Anyone who has ever participated in any form of archery is well aware of the joys that the sport has to offer. Social interaction with fellow archers, competition among peers, and satisfaction at gradual self-improvement are just a few of the many reasons for the sport’s tremendous popularity. However, there is one important benefit of archery that many often overlook.

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of archery comes in the form of its numerous health benefits. Those that regularly participate in the sport, often find themselves on the receiving end of an overall healthier lifestyle as a result.

The following are a number of the most noteworthy health benefits presented to those who jump headlong into the sport of archery.

Increased Strength

One of the most significant, and easily recognized, of all archery related health benefits is that related to increased physical strength. Drawing a compound bow, especially in a repetitive fashion, can be quite strenuous to a number of the body’s muscle groups. Over a period of time, this results in an increase in muscle mass, strength, and stamina.

The most significantly impacted muscle groups are those contained within your arms, back, and chest. In much the same way as when using work-out equipment at your local gym, shooting a bow forces these muscle groups to adapt to the demands that are placed upon them.

The same muscle groups that are strengthened during regular archery practice are also used during many points throughout a typical day. Regular exercise of this nature can also keep you limber as the aging process begins to take its toll.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Archery is a wonderful way of providing exercise for your body’s most vital muscle, the heart. Every time that you draw a bow, your heart rate increases, and calories are burned. In turn, this facilitates weight loss and maintains heart health.

Archers often also walk more than they realize during the course of a single practice session, as they retrieve their arrows. Additionally, those who take an interest in bowhunting, gain secondary exercise as they travel to and from their hunting destinations.

Contrary to when running or using a treadmill, the sport of archery provides its participants with a form of exercise that is passive in nature. While you are not conscientiously making an effort to exercise, you are indeed doing so, and finding vast enjoyment along the way.

Stress Relief

For many archers, shooting their bow is a wonderful stress reliever. Archery provides an individual with the tranquility of being outdoors, while allowing them to focus solely on the task at hand, enabling most to forget the problems of the day, and leave their worries behind.

This is of immense value, as the effects of stress on the body can be far more dire than one might realize. Excess stress has been linked to such health conditions as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, all of which can wreak havoc if left unchecked.

By taking the time to shoot your bow for one-hour, several days a week, you can not only put your mind at ease, but potentially prevent the emergence of future health issues. In a sense, you might say that the sport of archery can potentially save its participants from an early demise, in certain cases.

Improved Hand-Eye Coordination

Another benefit of archery is the positive effect that it has on one’s hand-eye coordination. When shooting a bow, your eyes provide feedback to the brain, which then tells the rest of your body how it must react. The perception of distance, reactionary timing, and decision making are all heavily ingrained in the sport of archery, and become honed with every shot.

The more an archer shoots, the better their hand-eye coordination becomes. With years of practice, this unique sensory function becomes relatively refined. This not only helps you become a better archer, but ultimately benefits you when completing other daily tasks as well.

On a day to day basis, hand-eye coordination comes into play far more frequently than we often realize. From simple tasks like tying your shoe, to multi-faceted processes such as driving a car, there is little in life that does not rely upon hand-eye coordination for success. In more ways than one, proficiency in the sport of archery leads to proficiency in other areas of life as well.

Enhanced Focal Ability

Archery is every bit as much about focus as it is physical ability. At times, you think so deeply about making a particular shot, or how best to improve your form, that all other thought falls by the wayside. In a world where multi-tasking is nearly a 24-hour occurrence, we seldom are allowed to put this level of deep thinking into one particular task at any given time.

Those that find consistent success as an archer learn to master this ability and remain laser-focused while at the range. This also typically bleeds over into many other segments of an archer’s life, making them more efficient at completing a particular task which they have placed their full attention toward.

The ability to thoroughly focus on the task which one is faced with enhances problem-solving and cognitive thinking. As a result, archers, in many cases, are well equipped to handle stressful situations when they present themselves.

Shooting Your Way To A Healthier Lifestyle

Though the reasons for archery’s popularity are almost too numerous to count, few are as important or far-reaching as the health benefits which the sport provides. By simply practicing in your backyard a few times a week, your body and mind are given the stimulation they need to perform at their utmost under the vast majority of life’s circumstances.

Most importantly, this physical and mental conditioning is achieved, while participating in an activity that is so undeniably fun, that you cannot help but to long for the next available chance to head to the range. After all, an exercise program that you enjoy, is one that you are likely to stick to for the long haul.

If you have yet to join the millions of archers worldwide in experiencing all that is offered by taking a bow in hand, you should definitely consider giving the wonderful sport of archery a try.