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Basketball a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Hoops and Brain Health Benefits

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Here’s 5 reasons why playing basketball is great for your brain (so keep hooping)

When your parents or significant other complains that you’re hooping too much, you can now read this article and tell them you’re not only staying in shape, but keeping your head clear. Here’s why playing basketball is good doesn’t just have benefits for your heart, but your brain

That’s because basketball is something that anyone, any age can do. It may take some practice, but anyone can step on the court to play. Now while not all are not going to be a superstar, but practicing some B-ball at the gym or court can help stimulate your mental health, and here are a few good reasons why.

Endorphins. It’s All Endorphins
Scientifically speaking, our emotions consist of chemicals in your brain. That’s why they say that depression is a chemical imbalance. If you’re feeling down, some more feel-good chemicals in your brain can help. When you work up a sweat running up and down the court playing basketball, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good chemicals that can relieve pain, stress and make you feel hype. By working out more, you can help improve your overall mental health.

You Have to Come Up With a Strategy
When you’re playing against a team, or even against a couple friends, your mind has to think fast. You need to figure out how you can make your way past the opponents and still shoot a precise shot. It’s definitely a sport that requires a lot more than power and strength, though those two help as well. You need to outwit your opponent, and to be witty, you need a brain that is always on the move. Playing enough basketball can keep your mind sharp and you strategizing towards things that are outside the ring too.

We would be remiss not to mention the importance of resting your mind and body and the healthiest and most-natural way to do that is through good sleep and consistent exercise. We know you know that, so we won’t get into that too much, but if you want to optimize your sleep and rest, you’ll certainly see an improvement in your performance.

There is Something Meditative About Sports
The game can be mentally taxing, but it can equally be played off instincts.

It’s not just the sound of dribbling the ball that can be relaxing, there’s something about basketball where you forget yourself in the game. As you take a shot, you sometimes need to let go of your mind and think about how you can shoot the perfect goal. If the ball goes in the goal, awesome. If not, then try, try again. The act of basketball can be a meditative one for sure. Take free throws for example, the ability to calm oneself and focus in the face of screaming fans is a skill and it’s one that we recommend anyone try.

Discussing it Can Be Mentally Stimulating
By discussing basketball, we just don’t mean talking about which players are overrated or who you think will win. We mean discussing the overall sport, talking about different strategies, numbers, vast amount of data, or simply enjoying a beer with friends as you watch a game can all be good for the mind and the soul. If you’re looking to stimulate some conversations, basketball discussion can definitely improve the social side of your mental health needs.

Basketball Can Encourage a Family Bond
If you have kids, playing with them can not only help them improve their athleticism and possibly lead them to a career, but it can be a good way to bond with your child. This allows you to feel more mentally at ease as you play with your kid and enjoy the game of basketball with them. Dedicate some time this week to play some b-ball with your kid, or at least enjoy something else they will love.

But It’s No Substitute for Real Mental Health Care
If you’re battling with depression, anxiety, or any other problem that life has thrown at you, basketball and other exercises can definitely be a good first option. However, they are no substitute for a real therapist who can hep you with any needs you have. A counselor or therapist can not only help improve your game, but can help clear your head of anything that has been bothering you.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a good time for you to think about your own mental health, especially as you age. A counselor can help you grow and maintain that sharpness you’re looking for. Also, online counseling can help you when you’re on the go.

Click here to see how you can receive some premium therapy today.


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