Bowling seems to be not so physically demanding when it comes to strength and stamina compared to other sports. However, there are many health benefits associated with bowling including physical, mental and social benefits. As with all physical activities, bowling has its own health benefits.
We are going to explore some of the health benefits of this ancient and yet modern sport of bowling.
1. Burn some calories
Almost everyone wants to burn some calories in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bowling can contribute to burning some calories. Here is how to analyze that.
First, an average bowler has to walk up to 60 feet for every turn. This may not look like much but if you take into consideration the number of turns a standard three-game does, you would find out that this is up to half a mile. It may not look like much if you consider the fact that in other sports like football, for instance, you need to run a lot more than this. However, in bowling, you are not just running but you are going to be carrying a heavy bowling ball. While running and throwing a heavy ball at some pins, if you consider these factors, it would be okay to conclude that bowling consumes about 175 to 300 calories in an hour. So, an hour of bowling is equivalent to skipping ropes for about thirty minutes.
The amount of weight you burn in the course of bowling also depends on how physically fit you are. Generally, people who are not so fit tend to burn more calories when exercising than people who have some levels of physical fitness.
2. Tone your muscles
Like any other physical activity, bowling helps you to tone some parts of your muscles. This is because, in the course of doing exercises, your muscles get damaged. During the resting period, the muscles build up more strength while repairing itself to prepare it for the next exercise.
When bowling, you are carrying a heavy ball of around 12 lbs or more while running. You are also trying to swing that ball in a controlled manner so they can hit your target pins. All these put some pressure on your leg and lower abs muscles when you are running; your chest, shoulder and arm muscles work more anytime you throw the ball. In all, you can throw a bowling ball for an average of 54 times.
Again, people who are not physically fit gain from this muscle toning more. This does not mean that physically fit people do not have anything to gain from bowling too. Just like any other physical activity, including going to the gym, the more you do it, the more impact it has on your body. For a while, then there is a plateaux period where it does not seem to have much before your muscles start to respond again. In any case, consistency is key to seeing results.
3. Boost your balance and flexibility
While bowling, you are not just throwing a ball randomly, you are trying to hit a target. In addition to this, the ball is quite heavy. This requires some strength, flexibility, and balance. The twisting, stretching and lunging motions you make while bowling improves flexibility. If you want to bowl correctly, you are required to twist and stretch your body in a particular way to improve your accuracy. The extra weight you have to focus on counter-balancing while extending or flexing your hands in the process of bowling the ball does a lot to improve balance.
4. Improved hand-eye coordination
When you are bowling, you have a target to hit. Your goal is to throw a large ball and strike a group of pins almost 60 feet away from you. Think about it, in a basketball court, the half-line is about 47 feet away from the net and if you are not dunking, you require a great level of hand-eye coordination to get the ball into the net. The same goes for bowling. Hitting the pins is one thing, but the ball has to get all the pins down for you to get the perfect score.
So, unlike basketball or soccer where you just want to get the ball into the net, in bowling, you need to get the ball to hit the pins at the right angle so every single pin falls down. This requires a lot of aiming and target practice and a lot of focus. In essence, a bowler requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. This improves mental alertness, concentration, and tactics. Hence, bowling can improve motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
5. Improved social life
Socializing is great for mental health. Forming good and healthy relationships can make you a happier person. One way of forming healthier relationships is by doing activities of which are of common interest with other people. Bowling is a highly social sport. In most cases, people tend to go bowling with friends and family. There are also bowling leagues and teams which allow people to come together and play.
Social activities have many mental benefits such as reducing stress and improving from depression. Bowling is great for the elderly who tend to get lonely at times. Some studies show that bowling once a week has a lot of mental rewards which can affect our physical wellbeing positively.
6. Lose some weight
So many people want to lose weight, but not many people do it in a healthy manner. Some people start an extreme diet that they cannot complete which can malnourish and actually harming them. One of the best ways to lose weight is by exercising, and what better and fun way to do that than by bowling. A rule of thumb when trying to lose weight is to remember that you lose weight when you burn more calories than you eat. Bowling can help you burn anywhere between 175 to 300 calories every hour and can contribute to weight loss in addition to healthy weight loss diets.
One reason you may prefer bowling over some more efficient exercises like running is that bowling is not a high-impact sport. When you run or skip, you hit the ground at such a force that it affects your ankles and knees. When bowling, you do not run for that long to cause any considerable damage. This makes bowling quite friendly for the elderly. As long as you only carry bowling balls with the optimal weight for you.
7. Reduce the risk of disease
A sedentary lifestyle and bad dieting habits can increase the risk of a lot of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and so on. While bowling, a lot of physical activity takes place which involves all or most of your body’s muscles. This, in turn, improves blood circulation, lowers cholesterol levels, helps lower blood pressure during relaxation and in all improves the condition of the heart. In other words, it can be safe to say that bowling is a form of cardio exercise and can contribute greatly to improving heart condition and reduce the risk of deadly diseases.
Bowling also helps reduce chronic stress which can, in turn, put you at risk of other diseases. Diabetes and hypertension are some of the leading causes of kidney failure and stroke. So, reducing the risk of hypertension and type two diabetes through good physical exercise can also reduce the risk of more life-threatening diseases like stroke, kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the blood vessels and so on.
8. It is fun for everyone
Bowling is a great way to socialize and relieve stress. It is a low-impact sport which means that elderly people or people with minor knee injuries can bowl without stressing out their knees. It is a great way to get your family together. Getting your family to have fun improves your health and relationships.
In conclusion, bowling is a great way to get together, have some fun and stay healthy while doing that. Bowling also helps build relationships with others and can contribute to happiness if done right.