The Many Benefits Of Playing Bowling (Physical & Mental)
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
When we normally think about bowling we all think of fun. This fun can come from hearing that satisfying sound of knocked pins, hanging out with friends or co-workers, or even from competitive league matches. Fun is enough reason to play bowling in the first place, but what if I told you that bowling has large benefits for our health; physically and mentally.
What's more, bowling can be played by anyone young or old and that is why over 95 million people enjoy it around the globe. It's relatively easy-to-play plus there's little to no risk of injury!
If you're a person who is on the hunt for an activity that is both fun and healthy, bowling is the perfect choice. Stay tuned as we show some benefits of bowling that current bowlers experience.
Increases Metabolism & Aids Weight Loss
You wouldn't think so but you do quite a bit of walking when you play bowling. A walking pattern is created each turn you get up from the chair, get your ball, bowl, and then walk back. The average bowler takes an average of 71 steps a minute while bowling, and each bowling game will last approximately 15 minutes. This means you would walk 1065 steps in a single game, and with majority of bowlers playing for about 3 games a visit, you would walk a total of about 3195 steps! Combined with the weightlifting of the bowling ball, its no surprise that you would expect to burn anywhere from 175-300 calories equivalent to 30 minutes of hard cycling. What's even better is you're doing it in your normal clothes and doesn't feel like a workout at all.
Strengthens & Builds Muscle
A bowling ball weighs on average 14 pounds (6.25kg), and each time your turn comes up and you pick up the ball, you lift that weight up. If the normal game lasts about 22 frames, then you'll have picked up that ball 22 times. All that swinging, carrying, and throwing of the bowling ball puts stress on your joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, despite being for short intervals. If you bowl often, you'll find that your forearms, arms, pectorals and shoulders get progressively toned, larger and stronger. In addition, because of the amount you walk and tense up, your legs muscles will also strengthen and grow.
Bowling is also great for grip strength as your hands adjust to handling the heft of the bowling ball. Just make sure to periodically switch bowling from left to right hand in order to avoid muscle and strength imbalances at least aesthetically, this might be noticeable.
Improves Social Life & Reduces Stress
Most bowling games, apart from the certain individual games and competition, are a group activity. When not on the lane throwing the bowling ball, you're usually sitting down and socialising with friends or your teammates. Whether you're discussing your techniques, sharing a drink or simply talking, you're building and strengthening the bonds between each other. Studies show that it's these relationships that maintains and increases happiness, prolong longevity, improve immunity, reduces stress, and overall increases quality of life.
Many bowlers I have talked to say bowling puts them in a sort of "Zen-like" mood. They say that bowling allows them to block out everything else in life, the worries, stress, and any bad things associated with it. It teaches you to focus, and really hones into the notion of challenging yourself and bettering yourself. When you begin to see the fruits of your labour in increases average scores, this can give many bowlers satisfaction which improves their mental health.
Better Your Aim By Increasing Hand-Eye Coordination
While most people attribute high hand-eye coordination to more conventional sports like tennis, baseball or basketball, they seem to forget that bowling engrains hand-eye coordination into its very gameplay. It is the art of knocking down objects after all! The typical lane is 60ft (18.3m) and there is a lot of things happening in your brain as you prepare yourself for the throw. Knowing how to consistently throw strikes by knocking all the pins down from 60ft away requires your brain to process positioning, speed, release times and many more. As you begin to knock down more pins, your hand-eye coordination will no doubt continue to increase as your brain becomes more attuned to the environment. It's no surprise that if you so choose to participate in other sports that require hand-eye coordination, you'll perform better. This is one of the many areas in life that bowling can improve!
All in all, if you're looking for an activity that provides many mental and physical benefits such as strengthening and building muscle, improving social life and reducing stress, and increasing your hand-eye coordination, bowling is the perfect choice. What makes bowling especially perfect is just how casual it is. Just bring a couple of friends, get some food and drinks, talk about each other's life, and knock down some pins! You won't even realises how good it is for you.