Bowling is more than just a fun way to pass the time. Playing a game at the bowling alley benefits seniors physically, mentally and socially. Freeman Advantage’s bowling league, Pin It to Win It, helps people over the age of 50 stay healthy and active.

Physical Health

Bowling is a great way for seniors to exercise without the risk of straining themselves. Bowlers may not even realize how much exercise they are getting each time they step up to the lane. It truly is a whole body exercise.

The sport requires low physical effort, but the average bowler can burn about 250 calories per hour. Bowling a three-game series involves walking over half a mile while swinging weight. Throwing the bowling ball helps the player build muscle mass all over their body and helps stretch their joints.

Social Health

As more seniors retire, they find themselves with more time on their hands. Bowling is a great to get a healthy dose of social interaction. According to “Psychology Today,” people who socialize even once a week tend to have stronger immune systems and are less likely to suffer from depression and certain types of cancer.

Pin It to Win It provides seniors of all ages and skill levels a chance to enjoy an afternoon in a fun, friendly environment. Bowlers are also provided a meal by Freeman Advantage once a month. Joining a senior league gives individuals a chance to create new friendships and interact with people their age.

Mental Health

Bowling is also a mental exercise for all bowlers. It is a game of strategy, allowing seniors to think about strategic maneuvers as well as work out how they can improve their game. Visualizing where the ball will go, adjusting the release of the ball and maintaining focus are all ways a bowler uses mental awareness during a game.

Want to reap the benefits of bowling? Register for the Freeman Advantage bowling league, Pin It to Win It, at Fourth Street Bowl in Joplin in July before the new leagues are formed on August 12. Cost is $10 per week and a one-time $14 sanction fee. Members receive reduced price practice games for $1.50 a game.

For more information about Freeman Advantage, visit freemanhealth.com/advantage.

JAMIE GILLMORE is the senior and volunteer services coordinator for Freeman Health System.