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Bowling: Health Benefits

Updated on March 16, 2011

Ten pin bowling is a fun sport that can be played all year around and in any weather condition.  It is enjoyable, sociable and a great way to keep active.  Although ten pin bowling isn't exactly an exercise that will help you achieve the epitome of physical fitness, it does promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging you to engage in some sort of physical activity.  Some activity, no matter how little, is infinitely better than not exercising at all.  It also means you are actively engaged in some sort of physical activity rather than lazing on the couch in front of the television doing the bicep curl with a bowl of crisps and a can of soda.

What health benefits can be derived from ten pin bowling?

Ten pin bowling is a great way to exercise gently in a fun way.  It is a sport that has little to no barriers.  Individuals young and old, male and female, fit and not so fit alike can all take part in bowling and have an enjoyable time while exercising.  Often one of the reasons why many individuals dislike exercise is because it is tedious and boring.

In a nutshell, bowling is an anaerobic exercise that can be likened to walking with free weights (where your bowling ball is your "free weight").  Being anaerobic, it demands more muscular strength than endurance from an individual.  Bowling helps to work most of the major muscle groups, such as the arms, back, abdomen, buttocks, quadriceps and hamstrings.  It also works the tendons, joints, and ligaments through flexing and stretching. 

Thirty minutes of bowling burns about 150 calories (this figure is based on the weight of a 150 pound woman - if you weigh more, you'll burn more calories, if you weigh less, you'll burn less calories).  This is about as much as you would burn if you went for an easy bike ride or if you went rowing for the equivalent amount of time.  Since an increase in caloric expenditure can help you reduce fat, bowling can also be an enjoyable way to lose some weight.

Additionally, if bowling is adopted as a regular sporting activity, it will help to increase your metabolic rate, improve weight management, and boost overall health. Since all exercise release endorphins - the body's "feel good" chemicals - bowling can also help to elevate mood and make you feel more energetic and alive.

The combined aspects of fun, socialisation and ease of entry help to increase bowling's appeal to many individuals not only as a sport but as a fun activity to be engaged in.  Even if bowling isn't going to get you into tip-top shape, at the end of the day, the physical activity derived from bowling a couple of times a week will help to improve your overall health and fitness. 


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