If you spend too much time wondering about the calories you're burning during a game of dodgeball, you're likely to get plunked upside the head. This fast-paced game might be common in high school gym classes, but it's an entertaining workout for adults, too. It doesn't burn calories at an overly high rate, but it offers a number of health benefits.
Calories and Weight Loss
If you're interested in the calories you'll burn during a variety of activities, you might be trying to lose weight. Calories and weight loss are closely linked; when you can create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume, you'll lose weight by burning fat. If rapid weight loss is your goal, vigorous exercises such as swimming and jogging are ideal. But if you're more interested in moderate exercise to keep fit and have fun, dodgeball can be the answer.
Dodgeball Calories Burned
In dodgeball, you strive to avoid getting hit so you can stay on the floor and help your team. The longer you stay "alive," the more calories you'll burn, too. HealthStatus notes that a 155-pound person will burn 186 calories during 30 minutes of playing dodgeball. That's comparable to the number of calories that Harvard Medical School says are burned by kayaking or playing softball. The more you weigh, the more calories you'll burn. According to Health Status, someone who weighs 185 pounds will burn 222 calories during the same length of time.
Although you might be tempted to lace up your running shoes and start playing dodgeball immediately, always devote a few minutes to properly warming up for the activity. Get your body ready for the game through dynamic stretches, which are up-tempo stretches that also elevate your heart rate and kickstart your nervous system. Examples of dynamic stretches include power skipping, shoulder circles, arm and leg swings and butt kicks.
Despite the calorie-burning benefits of dodgeball not being overly high, it's still a beneficial way to get some exercise. The constant running back and forth provides a solid cardiovascular workout, while the activity also involves use of virtually all your major muscle groups, including your quads, core and shoulders. Dodgeball, as is the case with many team sports, also has a social element, which can be enjoyable. And, as you play the game, it's easy to forget the stresses of everyday life.
- HealthStatus: Calorie Burn Calculator
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Shape: The Best Way to Stretch Before and After a Workout
- Brian Mac Sports Coach: Dynamic Stretching Exercises
- Best Health: Dodgeball: The Hottest New Workout?
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.