Blood Clots, Exercise, and Bowling: Get Off Your Butt

exercise at bowling league
If you’ve read my recently published bio you might already know that I am an avid bowler. I bowl in leagues every week and often on the weekends in competition. The funny thing is that since I’ve been doing this routinely for 15 years I don’t think of all this activity as exercise… it’s just what I do.

I’ve also shared in the recent past my desires to add more exercise to my life by starting the P90X exercise program. I feel this is important for two reasons. One is for my own health and second is to simply practice what I preach. I don’t want to be the guy that says you should eat right and exercise while I don’t practice the same habits myself.

Having said that I don’t want to be the guy saying this stuff is easy either. I struggle with it just like everyone else but I don’t kid myself and say it’s not worth trying to be better either. Earlier this summer when I purchased the P90X series I worked out with my wife a few times and also a few times on my own but I would be lying if I said I have been consistent with my regimen since then because I haven’t been despite my best intentions. The point is that I am not giving up on exercise and I will be continually trying to add more of it to my life.

Routine Physical Activity

I do have one good thing going for me however, and that’s my bowling habits. I bowl 1-2 times a week for roughly 2-3 hours at a time. It’s not vigorous but it usually tires people out who haven’t done it before. For me it’s nothing; I don’t even bat an eye or give it a second thought. I can be dead to the world exhausted and can still participate flawlessly in the activity because I am conditioned to do so. Because I love it I have been active in the sport consistently for years and as a result have conditioned myself to be in shape.

What does all this mean? What is my purpose with this post? I wanted to present some findings on blood clots, physical activity, and heart attack but relate it to an actual situation. The Lancet recently published a study that found that having blood clots doubles your risk of having stroke or heart attack. The risks of getting these blood clots in fact are elevated for people who are overweight and for those who smoke but they are also elevated for people who simple are inactive for long periods of time regardless of their weight or other risk factors.

The interesting thing about this however is that a team of researchers from the Netherlands found that simply participating in a sports activity just once a week, regardless of the type of sport, or the intensity, lowers the risk of getting blood clots by roughly 25-50 percent.

My bowling once a week at minimum is enough physical activity to keep the blood pumping and keep risks for clots low. Now this post is not an advertisement for joining a bowling league but it is meant to illustrate that exercise doesn’t have to be six hours a week of intense exercise (i.e. P90X or the like); it can be a walk every now and then, bowling once a week, playing golf, tennis, kickball, etc. Whatever you enjoy doing it counts. Just stay active and get off your butt once in a while and you’ll be better off than if you didn’t.

The Lancet, Nov. 24, 2007 -

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Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

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