Lawn Bowling: A Sport for the Ages
They wear white in honor of 700 years of tradition and come together up to three times a week. 50 players–all over age 50–some of whom have Parkinson’s, early stage Alzheimer’s, cancer, hip and knee replacements, arthritis, and all the ailments typical of aging. They gather to play an engaging game of “lawn bowls.” Some are the best lawn bowlers in the world and others are first timers, and they come together for sport, exercise and socializing.
“Bowling on the green” is an outdoor game that has fascinated both young and old for centuries. Today, bowls is no longer considered simply a rich man’s game. It is sensible exercise with great physiological value. The Worthing Pavilion Bowling Club of England describes bowls as “recommended for people who think they are past very active sports or those who think sport is not for them, as it provides a number of health benefits, including: improved fitness, improved coordination and skill development, increased confidence and self-esteem, enhanced mental well being, low risk physical activity because it is low impact, social discourse with a friendly crowd, and community connectedness and support.”
Lawn bowls passes the four requirements for healthy exercise, that it be regular, systematic, suited to the individual and fun. It offers mild exercise without undue fatigue, a combination of walking in fresh air, with rhythmic arm and body movements. More specifically, the physical contraction of the leg and arm muscles compresses the veins and helps pump the blood back to the heart and lungs. In addition, healthy muscular fatigue encourages normal sleep and rest; the perfect natural substitute for sedatives and sleeping pills. Finally, there is mounting scientific evidence that active muscular metabolism over the years plays a significant role in delaying or preventing the clinical signs of hardening of the arteries.
No other game on earth has been more highly endorsed by health authorities for seniors than the game of bowls. Since it is played by a team, it also presents group therapy at its best. The bowling green lures participants back again and again to the haven of old friends, sunshine and fresh air. Bowls is a happy mind, a body kept fit and a spirit rejuvenated. It is getting close to nature, enjoying fresh air, sunshine and healthy exercise, with a mildly competitive game in the companionship of friends.
The Joslyn Center in Palm Desert offers the Valley’s only public lawn bowling facility and is home to the Cove Communities Lawn Bowling Club. All are welcome to experience this senior-perfect healthy sport. No previous athletic experience is necessary. Bowls take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30am. For more information, contact Louise Cummings 760-832-6302 or the Joslyn Center at 760.340.3220.
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