Not Just for Kids: The Health Benefits of Playing Dodgeball
You probably played some version of dodgeball as a child. What you may not have realized at the time is that this game can actually provide a variety of health benefits, starting with a fun and challenging muscular and cardiovascular workout. These benefits are the reason for the rising popularity of the game with adults.
One of the most prominent benefits to playing dodgeball is its cardiovascular conditioning. While you are playing dodgeball, you are constantly moving around the court -- sprinting to avoid an opponent's line of fire, for example, or racing to reach to a loose ball. Today Health suggests that a 135-pound woman can burn 100 calories in just 19 minutes by playing dodgeball; this adds up to more than 300 calories per hour. A heavier man would burn even more calories in an hour-long game of dodgeball.
In addition to the cardiovascular workout you get from playing dodgeball, the pivoting motion required for throwing and catching builds strength and muscle endurance, especially in your shoulders and core. Your legs will also grow significantly stronger from all the jumping and dodging. Many individuals find this simultaneously much more challenging and much more fun than doing box jumps, running on a treadmill or performing a similar gym routine.
Another health benefit of playing dodgeball is that it improves both muscle coordination and hand-eye coordination. There is nothing like having to make a split-second decision on which way to move to keep from getting blasted with a rubber ball to help you synchronize your body movements. Additionally, every time you aim at a leaping opponent, you practice coordinating the timing and velocity of your throw with the motions of your target.
Many individuals find that playing dodgeball can also help lower stress levels. You may think that this is a mental benefit, not a physical one. However, stress can actually lead to significant physical symptoms. Insomnia and headaches, for example, are fairly common stress side effects. In severe cases, excessive levels of stress can even lead to heart disease, obesity and related disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Regardless of your reason for trying it, if you are looking for a unique and enjoyable addition to your exercise routine, playing dodgeball might be the perfect option!