Is Basketball Good For Weight Loss?

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It is easy to forget that fun sports like basketball offer good workouts too. Find out if it is a good exercise choice for weight loss.

If you want to achieve weight loss, you have to make it so your body needs more energy than is coming in from food.

One way to approach this is by doing exercises and sports like basketball. The intense movements involved require more energy from your body which increases your chances of getting to the point above.

In simpler words, basketball is good for weight loss in the sense that it can help.

While there are more effective options too, basketball is actually decent/good for burning a nice amount of calories (energy).

Additionally, one of the benefits of basketball is that many people find it fun. This can improve your consistency with your exercise routine.

On the other hand, you do want to keep in mind that going to the basketball court and gathering people to play can require time and effort. This makes it more challenging to work out.

Can you lose weight by playing basketball?

First of all, you want to know that you need to get to a point where your body needs more energy than is coming in from food to lose weight.

When this happens, you start using up energy stores like body fat.

Because playing basketball and other sports and exercises involve movements that are likely more intense than your usual daily activities, they increase your energy usage.

In turn, you can say that playing basketball can help you lose weight.

At the same time, you still need to keep the other part of the principle above in mind. If you have bad habits in other areas like your diet, you may not see any weight loss results from basketball.

Something else to note is that you likely don’t just want to know whether basketball can help you lose weight.

Since you only have so much time to exercise, how effective basketball is compared to other workouts matters too.

Basketball and hoop

Calories burned in basketball vs other sports and activities

To compare how effective basketball is for weight loss compared to other sports and activities you want to see how many calories each of these burns.

One thing to note first is that these amounts are very rough predictions.

In reality, the numbers vary a lot due to differences in body composition, hormone levels, and intensity of the match or activity.

At the same time, the calorie-burning estimations do you give you an idea of how basketball and these other sports and activities compare.

That being said, the estimations below are for a 155-pound (70 kg) person doing the activity for 30 minutes (1).

  • Basketball (playing a game): 288 calories
  • Water Aerobics: 149 calories
  • Stretching (Hatha Yoga): 186 calories
  • Rowing, Stationary (moderate): 260 calories
  • Bicycling, Stationary (moderate): 260 calories
  • Elliptical Trainer (general): 335 calories
  • Running 5.2 mph: 335 calories
  • Jumping rope: 372 calories
  • Swimming (breaststroke): 372 calories

Playing a game will obviously be different from how many calories basketball burns while shooting hoops.

That aside, the estimations imply that basketball can help you burn nice amounts of calories but that there are more effective options for this purpose too.

Can playing basketball help you lose belly fat?

It is a common myth that doing certain exercises and sports like basketball can help you lose belly fat specifically.

Unfortunately, you are generally not able to choose from what areas you will lose body fat. To burn the fat from areas like your stomach, you have to lose enough weight overall.

As you get more and more weight loss results, your body will use up more and more fat from areas like your belly.

That means playing basketball can help you lose belly fat eventually but you don’t necessarily focus on this specific area.

Something else to keep in mind is that your habits in other lifestyle areas like your diet still need to be good enough to see weight loss results from playing basketball.

People playing basketball to lose weight

How much weight you can lose playing basketball

It is only normal that you want to know how much weight loss you can expect from playing basketball.

Knowing what these results can be is motivating and can help you figure out whether you are doing something wrong.

While there are some interesting numbers to mention, you need to keep in mind that your habits in areas like nutrition will influence your weight loss results from basketball a lot.

That being said, assume there is a 155-pound (70 kg) person who has a lifestyle routine that keeps them at the same weight. The only thing they will do differently is playing more basketball.

This 155-pound (70 kg) person can burn an extra 720 calories or about 0.21 pounds (0.09 kg) of body fat by playing a 2.5-hour basketball game every week.

If this same person plays this basketball match every week for four weeks, they can burn an extra 2880 calories or about 0.82 pounds (0.36 kg) of body fat.

Something important to note is that this person (and you) will start burning fewer calories with basketball as they lose weight. How much you weigh influences calorie burning a lot.

Basketball court

Is basketball a good exercise choice for losing weight?

When it comes to burning calories, playing a basketball match can help a nice amount.

One of the more unique benefits of this sport is that many people really enjoy playing basketball. If this is the case for you, you may find it easier to stick to an exercise routine that includes basketball.

Since consistency is so important for weight loss results, this can be a valuable aspect.

On the flip side, you also need to know that there are sports and exercises that burn more calories than basketball in a shorter amount of time.

Additionally, going to and back from a basketball court may require at least 20 extra minutes out of your day. You are also dependent on other people for your workout if you want to play matches.

Next, even if you choose a different sport, it is worth mentioning that doing resistance training exercises to build muscle tends to be helpful for weight loss too.

Extra muscle mass helps you burn more calories throughout the day and your basketball matches.

Lastly, remember that lifestyle details like what you eat influence your weight loss results a lot. No matter if you choose basketball or other workouts.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.