When people think about sports that provide a wealth of physical benefits, it is not often that they would imagine archery; boxing, running, weightlifting and soccer, perhaps, but certainly not archery.
But whilst archery is viewed by the masses as something of a tame sport, those who take part regularly will know that this is actually far more physically demanding than people give it credit for.
But what are the physical benefits to be obtained from archery? In this article, we are going to find out.
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Mind And Body United
One of the first things that any archer will tell you is that before you even begin to think about the physical benefits of archery, there is the mindful side of it.
There is no denying that this is a sport which requires the utmost focus and attention. It is, therefore, excellent for anyone who wishes to improve their concentration. Furthermore, if you move away from competitive archery and head out into nature, you will notice the meditative benefits of being in such a tranquil environment.
But your body will be working hard too.
The Physical Benefits Of Archery
As we have mentioned, anyone unfamiliar with archery could be forgiven for thinking that it wasn’t an over tasking experience, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.
Let’s explore the many physical and health benefits that can be obtained from taking part in archery.
The power required to draw the bow successfully is far greater than people may first imagine, and there are many muscle groups involved in this. You might think that most of the work is done by the arms when, in fact, your core, back and shoulders all play an essential role in getting the bow to full draw.
For this reason, many archers have awe-inspiring core strength and excellently strong rotator cuffs and arms.
If you are looking for something that will help you to improve your strength levels, then archery should be a consideration.
Improving your coordination can have a direct impact on many areas of your life – think about it, we must have good coordination for a variety of everyday tasks such as driving.
Not only that but the concentration and coordination that is involved in every shot is an essential part of becoming an expert archer.
A lot of this is related to muscle memory and those who have been shooting an arrow for some time will notice that their coordination is improved so much that getting a shot spot on becomes almost second nature.
At first glance, archery may not seem like a sport that would rival other Olympic sports in terms of how many calories are burned. So you might be surprised to learn that this sport is closer in calorie-burning power to the marathon than it is to a long jump.
But these calories are not only burned through the activity itself but rather the immense amount of walking that is done in a tournament. It is thought that archers may walk as many as eight kilometres in a single tournament.
As we have briefly mentioned, the mind gets an incredible workout during archery, but it is essential to take a closer look at this.
One of the key takeaways from this sport is patience. In this modern-day and age, we are all in such a hurry to achieve anything, but these achievements are often short-lived since real accomplishment and precision requires incredible patience. You will develop this patience by taking part in this sport, and this will be carried over into your everyday life. The more patient you feel, the more satisfied you will be in general.
Furthermore, it is widely accepted that archery can vastly improve your self-confidence, and this is something that a lot of people lack in modern society. As you meet and exceed your goals or stand out in a tournament, you will feel a great sense of achievement, and this will boost your confidence. There is nothing quite as powerful as seeing what you are capable of achieving.
When we think of becoming more flexible, it might be easy to assume that jumping onto a yoga mat would be the most beneficial exercise but what many people don’t realise is that archery can rival practices like yoga where flexibility is concerned. At least, for the upper body.
The hands, fingers and arms will benefit the most from this aspect of the sport, and much like other advantages, you will see this carrying over into other areas of your life.
There is no denying that there are incredibly sad amounts of loneliness in the world, and this can result in some serious mental health problems. One of the best ways to defeat social isolation is to engage in group activities, and with so many archery clubs out there, more and more people see the benefits of this.
Archery tournaments are known to be very inclusive, and those new to the sport can often be seen competing against old hands. For this reason, it is effortless to bond with others and develop lasting friendships with people who have a common interest with yourself.
When we think of sports that offer substantial physical benefits, we don’t often think of archery. Still, this wonderful hobby can offer a more diverse range of advantages than most other sports put together.
Whether you are looking to improve your physical strength and fitness, meet others, like minded people or develop your mental skills, archery has a place for you.
It is hardly surprising that a lot of people turn to the sport to access a range of benefits that you would struggle to find elsewhere – so why not give it a go?