While many people perceive archery as a stationary sport, competitive archers need vast amounts of endurance, focus, and strength to perform well. Archery actually has many health benefits. This is an amazing sport that can even improve the mind.
The following are 11 health benefits of archery (collected by ArcheryTopic.com):
#1: Upper Body Strength
Drawing a bowstring puts stress on the back, shoulders, chest, and arms. Just like lifting weights, the stress is maintained for a number of seconds before releasing the string to fire an arrow. With much repetition, the stress of drawing and firing a bow results in muscle development.
Actually, archery also helps muscle development of the main muscle groups in the upper body. The extent of development is based on the bow’s strength and amount of time one spends competing and practicing.
In a competition, archers walk as much as five miles as they perform common tasks at an archery range and move from one location to another. While much of the walking is in short intervals, the cumulative effects help to improve leg strength, muscle tone, and cardiovascular health.
Through regular practice, these benefits increase. This is because much of the time walking is used to retrieve fired arrows as well as returning to the line.
#3: Helps with Exercise
One of the great things about archery is the fact that almost everyone, regardless of ability, gender, or age can practice it. Physically drawing the bow expends energy, as does walking to the target repeatedly to collect arrows. In 2012, during the London Olympic Games, The Economist equated the calorie usage of winning Olympic gold to ten minutes of other activities such as vacuuming, sweeping, snorkeling, and dancing.
On his way to topping an Olympic podium, a male archer burns roughly 1084 calories. This is only 747 calories less than women in a marathon and more than the 1054 burned by men in the 100 meters sprint. During tournaments, archers walk roughly five miles or eight kilometers. Researchers found they can burn 100 – 150 active calories every 30 minutes.
One of the best attributes about archery is the fact that it’s extremely easy to learn. Nonetheless, the challenging part has to do with perfection. Although it’s fun, archery can be frustrating. Patience in practice is highly essential for a bright and long future in the sport. By having the determination to repeat techniques, these athletes end up being a better archer and ultimately a better person.
One of the essential skills needed in archery is hand-eye coordination. Archery trains hands to work together while handling different tasks. For instance, to aim and fire an arrow requires input from the eyes. With more practice, archers become better at multitasking. The improvement in direction results in better accuracy, especially using the best bow sight. Better hand-eye coordination also helps other activities and sports which utilize the hands.
#6: Boosts Self-confidence
The greatest opponent in archery is oneself. Setting clear goals and identifying what to do is easy. Results are entirely based on easily-measurable scores. There’s no doubt that progression breeds confidence. Archery is an excellent sport to help build self-confidence.
#7: Good for Relaxation
Archers develop the ability to stay accurate and calm under pressure. They’re able to do this by managing nervousness, concentration, and breathing. When shooting well, hours pass by within the blink of an eye. While the sport is sociable, on the line, archery is almost like internal meditation.
#8: Improves Mental Focus
As an archer, the focus is highly important to success. Developing focus has a huge positive impact on both your wellbeing and mental health. The more focused one is on his or her target, the easier it becomes to not only clear your mind but also aim precisely both in competitions and in practice.
The same skills assist you to deal with stress and get worry off your chest every time you’re away from an archery range. In the end, you’re able to remain focused on your tasks. Through archery, the focus you learn can help to overcome distraction and procrastination.
Balance is highly crucial to success in archery. This is because one has to hold the body still while aiming or making a shot. Constantly practicing archery helps gain control over balance. The main focus is on trying to hit the target’s center.
More practice helps core muscles balance the body perfectly. It also ensures a steady aim for firing the arrow.
#10: Good for Socializing
As indicated earlier, archery is a sociable sport. Very few sports in the world allow the best in the world to compete close together in one platform. Often, archery tournaments are without barriers. They enable friendships between individuals from different walks of life. In fact, there is always a chance of being near champions in a competition. That is one of the beauties of this sport.
#11: Open to All
Many disabled people can handle archery as well as the able-bodied. For instance, folks with severe disabilities or even the blind, utilize special tactile equipment to assist them in the sport. This attribute also makes it an incredible family sport.
In Summary …
Archery demands determination, physical ability, focus, control, and precision. Top athletes usually train daily and for many hours at a time. Recreational archery also boasts plenty of health benefits. Whether practicing outside or indoors, socially or competitively, archery is an active sport. Additionally, it also helps burn calories and maintain a better state of mind. These are the top health benefits of archery.