While horse racing has been called the ‘sport of kings,’ the sport of bowling, according to the United States Bowling Congress, is the sport for ‘every man, woman, and child! It is estimated 70 million people participate in the game of bowling.
Bowling is not as expensive a sport as golf is and one reason why retirees with a ‘fixed’ income love the sport. Golf requires purchase of a bag of clubs that includes, at least, one driver, two woods, one putter, a bag to keep the clubs in, towels, covers for the clubs, and a box of golf balls — with an uncanny sense of direction to find the water hazard, woods, or the sand trap! There are also the course fees and the tees to buy, fees covering the use of a golf cart and caddy. Compare that to bowlers needing only one large ball with 3 finger holes drilled into it, bowling bag, and a good pair of bowling shoes that allow one to glide gracefully to, but not over, the foul line as one releases the ball towards ten ‘easy-to-see’ pins 60 feet from the foul line. The ball even returns to its owner! No sand traps, no woods to tramp through, nor any water hazards to maneuver!
Bowling is not restrictive to any gender or age and is known for scattering life’s tensions, as much as the pins! Children as young as four can roll that ball down the alley. (With bumpers in the gutters) Retired seniors, aged 65 and up, find bowling leagues to be a great way to exercise and socialize. This latter group is the focus of today’s article, bowling tips for seniors.
Is Bowling Good For Seniors?
After all those years in the office, and keeping up the maintenance of house and kids, the day comes to ‘kick off the formal attire.’ Instead of heading for the gym with the treadmills, stationary bikes, or aerobic exercise classes, an autonomous and monotonous exercise for self, consider the fun sport of bowling in your golden
Bowling is not just a good idea for seniors — it is a GREAT idea! Bowling three games is the equivalent of walking approximately half-a-mile, increases endurance, speeds up the body metabolism, and maintains bone density! It is competitive, as in the once-daily disciplined office work of data entry or data analytics. It is good for the body, getting the heart pumping, blood flowing, and muscles moving! It is good for the mind, with thinking and sharing of bowling tips with other seniors! It is good for the soul, building upon new and old social relationships!
Benefits Of Bowling For Seniors
The sport of bowling can burn as much as 250 to 300 calories in a one-hour bowling session. It’s not just a solitary form of exercise; as those who frequent gyms or take up aerobic walking, jogging, or head for the golf driving range or golf course. It is a means of socializing with the ‘old office crowd,’ getting re-acquainted with those you once ‘hung out with’ in the adolescent years, or getting to know your neighbors that you did not get to spend time with due to child rearing or work obligations. Bowling is a great way to connect with the grandkids, nephews, or the nieces and build bonds in the family relationship.
Bowling Form For Seniors
An important bowling tip for seniors to keep uppermost in mind is to watch one’s form when bowling.
While age can do much to refine and mellow one’s temperament, increase wisdom, and bring greater
patience — all the ‘stuff’ that shows a good spirit, the physical body itself does become less flexible, the bones not as strong, and coordination and balance not as when one was ‘dancin’ the night away.’
The first essential bowling tip for senior bowlers to ensure an enjoyable and fun time on the lanes is to limber up! Streeee-tttttt-chhhh before the game begins! Loosen up those tense muscles of the legs, arms, and the shoulder. Lift and bend the knees, stretch out the arm and bend it open and closed a few times, open and close the fingers, even lift the ball a few times to get used to its feel.
Ready to bowl? Ok, get on your special ‘arrow mark’ and remember, as a senior bowler, the POWER behind the ball scattering the pins is in the glide and slide of your steps and the looseness of your arm and shoulder.
Keep these simple steps in mind as you stand on your mark and get ready to let ‘er roll:
1. Stand as far from the foul line as is comfortable.
2. Flex the knees slightly, as you take steps forward, no need to run, let your feet move in smooth, even steps as you slowly bring arm holding the ball to swing forward just before the foul line. The movement should be the same as when walking, moving legs and arms in a back-and-forth motion. This motion is creating the ‘arc’ you will need to propel the ball forward.
