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How Many Calories Are Burned When Bowling?

written by: AngelaC • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 5/25/2011

Bowling is a great family sport, providing a way to be active and socialize. The calories burned bowling make it one of best sports to contribute to a healthy lifestyle for people of all ages.

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    bowling Bowling is one of the longest played sports. It's origins can be traced back to 300 A.D. and today there are many forms of this sport. Ten-pin bowling is one of most commons forms and both amateur and professionals play it around the world.

    Ten-pin involves rolling a ball down an alley towards ten pins that are set up in a triangular formation. In regulation rules, the alley is made of polished wood and measures 41 to 42 in. wide and 60 ft. from the foul line to the head pin. The pins are plastic-covered maple, 15 in. tall, and weigh from 3 lb 2 oz to 3 lb 10 oz. The ball is made of rubber composite or plastic, has three to four finger holes, and weighs 10 to 16 lbs.

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    To get started, all you will need is a pair of shoes and a ball. Many recreational bowling alleys will rent these items to you for a one time use during your game. However, if you are trying to increase the calories burned bowling and intend to bowl on a regular basis, it is best to purchase shoes and a ball that are properly fitted for you to increase your performance and reduce muscle soreness.

    When purchasing a ball, you first want to decide which weight and construction is right for you. The best way to make that determination is to go to where you normally play and try out a variety of balls. Balls are made of different materials and also have different finishes, ranging from a hard finish to a soft finish. If you are just starting out, usually a soft finish is the best choice. If you are purchasing a brand new ball, you will also be able to have finger holes drilled specifically to the size of your hand. This will help with your comfort and performance. As you become a more serious bowler and begin to play more regularly, you will want to invest in more than one ball to be able to accommodate different types of games, situations, locations, and alley conditions.

    There are two main types of shoes to choose from, either athletic style or performance style. An athletic style shoe looks like a regular athletic shoe. They have a sliding sole on both shoes and are good for beginner bowlers. Performance style bowling shoes are designed for regular and competitive bowlers. They have interchangeable sole pads to allow you to have one breaking shoe and one sliding shoe. When trying on shoes you want to evaluate the comfort, support, and stability of the shoe. As with your ball, you may want to have more than one pair of shoes.

    Additional equipment and accessories include:

    • Bag
    • Gloves
    • Wrist supports
    • Cleaners
    • Polish
    • Ball grips and inserts
    • Towels
    • Tape and bandages
    • Ball buffer
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    Calories Burned

    Bowling is a fun and simple sport to learn, thus making it easy to do for longer periods of time. As you flex your muscles with every twisting, swinging, and turning motion, your metabolic rate raises and improves your balance and coordination. If you are playing alone or fairly quickly with a partner, a 150 pound person can expect to burn about 300 calories during an hour game. This means if you play twice a week for two hours each time, you will lose 1 additional pound every 3 weeks, or 17 pounds in a year. In fact, you could say three games equals one average workout at the gym.

    Like all sports, it is important to include a short warm-up before playing to reduce your risk of injury. The most important parts of your body to stretch are your neck, shoulders, sides, wrists, hamstrings, quadriceps and feet. Warming-up will help increase the blood flow to your muscles, get your body loosened up, and increase the number of calories burned bowling.

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    Health Benefits

    Unlike many competitive sports, this is a very social sport. During the game, you take your turn and then wait while your teammates take their turns. This relaxation time offers stress relief, a chance to cheer, and an opportunity to socialize, which all have been shown to improve the performance of your heart muscles and increase your longevity. Bowling is also considered an anaerobic exercise that strengthens your muscles and increases flexibility. By combining the social interaction with the physical aspects, this is a great sport to play to lose weight and have fun!

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    Top End Sports: Tenpin Bowling -

    Better Bowling Guide -

    Image Courtesy of: WikiMedia Commons - Stefan Grazer