12 Amazing Health Benefits of Archery

In Bowhunting by Devin N.

Just when you thought archery couldn’t get any better, it does.  All hunters and archers know that hunting or archery, in general, is a very exciting sport to be a part of, but when you add in all the extra benefits and advantages to it as well, then that’s when things get really awesome.

The best part is that these benefits not only apply to adult archers but to children as well.  If you’re a beginner or have a child that you might want to get into archery but are on the fence about it, then these 13 benefits are aimed towards you especially.  Take a little time to read through this list of benefits so that you can see just how awesome your sport really is. Keep in mind that these benefits are not only physical but mental as well.

1) Physical Advantages

A lot may think that standing in a stationary position and shooting a bow wouldn’t have many physical advantages to it, but it does.  If you’re a hunter, then you know how tiring walking or even running can be when it is being done for hours upon hours at a time, but it’s actually healthy for you.

You may not notice it now, but moving around like this will help increase your cardio, therefore, giving you more stamina and endurance.  This is useful because over time you might notice that tracking down that next big buck isn’t as hard as it was last time you went hunting.

On top of cardio, you are working on your strength as well.  Pulling your bow string back over and over consistently will not only build up strength and muscle in your arms but in your core, hands, chest, and shoulders as well.

Just like lifting weights, muscle is built from resistance, so drawing, aiming and holding your shot repeatedly can have its benefits by working out some major muscle groups in the upper body and giving you that extra pump that you need to make drawing your bow effortless.

2) Laser-Sharp Focus

Between work, school, taking care of kids, and other daily activities that we do on a daily basis in our everyday lives, we need to be able to focus so that we can stay on top of everything.  Spreading ourselves thin between life’s daily demands can sometimes be hard,  so what better way to increase our productivity than by increasing how well we can focus on one thing at a time.

When you get into archery, you soon realize that your focus is more times than not the reason for how good you are able to hit your target.  The good thing about this is that the same focus you are using while shooting your bow will carry on into your everyday life.

Distractions are all around us, so having the ability to lock in on what you’re doing, blocking everything out, and then executing is an essential trait to have in my honest opinion.  I have noticed that hunting has improved my focus in my personal life and I feel like it will improve yours as well.

3) Mental Clarity

If you’re an adult with a lot of responsibilities (like most adults), you know that sometimes things can get extremely overwhelming.  With everything we have on our plate, I think it’s only right to be able to take the time to calm down, relax and unwind so that we can make sure that we’re efficient in other areas of our life.

When you’re shooting your bow, there’s nothing but you, your archery gear, and beautiful nature all around you.  So if you’re feeling stressed or feel like you need a break from life for a little while, then there’s definitely no better way to get rid of that unwanted baggage than to simply go outside and shoot your bow.

This is something I’ve incorporated into my life on a pretty regular basis and think that others should as well.  Archery will help you forget whatever you are feeling down about and come back fully recharged and ready to take on the world again.

If possible, take a half hour out of your day every day or every other day and go outside, connect with nature and shoot your worries away.  You might find that this small amount of time to yourself helps you get more done than you usually would.

4) Let’s Get Social

Depending on what you’re involved with in archery, it can actually be a fairly social sport.  From tournaments to just getting a group of friends together and shooting out in the field, there are many ways to connect with others in this sport.

If you have a friend visiting from another state or even want something new and interesting to do on a first date, then archery is perfect for that.  The good thing is that it is perfect for pretty much anything and will usually be a great go-to activity in any given situation.

Getting a group of friends together and having a small gathering mixed with a little bit of archery has always proven to be successful for me when I want to socialize and catch up with people that are either not within travel distance or are just completely tied up with hectic work schedules and are unable to catch up as much as they would like to.

5) Confidence Booster

We all like to feel good about ourselves, right?  If you’ve ever shot a bow and hit the bullseye after many attempts, scored that big buck that you were tracking down for days or got that really tight group that you were working so hard for, then you should know exactly what I mean when I say that this sport is a huge confidence booster.

The feeling of practicing day in and day out to reach a goal and then actually reaching that goal after all the hard and tiresome work can be very rewarding when it comes to this sport.  I cannot tell you how many times I would be practicing my shot all while visualizing me taking a picture with that next big buck right under me and then making that vision come to reality. 

This was back when I was still a beginner, but the feeling I got from bringing that dream to life gave me an unexplainable feeling of joy and confidence that I’ve only been able to experience while hunting.

If you’re newer into archery and you want to feel accomplished and achieved by going after and reaching something that you worked very hard for, then archery is definitely the path you want to take.  

6) Practices Safety

Whether it’s with archery or not, safety should always be an important priority in one’s life.  When practicing archery, especially bow hunting, you realize just how important your safety actually is.  When you’re dealing with sharp arrowheads, powerful bows, or even wild game if you’re a hunter, making sure you are safe and that you are in no way at risk of something bad happening is more important than anything else outside of that.

From what I’ve seen, it is not uncommon to pick up a bow and be completely careless with how you handle it, especially with youth.  New adult hunters are usually more aware and cautious of what they’re doing when handling or hunting with a bow, but kids are the ones that we have to look out for.

