Tone Up, Toronto!

Exercise That Doesn’t Feel Like Exercise: Bowling

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Are you tired of your same old workout? Does going to the gym fill you with dread? Yeah, I’m there too. Welcome to the end of January, when the 45-minutes-a-day on the treadmill resolution that you made on December 31st starts to get old.

The solution? Find some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. It can be any sport? Dodgeball, indoor volleyball, walking a friend’s dog, etc. My humble suggestion, i.e. the one I’m doing, is a once a week 5 pin bowling league.

At first I was very skeptical that there was any actual exercise involved in bowling. The only image that came to mind when I thought of bowling (which shows exactly how little exposure I’ve had to it before) was Fred Flintstone, and his body is not one that I’d like to emulate. But a friend of mine encouraged me to go and so I did.

I was pleasantly surprised.

It isn’t a super athletic workout, to be sure. There is no sprinting the way there is in other sports. However, you are picking up a 4-5 pound ball and rolling it, which is a movement my right arm muscles weren’t used to. And most importantly, it got me up off the couch for two hours on a Monday night. Two hours that went by incredibly quickly, I might add. And afterword I felt just the right amount of tired and went home and had a nice deep sleep.

So is bowling the hot new exercise that is going to let you ditch the treadmill for good? Hell no. But it is a mildly active activity that is better than being sedentary and it can definitely be considered mild exercise. It is perfect for beginners.

A word of caution: I’m on a young team so none of our players were injured, but there were a few older teams and two players pulled muscles playing, so no matter how old you are, it is smart to warm up a little (especially – surprisingly – your leg and bum muscles) before you play and keep in mind that even though bowling does not require outstanding athleticism, you can still get hurt doing it, so be aware of your body mechanics.



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