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Hit the lanes for physical, social boost, doctor advises

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Bowling may not be the most physically demanding sport, but it has its fitness benefits, said Victor Prisk, an orthopedic surgeon with the Allegheny Health Network. Prisk said the sport is helpful for a person's core, shoulders and hips because of the motion required to release the ball.

“I would say bowling burns calories, probably up to 200 an hour,” Prisk said. “It's probably like being on a treadmill walking for 30 minutes.”

The sport can be especially helpful for older people who might not be able to take part in more strenuous exercise, he said.

The social aspect of bowling also is helpful.

“When I have athletes who are dealing with overtraining syndrome, when they're fatigued with their sport, I always tell them to go out and do a sport like bowling,” Prisk said. “It's something recreational, but you're staying active.”

Physical training can help bowlers become better at the sport. Exercising your core in order to increase abdominal and lower-back strength could have benefits, Prisk said. Improving hip stability and strength and shoulder strength could help. He suggested exercises such as walking lunges, abdominal crunches and shoulder workouts using cables.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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