My father and grandfather took me to the local bowling alley often when I was a child, but they never dreamed I would grow up to become a professional bowler.
I was only a toddler back then and had no clue that the sport would eventually lead me to earn 15 national titles, bowl 21 games with 300-point scores and become the fifth woman in bowling history to roll perfect back-to-back games.
I never thought that bowling would help keep me in shape, either. Not only did it become my career, but bowling turned out to be a physical fitness activity I thoroughly enjoy to this day.
Even though it isn't considered a cardiovascular exercise, an hour of recreational bowling can burn off several hundred calories.
And because the sport relies on a series of repetitive movements, it helps keep muscles long and lean, increasing upper-body strength. Bowling also helps improve balance, agility and coordination and allows you to fit a bit of walking into your day regardless of the weather.
Because bowling is a low-impact activity, everyone can participate in the sport, regardless of physical limitations or age. Many bowling centers offer special devices that help those in wheelchairs roll the ball down the lane…and I've even read about folks who bowled well into their 90s!
Most importantly, you can bowl by yourself or socialize with others, making it a fun way to work out.
Ten Frames of Fun
I try to bowl a minimum of 2 to 3 times a week, even though I'm busy with other activities as well—such as lifting weights and biking, scuba diving and camping with my husband, Tommy.
Practicing for bowling tournaments is a necessity for me, but it's easy to be motivated to bowl even if you're doing it for recreation only.
Many centers offer family night bowling for fun get-togethers. Or they feature theme events such as bumper bowling that eliminates gutter balls…or cosmic bowling starring dramatic lighting and modern music. Such special effects make the sport more entertaining and provide a great change of pace from regular bowling.
Whether you hit the lanes solo, socialize with others or play against a competitor, bowling can be a regular part of your fitness routine. Do it consistently and you'll find yourself feeling healthier and more fit…and you'll have more fun than you ever imagined.
So why not get on a roll and start bowling today?