Bowling for Fun and Health

I am captured above this past weekend when I bowled with my brother Jonathan in Los Angeles at a bowling alley that encouraged us to “bowl for fun and health” as you see on the banner. I have been bowling more and more regularly in the last few years. Beyond San Francisco and Los Angeles, I have also bowled in Nebraska when visiting the Wetzel’s of Green Pasture Products as you’ll see in one of the videos below.  It was a lovely way to break the ice and meet all the family members and employees that had gathered that night. Even the youngest child who was 3 years old participated with us.  I find that it is good ‘ole, simple fun.  I do tend to increase my score from game to game, so I enjoy the sense of learning and accomplishment as well. I decided to post on the benefits of bowling as part of my series on movement.

“Among the large number of sports that humans have created and played, bowling is quite probably the most popular to play and longest lived. The sport has more than 50 million people in U.S. alone. It is definitely a sport that is much more popular to be played than most others. While football, baseball, and basketball are extremely popular to watch, the truth of the matter is once we are out of college, most of us are not playing these sports. However, bowling is played by kids and senior citizens alike. The best part about bowling is that it offers health benefits to those who play regularly. The health benefits of bowling can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.”  From Help With Bowling

Apparently, there are many forms of bowling, with one of the most recent being ten-pin bowling, which most of us are accustomed to. According to Wikipedia, the earliest most primitive forms of bowling can be dated back to Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. Indeed, about 2,000 years ago a similar game evolved between Roman legionaries: it entailed tossing stone objects as close as possible to other stone objects (this game became popular with Roman Soldiers, and eventually evolved into Italian Bocce, or outdoor bowling).

I read that the the first standardized rules were established in New York City, on September 9, 1895. Today, bowling is enjoyed by 95 million people in more than ninety countries worldwide.


Bowling is an anaerobic type of physical exercise, similar to walking with free weights.  The act of bowling  burns calories and works muscle groups not usually exercised.  While most sports are out of reach for elderly people, it is possible to practice bowling very well at advanced ages.

Beyond the physical benefits, it also has psychosocial ones, strengthening friendships or creating new ones in groups.  I find that I invariably laugh at myself a fair amount while playing and that my mood is elevated as a result.  I have played with others whereby we’ve mutually supportive rather than competitive.

While a  perfect game consists of 12 consecutive strikes, one for every frame and two more on the extra rolls in the 10th, and results in a score of 300, I was delighted just to get 2 strikes in a single game last weekend!  If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it!  A form of movement that may delight your soul.

Is it a way to nourish ourselves?  I think so – especially if you explore various ways to play in good humor as you’ll see me below!  Have you bowled lately?!  I’d love you to share your experiences!