Cardiovascular exercise is a necessity in order to obtain bodybuilding success, as well as general health and mental clarity. For most people, it is the most despised and least successful part of the bodybuilding routine. This is due to the tedious and never-ending nature of sitting on a machine for hours and hours without the somewhat immediate results. But most people don’t know that cardio doesn’t have to be as tedious and uneventful as it is, and also that it can be done outdoors. Perhaps these people should get off of the exercise bike and go outside to lose weight while playing basketball!

Basketball is liked amongst all age brackets. It can be played with one player, two players, or even ten players with two separate teams. You can determine both the pace and the intensity of the game. And with a little planning, basketball can be used to supplement and improve your cardiovascular exercise.

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Be Healthy

Basketball is an excellent work out for the cardiovascular system. If you are playing by yourself, you can shoot some baskets, try to get rebounds, or just run with the ball up and down the court practicing lay-ups. Any of these activities will definitely keep your heart rate going and cause it to improve. Being exposed to the sun will help your skin develop a tan as well as absorb Vitamin D.

Your mind will feel better from the break from the boringness of the exercise bike. The competitive spirit inside you will feel great from the accomplishment that comes when you make a tricky shot or get a tough rebound. And let’s not forget that all of this also increases your metabolism, which means that you’re going to lose body fat, and oxygen will be better carried to your heart, brain, and other systems, which is the ultimate goal of cardio for health.

basketball, dunk, blue

Be Careful

The time spent on the court having achieved an accelerated heart rate needs to be the same amount of time usually spent on the stationary bike. Basketball can be a great tool for fitness, but a few minutes of arbitrarily shooting hoops isn’t going to benefit your health. While playing, the time needs to be spent running, jumping, shooting, and rebounding for an amount of time between a half an hour and an hour in order to get the cardiovascular benefits involved in bodybuilding.

So if you enjoy doing it so much that you’re playing for three hours a day and overdoing it, a noticeable chunk of muscle mass is going to get burned off. So remember that all good things are to be consumed in moderation. Basketball is considered a high impact sport, so also be careful making the change from low impact exercises such as elliptical machines. It can also be tough on the knee joints due to all of the fast changes in direction.

So if you love to be healthy and in shape but are tired of the usual bore of the average gym, replace your cardio with basketball and see what can happen!