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Will Playing Basketball Help Burn Belly Fat?

by
author image Toby Pendergrass
Toby Pendergrass began writing and editing in 1998. He has served as editor for numerous custom health publications and physician journals. His work has appeared in publications such as Hospital Corporation of America's "YOU." He enjoys writing about cardiology and cancer care and holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Will Playing Basketball Help Burn Belly Fat?
Basketball is a healthy weight-loss activity. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A fun game of basketball is an ideal way to spend time with friends and relieve stress, although shooting hoops on a regular basis may also extend your life by burning belly fat. People who carry excess wait around the waist are more likely to develop heart problems, as well as colorectal cancer and other diseases. Exercise like basketball helps reduce your belly size, especially when complemented with changes to your diet. Recognize how you can lose your belly fat in order to get healthy as quickly as possible.

How Belly Fat Shortens Your Life

While fat that builds on your hips often makes fitting into your favorite jeans a challenge, hip fat — or subcutaneous fat that accounts for most of the fat on your body — is inactive. Belly fat that accumulates inside your abdominal area, called visceral fat, actively creates dangerous substances that compromise your overall health and make you more prone to heart disease, dementia, certain cancers and other health threats.

Basketball and Belly Fat

Although belly fat represents a greater danger to your well-being than other fat on your body, visceral fat typically fades faster than excess weight on your thighs or hips when you exercise. Basketball is considered a vigorous form of aerobic activity that forces you to breathe deeply and makes your heart pump faster. Doctors advise patients with belly fat to perform aerobic activities — which also include riding a bicycle, swimming, soccer and tennis — since aerobic workouts allow you to burn the most calories and increase your likelihood to achieve significant weight loss.

An Effective Timeline

A commitment to playing basketball or performing other aerobic activities for a minimum of 30 minutes up to five days every week is a safe timeline to lose weight and prevent the growth of new belly fat. Extending your basketball game to 60 minutes allows you to lose more weight, although effective aerobic results are also obtained by performing shorter workouts — such as a 30-minute basketball game in the morning and then two 15-minute games later in the day and evening. The Panhandle Health District reports that a person who weighs about 160 lbs. will likely burn 584 calories from 60 minutes of basketball, while a person weighing 240 lbs. can burn 872 calories.

Basketball Isn’t for Everyone

While basketball is a fun way to downsize your belly, schedule a meeting with your family physician to confirm the sport is appropriate for your overall health condition. People who are significantly overweight face an elevated risk for injuries during aerobic activities like basketball or tennis that require stopping and starting suddenly over an extended time period.

Exercise and Diet

Basketball on most days of the week helps you burn the calories necessary to reduce belly fat, although lowering the amount of calories you consume each day through eating is essential to sustained weight loss. Nutritionists recommend a meal plan centered on plant-based options like fruits, whole grains and vegetables, along with healthy protein sources like lentils and beans. Water and low-fat dairy are healthy beverage options.

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