5. Bowling As Fashion Statement
Style trends come and go, but bowling shirts are forever. No other chemise contains the classic lines, boxy fit and garish color blocks of the infamous bowling shirt. The retro 1950s shirts are the most chic, often coupling a sweet, bubblegum pink with stark black trim or a jazzed-up front with leopard-print panels. Nowhere else in the world but a bowling alley can you wear such a shirt and get away with it. And we haven’t even touched upon the bowling shoes.
4. Bowling As Therapy
Forget pricey shrinks or those government-mandated anger-management classes — all the therapy you need is right at your fingertips at the bowling alley. Hurling a big, heavy object at small, wobbly objects with the sole intent of blowing the wobbly object to smithereens does wonders for your stress level. Tactics that can relieve the stress even further include imagining each pin as someone or something you resent. The 10 pin is your boss. Pin No. 8 is that noisy neighbor while No. 9 is the nosy one. Watch pin No. 3, the nasty guy on the bus, get smashed against the alley wall.
3. Bowling As Exercise
Throw out the treadmill, kick out the elliptical and chop that stationary bike into little pieces. Bowling provides great exercise — or at least more of a workout than you’d getting sitting home watching reruns and chomping Cheetos. Bowling burns calories, uses the full range of motion of at least one arm, provides strength training with the heavy ball and enhances your balance, coordination and flexibility when you are forced to stop yourself from falling sideways or sliding down the lane after releasing your ball.
A 160-pound person burns 219 calories per hour while bowling, according to MayoClinic.com, while heavier folks burn even more. A 200-pound person burns 273 calories per hour while a 240-pound person burns 327 calories per hour. Because you are engaging in exercise, the calories you consume while bowling don’t count. So have another brewski and enjoy that bowling alley pizza.
2. Bowling As Family Fun
Bowling is cheaper than a movie, more exciting than once again trudging through that banal miniature golf course, and keeps the family all in one place with generous seating accommodations near every lane. From the rambunctious tyke to the surly teen, bowling suits various age groups. Granted, your infant probably won’t do too well rolling that bowling ball down the lane, but preschoolers or above can use new ramp-like contraptions that let them roll the ball down an incline rather than try to throw it down the lane. Word of warning: people stare at you funny if you try to use the ramp-like contraption as an adult.
1. Bowling As First Date Flair
The same old first date of dinner and movie becomes bland after awhile. Besides, it’s hard to talk during the film and even more difficult to appear sexy when you’re trying to converse with a mouthful of salad or chewed-up steak. Bowling to the rescue. Bowling puts you and your date on even ground, since bowling is an equal-opportunity recreation: everyone usually stinks. Keeping score and constantly adjusting the rental shoes that never fit properly gives you enough activity to fill those horrible, elongated lulls of silence that come with every first date. When you do have something to say, you’ll easily find time while waiting for the slow-moving pin-sweeping device to do its duty.
A bowling date also sparks plenty of conversation. You’ll be amazed at the things you can learn from a date at a bowling alley. He may disclose his cousin Wally was once the bowling champion of Fleatown, Ohio. She may confess that as a teen she used to sneak cigarettes behind the convenience store only to come home and have her mother tell her she smelled like a bowling alley.
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer who earned the best in bowling journalism from U.S. Bowler, the official membership publication of the United States Bowling Congress, for her weekly column outlining how bowling can be sexy.