How to Sustain Longevity on the Court

This article is going to fill you in on how you can play basketball for a longer amount of time. Whatever you will play longer in a single day or longer in your life, I will go over important things that can help you achieve this. The topics that I will cover are: a person's diet, stretching, training, and a person's desire and want to play the game.

Diet

To start things off I will talk about the importance of a person's diet with a brief overview of several types of supplements that can help too. What you put into your body will absolutely factor how well your body will function. If you eat a lot of fatty foods and candy you will obviously be taking in a lot of calories. You may think taking in a lot of calories will help you last longer playing basketball but you are wrong if you think you are going to do it by eating high-fat foods. Calories perfectly provide your body with energy needed to do things, such as exercise, but calories from fat are not the healthiest way to get that energy. One gram of fat contains 9 calories, whereas protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. If you eat a lot of fatty foods it may have long term effects on your body, which in essence will not allow you to last longer on the court. Weight gain is another possible side effect of eating fatty foods. Weight gain happens when you store calories that are not burned through exercise. Basketball is still possible if you are heavier than average, but you will not be able to last on the court if you are out of shape (agility and athleticism will suffer). Although weight gain is possible eating foods high in protein or carbohydrates, you have a better chance of retaining calories from fat foods. Eating fatty foods can also increase your cholesterol levels which can have adverse health effects on your body.

According to Emedicinehealth.com, "If a person has too much cholesterol in the bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in arteries, including the coronary arteries of the heart, the carotid arteries to the brain, and the arteries that supply blood to the legs Cholesterol deposits are a component of the plaques that cause narrowing and blockage of the arteries, producing signs and symptoms originating from the particular part of the body that has decreased blood supply "and that," the risk for high cholesterol increases with age. " Obviously in order to play basketball you want to avoid the possibility of having a heart attack or other health related issues caused by high cholesterol and fatty foods.

There are many foods that you may want to consider integrating into your diet to have a lengthier stay on the court. The first may be obvious and rather redundant, but vegetables are a crucible part of your diet. If you already eat vegetables regularly then good for you, that is a good start. It is recommended that you eat at least 8 servings of vegetables a day. Judging by the list of high-energy vegetables from Clean-energy-ideas.com (sprouts, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli), it seems that green vegetables are a safe bet for energy.

As you may have guessed by the last food listed, another type of high-energy food is fruit. Fruits contain sugar, water, protein, as well as vitamins a, b, b1, b2, b6, c, and e. Fruits contain a large amount of water which provides your body (which is made up of roughly 57% water) with the hydration necessary to play basketball. Basketball can be a very exhausting sport and with exhaustion comes sweat. Sweat is used to cool the body down but it also lowers the amount of water in your body. To stay hydrated you should first and foremost have some sort of drink nearby, but eating fruits regularly can help. Fruits also contain many different types of vitamins which provide the body with a natural immune boost as well as energy. You can not play basketball if you are sick without, of course, you are Michael Jordan (who played in the NBA finals with the flu), so eat fruit.

Some other healthy foods that provide energy are nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables juices, eggs and yogurt. Nuts and seeds are a snack type food that can easily be consumed before you play basketball. Eggs can be unhealthy in large quantities so you should try to limit your consumption of eggs, but they are a great source of protein.

Protein is an essential amino acid that the body needs on a regular basis. If you are going to play basketball you are going to use various muscles in your body. Protein plays an important role in repairing the muscle tissue that may be affected from running up and down the court, dribbling the basketball and jumping up and down during a basketball game. Because the body can not store protein for later use, you should consume foods that are high in protein on a regular basis if you plan to last on the court. Some foods that are high in protein are various types of meat, yogurt, eggs, and even milk.

Stretching

People always tell you as a precautionary thing to "stretch before any physical activity". How many of us actually do it? I will be the first to tell you that I tend to forget about it a lot of the time. Kind of hypocritical of me but it is easy to forget. Most of the time I will stretch after I have played a little bit because I'll notice I do not feel as loose as I would like to. Stretching is stretching so you should still do it even if you forget to do it before you start playing. Considering you use your legs A LOT when you play basketball you'll want to stretch every muscle in your legs. Hold your stretches for about 10 seconds and do not bounce around while stretching, hold it in the same place until you are done. Stretching can decrease your chances of injury as well as post-activity soreness. According to Mayoclinic.com stretching increases flexibility, improves range of motion of your joints, improves circulation, and can relate stress. The benefits of stretching before you play basketball outweigh the costs by a long shot. It does not take a lot of time to do so make sure you stretch before you play!

Training

You may think training for basketball would involve practice, shooting around, etc. But what I mean by training is getting your body in cardiovascular as well as muscular shape. Basketball involves a lot of running and heavy breathing. You demand a lot from your body and your performance may be hindered if your body is not in good physical shape. You can get in shape by running or doing sprints to get your body use to the heavy breathing and fatigue. After time you will be able to play longer with out getting as winded as you were when you started. Another thing you should consider is working out to enhance your muscular strength. As I've mentioned before your legs are a large part of playing basketball. You should consider doing various leg exercises such as lunges, squats, and calf raises to make your legs stronger.

Summary

To review, some of the things I think you should do in order to sustain longevity on the basketball court are rethink your diet and incorporate healthy and high-energy foods, stretch the key muscles you will use, and train your body to get it into good cardiovascular and muscular shape.