Let’s Play Ball! 7 Reasons Why You Should Start Playing Baseball

Posted On Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Let’s Play Ball! 7 Reasons Why You Should Start Playing Baseball

It’s happening. The governors of Illinois and Ohio have bet each other ballpark favorites!

The 2016 World Series standoff is in action with my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs.

To be sure, baseball isn’t fair. You know this already. Sometimes, perfect pitches get hit; other times, awful swings connect.

Are you a little league player or a middle-aged armchair athlete with a real desire to get involved in hitting some home runs or throwing a mean curveball? Here′s a quick guide to the various health and fitness benefits of playing the game to give you the needed motivational boost.

Muscular Conditioning

Weight training doesn’t necessarily do wonders when it comes to pitching.

Baseball works many different muscle groups, notably biceps, triceps, and deltoid, especially for pitchers. Sprinting in particular will increase lean muscle mass in the quads, glutes, and core in addition to topping up your explosiveness.

Swinging a baseball bat, throwing, and catching the ball are good ways to improve joint flexibility. Your shoulder and arm muscles are bound to get a good workout with the twisting motions when you’re swinging.

As a team, consider the benefit for your team if you habitually advanced from first base to third through a series of steals. Running practice drills enhance your reaction time as you round the bases.

Strong Legs

Baseball recruits all of the major muscle groups in your legs.

For instance, catchers repeatedly exercise their leg muscles by squatting constantly. Throwing, squatting down to retrieve a ball engages your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. It’s a complete workout for your lower body.

Cardiovascular Training

Fun fact: every cardio training workout you do in the gym can be substituted for playing baseball.

Sprinting bases, or outfielders chasing, all get short bursts of cardiovascular benefits. Be it the stop-and-go motion of hitting, pitching, tracking down a fly ball or sprinting… all of them prove beneficial for improvement of lung capacity and have limitless benefits for your heart muscles.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each adult should get an ideal of 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week. With baseball, it’s enjoyable, and will easily become a part of your healthy lifestyle.

Calorie Burn

The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn.

A study from the Mayo Clinic found that an average person who weighs 160 pounds can burn 365 calories playing baseball for just an hour.

Physical activity amps your metabolism and reduces body fat.

Improves Hand-Eye Coordination

Quick thinking, strategizing, and making split-second decisions not only keeps you mentally alert, but also develops hand-eye coordination.

Increased Sunlight Exposure

Having so much fun out there in the sun? Well, you’re not only building a lean upper body and strong leg muscles doing so. Exposure to sunlight allows your body to absorb vitamin D and metabolize calcium and phosphorus at the same time.

Social Benefits

Sometimes talent is never enough to build a winning team.

Many professional baseball general managers agree that chemistry and team building are just as important to success as good drills and coaching.

While playing baseball is not only a good way to get a healthy dose of exercise, it is also well known to promote teamwork… just ask Joe Maddon.

Go Cubs Go!

Dr. Jan Szatkowski

Dr. Szatkowski is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon who specializes in preventing or reducing permanent disability in the most complex orthopaedic cases. Dr. Szatkowski treats patients for various orthopaedic needs such as post-traumatic arthritis, simple and complex fractures, revision surgery and joint replacement surgery at the Andrews Institute.

Dr. Szatkowski has previously practiced in Chicago, where he was the chairman of orthopaedics at one of the busiest trauma centers in the country, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Szatkowski completed a fellowship at Campbell Clinic's Level 1 Trauma Center at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Szatkowski is passionate about providing the highest quality of care possible with open, honest communications with patients; treating the patient as an entire person, rather than just the immediate medical problem.

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