I used to dribble a little bit as a kid, but I also played some basketball too. That was a joke, get it? OK, anyhow, I never played professionally, or even on a team, but I did play a lot on my neighbors hoop he had set up in his backyard. As long as I could muster up the courage to knock on the old man’s door and as if it was OK, I could play all I wanted. Occasionally my Pop would go over there with me and we would have an absolute blast playing ball together. He was always better than me, and could sink a basket like nobody’s business, and sometimes he would let me win. OK, well most of the time I think he let me win.
I didn’t play much more than in my youth, but when my own child was born I got a renewed interest in shooting those hoops, as I found out how fun it was just to pass, dribble and shoot around an old basketball court. Not only was it fun and a great bonding time, but it also was some darn good exercise for me.
Upon some further looking, and wondering “why the heck I was so sore?”, I found out that basketball was a great way to keep active and stay in shape. Playing basketball integrates your core muscles, and helps to strengthen and workout your body when you make those quick full body movements like playing a rebound off the rim, or keeping the ball in bounds at all times.
Jump shots engage almost all of the muscles in your lower body, same with layups, which incidentally are about as close as I am ever going to get to a slam dunk.
The running, jumping and shooting all together are great aerobic exercise, and it really is up to you how hard you go. I like to play full court with my daughter, one on one. I have to run the length of the court just to shoot a basket. Couple that with the energy of a six year old and then tell me how easy it is.
Basketball is a fun and free (aside from the cost of the ball) exercise that you can really engage your child in. Its good exercise for the both of you, and when working together can really help strengthen your bond. It keeps your body moving as well as theirs, and helps to keep you healthy. I prefer playing in the sun, so you are getting your daily vitamin D exposure, along with some pretty cool family time. Get moving!