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Lacrosse Health Benefits

By Chris Sherwood

Lacrosse is an active team sport played across a long, rectangular field. The way the game is played provides a substantial aerobic and strength-building workout, as players run up and down the field to get the lacrosse ball into the goal. The intensity of the sport provides a wide range of physical health benefits both internally and externally, and also improves your mental health.

Weight Loss and Maintenance

One of the primary benefits of taking part in lacrosse is the burning of calories. Lacrosse uses up energy, forcing the body to burn calories from recently consumed foods for energy. When enough calories are burned, a calorie deficit can form, making the body turn to stored fat for energy. The fat is broken down, resulting in weight loss. Weight loss and weight maintenance from playing lacrosse helps prevent issues with overweight and obesity, which in turn helps reduce your risks for obesity-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer.

Muscle Strength

Muscle strength can be gained through many aspects of playing lacrosse, including in training, practice and game play. Warm-ups, practices, strength training and any other physical activity used to prepare yourself for the game increase the resistance on muscles, which in turn creates small areas of damage in the muscle tissue. This damage triggers the activities of satellite cells, which help heal the damage and build stronger muscles. Muscle strength can also be gained while playing the game through running across the field, throwing the lacrosse ball with the lacrosse stick or performing checks on the field.

Heart Strength

As you run across the lacrosse field during practice and game play, you increase the amount of energy being used by your muscles. In order to continue playing the game, your body must replace this lost energy by creating new energy. The key components of energy creation are oxygen and nutrients, which are supplied to needy cells through your bloodstream. In order to increase how quickly the components are available to the cell, your body increases your overall heart rate. When you play lacrosse on a regular basis, or combine occasional lacrosse with other regular physical exercise, the increase in heart rate strengthens your heart. A stronger heart pumps blood more efficiently and reduces the pressure within the blood vessels. Lower blood pressure results in fewer risks for problems like heart disease.

Mental Health Benefits

The physical exercise provided by playing lacrosse can also provide mental health benefits. Exercise increases the release of feel-good chemicals called neurotransmitters and endorphins, which can help combat issues with depression and anxiety, suggests the Anxiety and Depression Association of American. Physical activity also helps reduce immune system chemicals associated with depression. The social interaction and confidence gained from playing the sport also contribute to improved mental health and combat the symptoms of depression.

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