Bowling is an amazing exercise for a number of reasons. Not only does it help you stay in shape, but it also does wonders for your motor skills and social life. There’s a reason its the nation’s largest participation sport, with hundreds of bowling leagues across the US. Few sports are as welcoming or beginner friendly.
So stick around to find out why bowling is one of the best ways for you to spend your time and how you can get the most out of it!.
What Are The Benefits Of Bowling?
1. Stimulates Weight Loss
If your primary goal is weight loss then bowling is definitely for you. While it may not feel like you’re moving around much bowling works both your arms and legs, not to mention your core. That means it’s giving you a full body workout, as evidenced by the cramps you may feel the next morning!
On average, a regular bowler will walk more than half a mile by the end of a 3 game set. That means you can burn anywhere between 150 to 300 calories during a competitive game, and speed up your metabolism. The specifics of fat burning will depend on your weight and body time, but generally a person who weighs around 200 pounds (90 kg) may burn 300 calories.
It’s helpful to remember that any type of exercise will have different impacts depending on how much effort you’re putting into it. So if you’re not spending your time learning proper form and treating bowling like the fun and competitive game it can be then you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
2. Speeds Up Muscle Toning
If you’ve ever tried throwing a bowling ball you’ll know it’s no easy task! An average bowling ball may weigh anywhere between 12 to 16 pounds. That means carrying, swinging, and throwing the ball is giving your shoulders, arms, chest, and leg muscles a complete workout.
Your muscles, ligaments, and joints are repeatedly flexing, bending, stretching, twisting, and releasing. Even gripping the ball works the muscles in your hands. In a regular game a single player will throw the ball 20 times. That means you’ll throw a 12 to 16 pound weight 60 times over the course of a 3 game set.
With reps like that you can definitely expect to tone your muscles if you spend time in a bowling alley.
3. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
People who live sedentary lifestyles are at greater risk for heart disease. While any type of exercise or cardio can help improve your health, bowling is ideal for several reasons. The biggest being how fun it is! Consistency is the most important part of any fitness routine, and if you can add bowling into your daily routine you’ll get a lot of cardiovascular exercise.
Bowling raises your oxygen levels by stimulating blood flow. It has numerous health benefits including reducing risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Two to three trips to a bowling alley will drastically impact your health in the long run.
4. Improves Hand Eye Coordination
If you want to get good at bowling you’ll need to strike as many balls as possible. That means you have to run down the alley, swing the ball back, and throw it down the bowling alleys with immense precision, all which coordinating your hands, legs, and eyes.
Learning proper bowling strategy requires mental alertness and concentration. The more you practice proper form the better your hand eye coordination will get. This is a skill most sports players develop over time.
5. Mental Stress Reliever
An often overlooked benefit of bowling is its value as an outlet to relieve daily stress. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what field you work in, or how much money you make, life gets hard. And if you don’t have healthy ways of reducing stress you’ll find it difficult to be happy or productive. That’s where bowling comes in.
Most people have daily coping skills like drinking or hanging out with their friends, but those are all sedentary activites. That means you never really get the chance to work that stress out of your body. With bowling you have a physical outlet for stress relief, similar to the gym, but with an added social benefit. Bowlers socialize and bowl at the same time. Now you get to bond with your friends and family, while getting in a workout!
Plus if you win you’ll get that additional victory serotonin boost. This works well for people who enjoy some healthy competition, since they get a healthy outlet for that energy and don’t have to rely on professional validation to feel productive.
6. Easy To Learn
When it comes down to it bowling is an easy to learn, low cost, low investment sport. You can play it with your friends or family and no one has to invest in any expensive gear. A bowling game doesn’t take up too much time. On average each bowler will take up around 10 minutes on the lane during a single game. That’s an hour if you have 60 people, which isn’t a lot of time to take out of your day for a hobby with so many health benefits.
If you don’t know how to bowl, you’ll be sure to pick it up after a few games, which isn’t true of many other sports that can require years of training. There’s also minimal risk of hurting yourself unlike maybe weight training or other types of exercise routines. That means anyone can learn how to bowl, from children to adults.
Bowling is an extremely fun activity for all age groups, which is why it is one of the fastest growing varsity high school sports. Many bowling alleys will make special arrangements to facilitate people with disabilities, so if you have a player who is visually or physically impaired that won’t be a problem.
