Originally, the primary use for bows was to hunt down wild animals, but in modern times, the activity has become a popular hobby. Many professionals are competing in major tournaments like the Olympics. Amateur archers prefer to shoot at targets for fun. But the question remains, what are the benefits of archery?
Practicing this hobby can improve the fitness and overall health of your body, but mental health benefits are also insurmountable. Shooting at targets can give you inner peace and improve your focus on the target. This is a skill that can be useful in many areas of life.
We shouldn’t overlook the physical aspect of the game. Experienced archers are forced to build their muscles over the years. Even if it’s done at the amateur level, archers who frequently shoot at targets will enjoy a healthy set of muscles as well.
6 Benifits of Archery
We’ve composed a shortlist of the benefits of practicing archery:
1. Improved hand-eye coordination
With enough continued practice, archery is bound to improve your coordination and overall aim. This hobby requires your body to be fully in sync – mentally and physically. Archery provides an added benefit for your focus as well. By maintaining your posture, mastering your draw and release, your body learns to adapt to the habit of a precise and deadly shooting.
The more you practice, the results are only going to improve. Your aim is going to improve and you’ll enjoy more and more success on the training ground. As a final result, you achieve complete mastery over your body.
Archery can further improve the strength of your fingers and arms. Your body tends to become more flexible and powerful as a result.
2. Building Strength
Much like regular bodybuilders, archers repeatedly have to handle a lot of weight for multiple seconds. This is the key ingredient for developing muscle tissue. As a result, their upper body muscles tend to become very fit and prepared to handle even more weights.
It is not unusual, even for casual archers to handle bows with ~50lbs of draw weight. That’s a significant pressure to put on a single arm. The best thing is, as you practice, you get used to shooting with recurve bows that have heavier draw weight. As a result, you never stop improving your fitness.
The most visible impact of repeated archery practice can be noticed over time if you look at your arm, back, and shoulder muscles. These muscles are going to dramatically increase in strength if you keep shooting at targets. Archery can also significantly influence your core and overall balance while you’re shooting.
3. Endurance Exercise
The biggest misconception about archery is that it is a stationary sport. The energy required to pull the string adds up to a significant cardio exercise. Even more importantly, archers have to walk around a lot. After shooting the arrows, they have to walk over and pick them up to try again.
This might seem like an insignificant exercise, but over the course of few hours, archers end up walking a lot. One research showed that professional archers competing in tournaments had to walk multiple kilometers in total.
Amateur archers probably don’t have to spend as much energy on the shooting ground, but they’re nonetheless very physically active. The best thing about this sport is that it is open to anyone. Even if you’ve never held a bow in your life before, you can get one and start shooting at targets right away.
4. Opportunity to socialize
Archery is a very social sport, even if it doesn’t look like it. People often go out shooting at targets in groups, which gives individuals a chance to catch up and have a good time as a part of a crowd. The socializing aspect is often not acknowledged, but it can contribute to the mental well-being of most individuals.
There are obvious benefits to be had from spending time outside. The benefits like fresh air and relaxation are obvious, but shooting at targets can also clear your mind. If you’re stressed or unable to think properly, taking time off to shoot arrows might be just what you need.
Benefits like clarity of mind and inner peace are less obvious but just as important. Physically exhausting yourself is a good way to declutter your brain and keep it focused on the most important concerns.
You can also generate additional vitamin D by exposing yourself to direct sunlight. Vitamins have obvious benefits like strong bones.
Besides building up your physical muscles, shooting at targets can also improve your ability to practice over and over until you reach perfection. This mental state is a powerful tool for any professional or casual marksman. If you’re young, you are going to appreciate the fruits of this kind of discipline. Once you learn how to do something repeatedly until you excel, you can use that skill in any area of life and achieve greatness.
This mental state allows you to pick up any new skill that you dream of. You start to realize that all you need to do is persistence – and the results will follow. You will gain more self-awareness, and feel in control of your body and mind. It is very empowering to think that only you can decide what happens to you, no one else.
Unlike most other sports, archery can be a sociable and individual sport at the same time. On one hand, marksmen often go out to shoot at targets with other people. Even casual target shooters often gather around to shoot their bows and compare results.
On the other hand, when you’re ready to shoot the bow, archery isn’t about anybody else there but you, your bow, and the target. In the moment of truth, you have to filter out all distractions and focus on hitting the target. It allows the marksmen to meditate internally to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
It requires special clarity of mind to hit your marks successfully. Besides that, your muscles shouldn’t waver and give way in the most important moment.
This type of focus on completing a single task can be useful in all areas of life. We often find ourselves distracted by details that aren’t very important. Archery teaches us to set our minds on a goal, and then achieve that goal. The specific goal doesn’t make much difference.
Archery can be a great way to boost someone’s confidence as well.
Final Thoughts – Benefits of Archery
There’s no denying that shooting at targets outside is a great way to spend your free time. Now that we’ve covered all the benefits of pursuing this hobby, there can’t be any excuses for putting it off for later.