Health Benefits of Archery

Archery is a sport that has been around for many centuries, and has only improved over time. From beginner to expert, archers enjoy a great workout for both the body and mind. Archery can be both a team sport or an individual one, so archers can choose whether they want to socialize or spend quiet time with their thoughts. It is also a very inclusive sport for beginners and experts alike. Many people looking for a new sport to try turn to archery for its long list of health benefits, along with how pleasant it is to enjoy.

Exercise and Calorie Burning

It may not seem obvious, but archery is actually an excellent calorie burning exercise. Drawing of the bow utilizes energy and upper body strength, but a great deal of the sport is spent walking from one target to another, and walking to collect bows. Calorie usage of archery has been compared, by The Economist, to activities ranging from vacuuming and sweeping to snorkeling and dancing. In short, it is at the very least a strong enough exercise to replace a less-amusing daily stroll.

Upper Body Strength

When shooting targets in archery, your whole upper body (and some of your lower body) gets a thorough exercise. In a proper draw, you will develop the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, and core. Even a bow like the Samick Sage, which is excellent for all skill levels, has a draw weight of 30 to 60 pounds. When drawing, you will typically hold the draw for at least a few seconds while aiming. This act allows tension to occur in a variety of muscles, and works similarly to weight lifting. These repeated actions in archery develop the upper body muscles.

Man shooting compound bow at archery target

ocus and Patience

Archery requires constant focus, and is an excellent sport in which to practice blocking out distractions. An archer must remain fully focused on their shot, while also maintaining focus on their own form. Archers develop control during their routine practice, and learn to avoid distracting noises – a skill which can benefit an individual in all areas of life.

Coordination

Archers who were not gifted with excellent hand-eye coordination from the start are sure to develop it through practice of the sport. Over time, through repetition and practice, hand-eye coordination improves as the archer’s hands learn where to aim based on the feedback from the eyes. As aim improves, so does hand-eye coordination which, in turn, improves aim further. Overall coordination improves through archery as well. The sport requires a lot of details in the form to all happen at once, with a very small margin of error. Each minute movement becomes part of muscle memory.

Social Skills and Confidence

As is the case with most sports, archery is a fantastic opportunity to compete with and to meet new people. Particularly with archery, all walks of life are drawn to playing the sport. In tournaments, archers are often grouped together for scoring purposes – and you never know who you may end up with. Social interactions happen frequently while walking together through the courses, as well. Team support is often crucial for the success of the group, which builds a personal foundation of teamwork. Though archery can be a team or individual sport, many archers hold themselves up as their highest competitor. Setting and meeting goals, while progressing through improvement in the skills needed for archery, can be an excellent measure in building self-confidence.

Relaxation

Many archers say that they practice archery because it is relaxing to them. Hours can pass while shooting targets, and some individuals view this as a time for meditation and reflection. It is also a routine in actually learning how to better relax. Archers must focus, manage their breathing, control their nervousness, and fully concentrate on the target ahead. Archers will, in time, develop the skill of remaining calm, and continuing accuracy while under pressure.

Inclusivity

The sport of archery can be practiced by sportsmen and beginners alike, no matter their age, gender, or past experience and skill level. It is even touted as one of the most notably adaptive sports for those with a variety of disabilities. It can be a great source of exercise for almost any individual, and a great way for a person to challenge his or herself.

With all the benefits of archery, it is no wonder that it is a sport that has truly stood the test of time. Many folks are daunted by the typical questions, such as where to begin; however, most people are unaware of archery facilities right in their own town. For a great full-body and mind exercise, a way to relax or meet new people, or even just as a way to try something new - archery has it all!