As a student at UMass Boston, I’m always trying to be healthy and lose weight. I’m always looking for an easy way to play a sport and have fun, rather than do mundane exercises. Don’t get me wrong; equipment can help keep you healthy, but you should diversify your lifestyle to be fit. The thing what I want you guys to know is, as great as it is to lift weights and do cardio, you should learn to play with people and not be in the same room doing mundane things. I suggest that you guys go into the athletic center and start to play basketball.

There are numerous benefits to playing basketball, and I have some great reasons why you should start to play. One thing I found beneficial about basketball is that it helps you improve the cardiovascular system of your body. Since you’re moving around the court a lot, you keep your heart pumping, which in turn builds endurance and thus lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke later in life. At the same time, you’re burning more calories than taking a simple walk. The quick lateral movements, running, and jumping create an aerobic workout that encourages your body to burn more calories. This in turn makes your bones stronger, since you’re putting more pressure on them and your bones start to generate new tissue that builds them up to be tougher.

It’s not only these benefits that are great, your mental health improves a lot too. Your brain is processing the surroundings so that it can make the three-point shot that scores you the winning goal. At the same time, your brain is learning to process the surrounding stimuli in which people are trying to stop you and take the ball out of your hand. This in turn improves your hand-eye and full-body coordination, in which both your brain and your body are working together to get past everyone and score the winning bucket. It should be noted that you’re always looking to dribble the ball and catch the rebound, thus your brain works harder to pay attention and to make sure you don’t let the other team catch and score.

It’s not just the improvements to your brain and body that basketball such a beneficial activity. The sport is a great way to make friends, since this is a team sport in which five players are working together to make sure that the ball reaches its target, and you have to communicate to defend the hoop from the other team. This improves your confidence and your outlook on life. Thus you’ll learn to get along with different people of different backgrounds and be able to handle the stress of life while taking the time to appreciate what you have.

Finally, the sport improves your discipline and awareness of space and body. When playing basketball, you have to follow rules and be aware of what’s going on. If you or your teammates break the rules, then you guys suffer penalties that can hurt your team. In turn, the game improves your skills of self-discipline. The same goes for spatial awareness: since you’re trying to shoot the ball into the hoop, you have to focus on the other team and how you can reach the other side without losing the ball. At the same time, when the other team is on your side, you have to pay attention to your opponent that you’re guarding and make sure that the other team doesn’t get any chances to pass the ball to that guy. You have to keep track of their movements. All in all, basketball is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health.


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