerequisite for performing at the organized level, a casual game of pick-up hoops can be a good way to sweat it out for more laidback ballers. Besides the fun factor, here are a few reasons why basketball is a great way to stay active.

Pace of play: Basketball is a very fast-paced game, with no turn-taking and very few breaks in play. There is never a dull moment or a second to rest as long as you are on the court. If you take part in competitive play, the length of the game combines with the pace of play to provide a challenge for any player.

Starts and stops: With the pace of play, stamina is essential for on-court success. The conditioning requirements largely boil down to constant changes of pace and direction. This is akin to interval training, which is even more demanding on the body than running in a straight line or at a constant pace. Despite the relatively smaller size of the court, these make every game an exhausting experience.

Offense and defense: In relation to the previous point, starts and stops take place on both offense and defense, as players act and react in response to one another. With the format of the game, there is no opportunity to slack off while the other team is attacking. In fact, defense is usually the tougher task. This ensures that players are always on the move throughout the game.

Constant motion: Even when offensive players do not have the ball or when defensive players are guarding off-ball, the movement never stops. There is a wealth of off-ball movements that are crucial in keeping the game flowing. From off-ball cuts and screens to boxing out and playing the passing lanes, these all contribute towards team success.

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