How Softball Can Improve Your Health
As the weather gets warmer, you are probably looking for fun outdoor activities that will also keep you in shape. You may hear a lot about soccer and football leagues in your area. Yet a softball league is a great option, as well.
Best of all, softball is quite easy to play, and it does not require any fancy equipment. All you need are balls, gloves, batting helmets and some softball bats. Here are some other reasons softball is a good form of outdoor exercise.
While some sports only require one or two skills, softball forces you to master a variety of tasks, such as fielding, throwing and swinging. You thus have to coordinate multiple muscle groups in your body.
Swinging a bat, for instance, works your forearms, deltoids, rotator cuffs, biceps and other upper body muscles. To truly generate power from the plate, however, you also need to build up strength in your core and lower body. The oblique muscles in the abdomen get plenty of work throughout a softball game, as well.
Yet softball players do not only have to be strong. They also require decent flexibility. If you do not properly stretch out your muscles before a contest, they could become tight and get injured. Constant stretching of your calves, hips, shoulders, hamstrings and chest should make those body parts more flexible.
Considering how many muscles you use during a single softball game or practice, it is no wonder the sport helps you drop plenty of calories. In fact, a typical softball participant burns 300 calories in each hour of play. Softball is thus great for cardiovascular health.
Softball requires a lot of explosive movements, from jumping off the bases to moving laterally toward a ball. This quick motions are forms of anaerobic exercise that can increase your endurance and power.
Exercise is not just about physical health. Mental health is also a key benefit of working out. Softball is particularly great in this regard.
For starters, softball requires some strategic thinking that keeps your mind sharp. You have to make split-second decisions regarding the type of pitch that is coming, and whether or not you should swing. You additionally must analyze the placement of the fielders and determine which parts of the field are most open.
Softball can be great for your self-esteem, as well. As you practice and improve on the field, you should gain confidence. This, in turn, can help you better deal with the pressures and stress that you face in your daily life.
A solid group of friends also makes you feel good about yourself. Softball teams typically form great bonds that last well beyond the season.
You may realize that you and your teammates have different personalities and interests outside of softball. Playing on a team together will teach you how to work with various types of individuals in order to meet a common goal. This knowledge will serve you will in school or at your job.
Of course, even if you work hard and have a great team, you may sometimes struggle at softball. After all, even professional hitters typically have batting averages under .400. Playing softball thus teaches you to handle failure (and success) properly. This is another skill that you can use in your regular life.
You may also have to encourage a teammate after she strikes out at the plate or drops a ball in the field. Since each member of your team is unique, you might have to use different words and tones when speaking to each of them individually. Understanding how to do this should help you become a better leader over time.
As you decide which outdoor activities to pursue this summer, consider joining your local softball league. Softball can boost both your physical and mental health.