3. You should be slightly bent at the waist when the ball is released, so the ball rolls smoothly down the alley towards those pins — and a STRIKE! Do not drop the ball or throw the ball at release, roll the ball.
Practice your bowling approach before the official league games and do not neglect to stretch those muscles of the arm, shoulder, and upper leg and calf muscles to make them less tense.
Best Bowling Ball For Seniors
As stated in the first paragraph, it doesn’t take much equipment to take part in the sport of bowling. One bowling ball, one bowling ball bag, and one pair of bowling shoes and you are ready to show the gang that ‘glide in your slide,’ and the ‘pep in your step,’ as you ‘roar at that good score’ and get ‘psyched by that strike!’
While there are many types of bowling balls available at the bowling alley to choose from, it can be time-consuming to find the right size and spacing of the finger holes, the right weight, and if you do find a ball that works — there is little guarantee it is going to be waiting for you next time you bowl. Success comes from doing the same good actions again and again and again. With that in mind, we recommend owning your ball rather than searching for the right fit amongst the many balls offered at bowling alleys.
When selecting a bowling ball, a good ‘rule of thumb’ is selecting a ball that is ten percent of your body weight. If you are 140 pounds then choose a 14-pound ball, if you are 146 pounds; go down, not up in ball weight, i.e., select a 13 pound ball, not fifteen pounds. Use common sense, if your muscles are not toned well by a daily exercise regimen, and go lighter rather than heavier in weight.
To assist in what bowling ball would work best for senior bowlers, these three bowling balls on Amazon.com would be a good starting point for one’s consideration.
- Hammer Black Widow Legend Ball: Nothing ‘hits’ like a hammer is the tag line of this Brunswick
brand of bowling balls and is highly recommended. The ball is composed of a hybrid cover stock, an asymmetrical core, and a Powerhouse Factory Finished polished shine. There are a variety of weights to choose from, ranging from 12 pounds up to sixteen pounds, to fill the needs of all senior bowlers and with higher price offset with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. The ball works well on medium to heavily oiled lane conditions. The ball has an asymmetrical core, which means not in equal proportion top to bottom, as are the symmetrical core balls and it provides power to the ball on the ‘backend’ aka ‘the hook’ when initially released and carries through as it nears the pin.
- DV8 Poly Bowling Ball: A moderately priced bowling ball composed of a polyester cover stock, ‘pancake’
core, with a high gloss finish. It comes in an abundance of weights — 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12 through 16
pounds for our senior ‘lightweights.’ It also comes in basic black, fuchsia, and green. This durable ball is a good choice for beginning bowlers. A ‘pancake’ core refers to a thin layer of pancake weight block inside the ball and a large amount of filler material. The weight will make the ball move as the bowler rolls it, with little ability of the ball to ‘hook’ in. Success comes from doing the same good actions again and again, and with the DV8 Poly Bowling Ball, senior bowlers can focus on their aim and seeing the results of that aim.
- Brunswick Magnitude 035 Bowling Ball: The Brunswick Magnitude 035 comes moderate to higher in price and is available in 12 to 16-pound weights, just like the Hammer Black Widow Legend Ball. It differs from the Hammer Black Widow in that its core is symmetrical at the core, which gives bowler the control on medium to dry lane conditions. The ball will roll as bowler places it at release down the alley. With drier lane conditions it can ‘hook.’ The Brunswick Magnitude 035 will give the bowler consistent results to where the ball is placed on the lane arrows and power when hitting the pins.
We hope this article was informative and piqued interest in a sport enjoyed by 70 million Americans as a means for socializing, exercising, and strategizing. The rules are simple to learn, it is easy on the budget, and good for strengthening muscle tone. Don’t sweat it too much, go and have fun! There are mixed leagues for males and females, leagues just for guys, or league play just for the gals. If you wish, just rent an alley and bowl alone or with one friend — just for the fun of it! That is what bowling is all about, FUN!