I want you to play basketball. Why? Well, the following blog post shares three reasons why you should start playing as soon as possible.
I was surfing around the internet the other day and came across this clip of Bernie Sanders shooting some hoops.
If you don’t know, Sanders is 78 years old in this video. That’s old. But his age aside, I wanted to share this because it shows that anyone can pick up a basketball and start shooting some hoops.
You don’t have to be a super athlete to be able to play –you can be a little kid or an old man.
(I couldn’t find the official clip, but here’s a montage of Sanders shooting around that includes the clip. It’s the second one of him playing outdoors.)
So if you’re an old guy/gal who wants or needs to be more active, I highly recommend you start playing basketball (not necessarily playing pick-up games, but more so just shooting around).
It’s Easy to Start Playing Basketball
The hardest part of playing basketball is selecting a good basketball (which I have a guide here if you’re interested) and actually getting to the gym or park to play.
Other than that, when you’re just starting out, all you’re going to do is shoot around. And maybe dribbling the ball back and forth.
But you’re mainly just going to shoot the ball up close and at mid-range for 30 minutes or so. It’s not that difficult to do.
You can add other stuff too, like lay-ups and old man game moves, but most newbies just shoot around, trying to get a feel for how to make a basket.
So here is an easy game you can play your first time out: Around the World.
Basically, all you do in Around the World is stand on one corner of the key (or the blocks) and progress along with it as you make shots.
So, if you make your initial shot, you get to move to the next spot. If you miss a shot, you can get another try. But if you miss the second try, then you have to go back to the beginning of the course.
Here’s a video for a better explanation:
So give this game a try!
Playing Basketball is Good Exercise
According to studies, playing basketball for 30 minutes a day can burn up to 5000 calories and can build superhuman strength.
Okay, I’m just messing with you (like you didn’t already know that).
But playing basketball is a great way to get the body moving and burn some calories (even when you’re just shooting it around!).
It’s a full-body workout that forces you to move in multiple ways and directions. You have to run (forward and back), jump and squat, frequently raise your arms over your head and hop laterally.
This may sound complex, but you’ll be doing all of these movements just by taking a jump shot or doing a layup and jogging to go rebound the ball.
Additionally, you don’t have to do everything at an explosive pace.
You can take it slow and easy. Just make sure that your body is moving at all times so that you can get the most out of it.
My dad used to shoot around in the summer as a form of exercise. He would just shoot free throws and jog to pick up the ball if he misses badly. And he’s an old guy.
So if he can do it, you can too!
Playing Basketball Is Fun… Like Really Fun
Basketball is really fun.
The main reason why I love shooting around so much (just getting shots up, not playing in games) is because it’s like target practice to me.
I noticed I really like activities that require marksmanship like archery or shooting nerf guns at a target.
And basketball is very similar to those activities.
There’s a hole (the bull’s eye) that you need to hit with your ball. If an area becomes easy, you can take a step out to make it more difficult to hit the target.
Shooting around, especially when you’re trying to perfect your shot, can get really addictive.
I’ve noticed sometimes that I’ll lose track of time because I’m so focused and driven to make a certain number of shots in a row.
And when I do hit the goal, I want to shoot until I miss. I just get so lost in it!
The only thing I can compare it to is eating a small slice of really good chocolate cake –you always want seconds.
But seconds are never enough and if you don’t control yourself, you’re going to eat it until you get sick of it for that day.
And that’s how I feel when I play basketball…sometimes.
So those are three reasons why you should start playing basketball.
It’s a great and easy way to get back to being active and it can get really addictive because it’s so fun.
So, did I do a good enough job at persuading you into playing basketball?
P.S. if you’re feeling aches and pains after playing basketball, click here to read this article on the best ways for preventing and reducing them.