When it comes to healthy activities, lawn bowls is a winner. It can improve balance, not just in the game but in general.
With each bowling action, you transfer your weight from the back leg to the front leg. These slow controlled muscle movements build strength and balance. Because you stand throughout the game, endurance improves too. Rolling your bowl towards the jack develops physical precision and mental alertness.
Lawn bowls is a team activity. You are encouraged as you learn, and you get to meet new people. Before you head down to your nearest lawn bowls club, try these simple exercises at home.
Exercise 1 – Static Lunges
Stand side on to a wall or a railing for support. Place a stable object on the floor that is around 30cm high. A small box or a stack of books will do. Step forward with one leg using a wide stance to keep you stable.
Next, lower your body by bending your front knee and your back knee. Keep your back upright. Try to touch the books or box with your bent back knee. Hold this position for 10 seconds then slowly come upright. Repeat the lunge five times then switch to the other leg.
As you gain more strength and flexibility, you will be able to get lower to the ground.
Exercise 2 – Biceps Curl
Start with a 1kg weight in your right hand. Keep your elbow neatly against your body and do 10 bicep curls. Move slowly and mindfully. Hold in your core muscles as you raise the weight. Switch to using your left arm. Do two sets of curls. Progress to a heavier weight when 1kg is no longer challenging.
Exercise 3 – Single Arm Farmer’s Carry
This exercise, also known as the Suitcase Carry, helps with balance and stability. Your core, hips, back and arms are all engaged in this exercise. If you don’t have a weight at home, you can use a watering can. (Note that 1 litre of water weighs 1kg)
Choose a weight you can carry single-handed with a small amount of effort. Put it on the floor and stand beside it. Bend your knees and put your heels firmly on the ground. Pick up the weight. Look forward and walk ahead for 20 paces. Turn and walk back to the start. Put the weight down. Switch to the other arm. Do two laps.
Tristan Hall is an exercise physiologist with Full Circle Wellness. Call 0431 192 284 or visit fullcirclewellness.com.au