Strike! Bowling is Crammed With Healthy Benefits

bowling health benefits

Bowling is an active, social and fun night out on the town, but does it really count as exercise? We polled our physical therapists to see just how healthy throwing the ball down the lanes can be.

Did you know more than 67 million people bowl annually? It’s the No. 1 participation sport in the United States, according to the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA). bowling healthy benefits

Whether you’re on the Professional Bowlers Association tour or you just like hearing the pins crash into each other at your local alley, bowling is an active way to spend time with friends and family. 

But is it more than a social activity?

Our Renown’s Physical Therapy & Rehab team says, yes.

“The health benefits include the social benefit of engaging in a group activity as well as improved eye hand coordination with short burst of physical activity,” they conclude.

Long story short, bowling might not be the next exercise fad, but it does have a vast array of health benefits:

  • 1-hour of bowling can burn anywhere from 219 to 327 calories depending on how much you weigh (Mayo Clinic)
  • In comparison, that’s more calories burned than walking 2 miles in 1 hour
  • Bowling requires a short burst of physical activity when throwing the ball
  • It can also help speed up your metabolism through consistent movement while playing the game
  • The BPAA says bowlers use 134 muscles during a game.
  • The repetitive swinging, flexing, bending and stretching also helps tone muscle groups in your arms, chest, back and legs
  • Bowlers throw the ball up to 21 times per game. Bowling balls weigh from 6 to 16 pounds. How much do your barbells weigh at the gym?
  • Any type of exercise, including bowling, lowers your risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes
  • It also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure while improving circulation
  • Are we saying that if you bowl, you’ll instantly lose weight? No. But it can be considered a moderate exercise
  • And as with any exercise, be sure to stretch and choose a ball weight that you can handle
  • Our physical therapists say bowling is an ideal sport for social benefits. Bowlers often spend time with family and friends, which can decrease stress, loneliness and depression
  • Bowling is a wonderful sport for all ages, and is a low-risk activity for injuries
  • The BPAA says the median age of a bowler is 36. The oldest person to bowl a perfect game of 300 was 89, and more than 18 million kids between 6 to 17 bowl every year
  • Whether you play in a league or bowl with the family, the sport allows people (at any age) to interact with friends and family to reduce stress
  • Studies have shown that people who have strong and happy relationships with family, friends and their community have fewer health problems and live longer

health benefits of bowlingSo, who’s ready to hit the lanes?

Below are the bowling alleys in Reno/Sparks where you can experience the health benefits of bowling.

Grand Sierra Bowling Center
2500 E. Second St.
(775) 789-2296
Cost: $2 to $4 per game; $2 to $4 for shoe rentals
Hours: Open 24/7

High Sierra Lanes
3390 S. Virginia St.
(775) 825-1048
Cost: $2.25 to $3.75 per game; $2.75 for shoe rentals
9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Wednesday
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday
9 a.m. to midnight, Friday
10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday
11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday

Coconut Bowl
250 Wild Island Ct.
(775) 359-2927
Cost: $2 to $4.50 per game; $2.75 for shoe rental
Hours: 10 a.m. to close (closing times vary) daily

National Bowling Stadium
300 N. Center St.
(800) 304-BOWL
Cost/Hours: Events/tournaments only; Costs and hours may vary. Call for details.


  1. That's impressive that one hour of bowling can burn 219 to 327 calories. That's a lot more than the calories you burn in rest. I might have to pick up bowling; I'm trying to become more active.