Fitness benefits of baseball
How playing baseball can get you fit and healthy
Playing baseball has a number of health and fitness benefits, in addition to being a popular social sport. As a result, here′s a quick introduction to baseball and its various health and fitness strengths.
Despite baseball being limited in terms of its popularity across the world, most of us will be familiar with legendary baseball players’ names such as Babe Ruth and Joe Di Maggio. This is due in part to the game’s huge popularity in North America (baseball is the national game of the United States) and also its popularity in parts of Latin America, the Caribbean and East Asia.
The modern game of baseball was developed in the US from the game of rounders, which was actually invented in the UK. Baseball is sometimes alternatively called ‘hardball’, in order to differentiate it from similar games such as softball.
You’re probably familiar with the basic idea and rules of baseball: if you’re one of the batting team, the aim is to use the bat to hit the ball and then advance around the diamond-shaped pitch before being run out. If you’re the pitcher for the fielding team, however, your aim is to beat the bat three times so that the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule comes into play and the batter is out.
Despite its popularity, the International Olympic Committee decided that baseball would not be featured at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games — although it was played at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Votes will subsequently be held to decide on its inclusion at future Olympics.
Health and fitness benefits of playing baseball
Playing baseball has a number of health and fitness benefits, including the following:
- Improves upper body strength, notably arm muscles.
- Develops leg muscles with the short bursts of sprinting required.
- Boosts the flexibility of feet and hands.
- Improves hand-eye coordination.
- Develops mental focus, concentration and refreshes the mind from everyday distractions.
Getting started in baseball
If you’ve got a real desire to get involved in hitting some home runs or throwing a mean curveball, then there’s plenty of assistance out there to get you started in baseball.
The British Baseball Federation is a good place to start, as they’ll be able to help you find the nearest club to where you live:
74a Charlotte Street
Tel: 020 7453 7055
Alternatively, if you live in Ireland, try contacting the Irish Baseball and Softball Federation at the following address:
Irish Baseball and Softball Federation
402 Richmond Court
Tel: +353 1 4967580