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How to Lose Weight When Playing Basketball

Weight loss -- especially the exercise part -- has a reputation for being difficult, boring and painful. While it does take commitment and hard work, none of the tenets of weight loss has to ruin your day. If you don't like aerobics classes or treadmill workouts, for example, basketball can get your heart rate up and burn calories in a similar way. When you participate in physical activity you enjoy, you're more likely to make exercise a habit. If basketball is your thing, it's time you got some game.

Warm up to loosen your muscles, lubricate your joints and slowly increase your heart rate. Take a few easy shots, walk or jog around the court, or perform passing drills with a partner to get your body ready to play.

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Play basketball for at least 30 minutes each day. You can burn approximately 240 to 350 calories per half hour, depending on your weight. If you burn 250 calories per day, you'll lose a half pound per week.

Cut 250 calories from your daily diet to boost your weight loss to 1 pound per week, or increase your playing time to one hour per week without cutting calories. Balance your diet appropriately by aiming for 60 percent carbs, 20 protein fat and 20 percent healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil and avocados.

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Shoot by yourself if you can't get a game together. Run around and actively rebound your own throws, chase the ball and take challenging shots. Move quickly from one area of the court to the next to maximize calorie burn. Expend as much energy as you can.

Cool down after you've played for at least 30 minutes to get your breathing and heart rate back to normal. Switch from running to walking and end by throwing up a few easy shots. When you've recovered to your normal breathing rate, stretch to prevent injury and improve flexibility.


Drink plenty of water before, during and after playing basketball to prevent dehydration.


See your doctor before you begin your basketball weight loss program to make sure you're healthy enough for that type of physical activity.