Are you thinking of taking up archery as a regular practice? Or maybe you already have and you’re simply wondering what benefits this fun sport provides in the realm of health. The sad truth is that many folks don’t consider archery a sport with many health perks. And nothing could be further from the truth!
Like most sports, archery offers general and specific advantages to improve your health. This doesn’t just mean the state of your body, but also the quality of your mental health and your overall ability to live a happy life.
We’re not saying you should drop all other sports practices and dedicate all your time to shooting arrows (by all means, keep weightlifting, doing yoga, and running!). Rather, we want you to realize all the good archery does for your mental and physical health.
So, if you want to know how practising archery on a regular basis can help balance and improve your health in the long and short term, keep reading! Here are the top 7 health benefits that archery offers you.
The 7 Health Benefits of Archery
#7 – You Get Better Coordination
If you have ever tried firing an arrow with a minimally accurate direction, you have probably noticed everything that goes into that one shot. You don’t just have to pull the string and release it. You also need to make sure your fingers are correctly placed on that string and that your feet are parallel and your weight well distributed. Check whether you are pulling the bow back with the correct back muscles, aim to the right point, anchor your fingers…
Learning to perform all of these actions at the same time will fire up the neural circuits that control coordination. This doesn’t only mean that you’re less likely to fall over from tripping over your own feet (though avoiding possibly bone-crushing falls is pretty cool). Improved coordination carries over into the rest of your activities, making you better at other sports or hobbies. It also keeps your brain active, meaning it’ll stay young and agile for longer!
#6 – Your Hands and Fingers Stay Agile and Flexible
Hands are fingers are vulnerable to lots of debilitating illnesses. Some of these are arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis… the list goes on. While physical activity that involves these parts of the body won’t necessarily protect you from contracting all of these, it might help ward the effects off for longer!
The bottom line is that pulling back and holding the string while manipulating the bow to get a good aim will grant you sure agility and flexibility as well as strength. If you like to try drawing, carving, or other precision work, practicing this sport is a pretty good idea.
#5 – You Develop Increased Patience and Ability to Focus
Have you ever found yourself losing your temper out of impatience? Or being unable to focus on an important task at hand because your mind Just Couldn’t Stop Rambling™?
If this is true for you, you’d probably benefit from the mental health perks archery offers. Firing arrows endlessly before finally hitting the bull’s eye is a learning process that forces you to cultivate the virtue of patience if you want to get anywhere close to being proficient at it. And the action of aiming and firing helps your brain relax into the moment. This way, you will definitely learn to focus on what you’re doing.
#4 – New Opportunities for Social Connections
If you’re new in town or just want to expand your circle, you’re probably looking for painless ways to make new friends. Sports and clubs are generally a good place to start looking for new friends (or weekend activity buddies). But, sometimes, it can be difficult to just approach a person or already formed team.
That’s why archery is so awesome! It’s a relaxed sport that lets you interact on your own terms: you can just focus on your actions or chat with the other people in the range or class. No one’s forcing you to interact in a way that might make you uncomfortable. This is a pretty good space to meet like-minded people, and we all know that meaningful social connections greatly improve mental health and even physical well-being!
#3 – Gain More Confidence and Determination
Who says self-esteem is not a part of good health? Mental health is just as crucial as getting physically strong! Besides close social connections, which are a really important way to get a support system for your health, there’s another path in which archery helps your mental state.
It makes you fierce. Determined. Confident. Whether it comes around through competing with others or just striving to be better yourself, improving your performance and cultivating a crucial survival skill definitely lead to a more assertive and self-reliant mindset. This will positively affect all your relationships and areas of life, and you’ll have your bow and arrows to thank for it.
#2 – Big Time Strength Building
Drawing your bow the right way strengthens your muscles massively. Though, being usually fairly static, it doesn’t look like you are working out, you are becoming significantly and sustainably stronger by the day.
And it’s not just the hands! Your arms, shoulders, core, and back are also involved in the process of drawing and shooting. Repeating your actions over and over means that you are, basically, lifting weights with your whole body. The heavier the bow, the more you’ll work out.
#1 – Exercise Improves Your Overall Quality of Life
Finally, archery (like all sports) is a good way to stimulate the production of hormones that induce happiness. And what’s more healthy than being happy? You’ll spend calories, build muscle, and learn new skills and mental focus. All these perks mean that your quality of life goes up significantly. A life well lived, I believe, is more important than everything else!
Archery is an awesome, fun sport that you can practice on your own or with good friends (or future friends!). It helps you balance your inner ecosystem as well as improve your general physical condition and strength.
What’s more, this sport helps you gain confidence that you can take over into other areas of life and become a better, more powerful version of yourself. So, now that you know the amazing health benefits the practice of archery has to offer, what are you waiting for? Get your gear together, fire off a little self-pep-talk, and get to the nearest range or class. Your body, mind and success will thank you for it!