7. Low Risk Exercise
Bowling is a low risk exercise. Perhaps the riskiest part is the bowling ball which acts like a weight, but you can get one as light as 10 pounds, then work your way up to 12, 14, and 16. This makes bowling extremely customizable. Since there’s practically no risk of injury players of all ages can have a great time.
Elder players can especially benefit from bowling as form of exercise since their options are limited. Even people who are wheel chair bound can still move up the ramp and play with the rest of the team. As far as team building goes the biggest strength bowling has is its ability to make room to accommodate any player.
In fact, there’s a special term called bumper bowling where the gutters are covered so the ball stays in the lane at all times. That’s so children who are just learning the game don’t get discouraged! You can include children as young as 4 years old in team bowling practices. Bumper bowling makes for a fun alternative when you have a group of children playing together.
8. Improves Your Social Relationships
According to the Bowling Foundation there are nearly 2 million bowlers across America. And that’s only counting the ones in bowling leagues, and not anyone simply playing for leisure. That means you can form your own teams and meet new people in a comfortable setting.
Bowling gives you a great platform to improve your social relationships. Whether that means bonding with colleagues outside the office, catching up with old friends, or meeting new players with similar interests is up to you.
From high school students to the retired and elderly, there are bowling leagues for every demographic. This provides a great opportunity for people to socialize, a method that is proven to ease loneliness, anxiety, and depression. You can even go bowling with your family.
Part of what makes bowling so popular is its adaptability. This is a game where the eldest and youngest player in your family can meet on the same alley and have a great time. The automatic scoring systems keep track of all the scoring so you don’t have to. That means there won’t be any fights over who won.
All in all, the game is pretty simple. You just need to throw the game and try to hit as many pins as possible.
Understanding Scoring In Bowling
It is extremely easy to learn how to bowl. Once you’ve played a few games you’ll start scoring in the double digits. After 4 to 5 games you may cross the 150 mark, which is an above average score in a bowling match. If you have a natural talent for bowling you may even score 170 or above. It all comes down to your skill level.
While many people assume bowling is just about how you throw the ball the reality is quite different. In fact, proper technique means you need to cover your bases and learn things like positioning, releasing, and hooking the ball.
Of course, if you want to cross the 200 score point you’ll need to put in some extra work and learn the basics for oil pattern, ball speed, releasing, and extensive hooking.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Bowl?
If you’ve just started bowling it will take you anywhere between 3 to 4 games to get a handle over the basics. At this point you can expect a score of 150. To cross the 200 point threshhold you’ll need to play around 50 to 60 games and may even need to hire a coach.
Remember, it all comes down to learning the proper technique. If you can do that sooner, under supervision, then you’ll progress faster. At the end of the day, you’re getting a quality workout no matter what score range you’re in. There is a case to be made for learning the proper posture and technique.
Simply put the better you do at the sport the more you’ll want to play it. If you can see the clear progress in your bowling skill you’ll be more likely to change your sedentary lifestyle and play more often. Plus learning tactical strategy will stimulate your mind.
Why not get the most optimum benefits out of your games? That way you can sharpen motor skills, burn calories, and learn a sport at the same time. As long as you’re enjoying bowling then it’s all worth it.
Even an average bowler will be able to reach the 150 mark with enough practice. So you don’t need to put in active effort and speed through it. Take your time because each game is adding value to your life.
Where Can You Go Bowling?
If you’re looking for places to bowl you have a number of options. Bowling leagues are the most popular. These group events allow team to compete against each other. You can find a team in your area, social circle, or age group. With enough people you can even form your own team to compete in a league.
Then there are bowling tournaments. While a league may be held over several weeks a tournament will generally last one to two days. Any official tournaments will be regulated by the USBC but there are other smaller tournaments as well that you can play for practice.
Other events for bowling include charity functions or other social events for various societies. These are more specific can cater to various organizations.
Overall, bowling can definitely help you lose weight. It stimulates your mind and body, fulfilling your need for social acitivity and physical exertion. If you’re planning on bowling regularly, or several times a week, you may want to invest in a pair of good bowling shoes.
Otherwise you can always rent them out at your bowling alley. This is a fun sport with few leading risk factors and numerous health benefits. Bowling lowers cholesterol levels, increases bone density, improves muscle tone, reduces stress, and helps you become a more active and focused person. So what are you waiting for? Start now!