Most children who are new to archery are not starting off with anything that will cause any life-threatening injuries, but anything that can be drawn back and shot with even the slightest bit of power behind it will cause damage.

So, not only is it important that we practice safety ourselves, but also that we keep an eye on our child’s safety by practicing safe habits and making sure that they are clear on the dos and don’ts of archery and how it can impact how they carry themselves outside of archery as well.  Keep in mind that it is always best to lead by example, so when your child is around, take the extra steps to demonstrate what is safe and what’s not.   

7) Patience Is Key

Patience is absolutely critical when it comes to a successful archery session.  It is actually quite natural to think that you can pick up a bow and start hitting the bullseye consistently after a few warm-up shots, but this is usually never the case.

Learning to be patient with yourself will help a ton with your shot overtime and will also help with how well you’re able to deal with certain situations in your personal life.  We as humans are naturally impatient and want what we want when we want it without putting the time and effort in to get it, but getting to that next level in archery and in life will almost always require you to have patience in order to get these things, whether that is a skill or a personal goal that you may have.

If you’re serious and passionate about archery and you know that one day you want to be just as good as some of the archers you look up to, then practicing patience is essential and is the one and only way you will get there.  Over time, you will see that the patience you practiced while shooting your bow will pay off in your life outside of archery. 

8) Give Your Eyes A Break

Let’s face it, technology is taking over the world!  With most everybody glued to their phones, iPads, and iPods, it is no surprise that a lot of us are socially awkward now, which is pretty ironic. If you want to give your eyes a break and just completely unplug from technology altogether, then archery will definitely help with that. 

There are a million things going on in the world that we are not in control of, so disconnecting and removing ourselves from the world we see through a screen is very important.  And in my personal opinion, there is no better way to do this than by having a little bonding time with the bow.

If you ever find yourself completely freaking out about the bad news you saw on the news earlier that morning or are stressed out from the drama and craziness you saw on one of the popular social media sites, then turn off your phone, pick up a bow, and reconnect with nature.

You will be surprised at how much better you feel after clearing your mind and giving your eyes a break from seeing the things that are going on around you.

9) Archery Doesn’t Discriminate

Fortunately, archery is one of those sports that the whole family can get involved with.  Whether you’re disabled, a senior, or a child, archery is for you.  Archery sports, including bow hunting, has been enjoyed by many people of all ages and will only continue to grow more and more as the years go by.

I know when most people think of archery they think of running around with a bow hunting animals, which is a small part of archery, but this is not completely true.  I personally am a hunter who enjoys the thrill of being out in a huge field surrounded by animals, but I know that some people are not into that.

If you like archery for the tournaments, the social aspect of it or just as a hobby that you do by yourself or with the family whenever you have free time, then that is fine as well.  Archery is a very welcoming sport and in my many years of being involved with it, I have run into nothing but the kindest and most respectful people I’ve ever met.

When it comes to shooting a bow, all egos are put aside and families from all religions, races, age and ethnical backgrounds are brought together. 

10) Indoors Or Outdoors?

The first thing that comes to mind when someone speaks about archery is that it is a sport that is enjoyed in a tall, grassy field with birds chirping and warm winds blowing, but unfortunately, the sport is not always sunshine and rainbows (literally).

When you’re a hunter, you have to deal with pretty much whatever weather mother nature decides to throw at you that day, but if you’re just someone who shoots as a hobby, then there is a way around this, and that’s to shoot inside.

Whether you’re shooting inside or outside, archery is still calming.  Yes, it is soothing to be completely connected with nature when shooting your bow, but the act of shooting period is enough to call for a relaxing session when you’re looking to clear your mind.

If you’re not an outdoorsy kind of person, then setting up an area for targets and other archery accessories is totally possible when it comes to this sport.  The versatility of being able to enjoy a session is yet another reason why I love this sport so much.

11) Creates Bonds

As parents, sometimes we can be out of touch with what our children like.  With new apps, video games and social media sites coming out, it can be pretty hard to keep up with.  The downside to this is that this virtual world can sometimes create a relationship barrier between you and your child.

A good way I’ve found to take my kids’ mind off of that and help them become more physically active is to have them come out and shoot the bow with me.  At first, I didn’t know how they would respond when I approached them with this idea, but surprisingly enough, they were actually excited about the experience. In fact, they asked if they could come shooting more often.

With that being said, I think it’s a good idea to always try and get the kids involved in shooting a bow.  I was reluctant to even ask them, but now that I have, I am extremely happy that I did.

Ask your child, significant other or close one if they want to try shooting with you sometime as this can be a great opportunity to catch up on lost times and create a stronger relationship by being more involved with family activities.  

12) Promotes A Positive Lifestyle For Kids

The world can be a crazy place sometimes, so it’s our responsibility as parents to make sure that our kids don’t fall into the wrong lifestyle.  Taking your children out to shoot a bow can reap more benefits than you might be able to see.

Kids can be very impressionable, so taking their focus away from things they might run across on YouTube or on the TV can be very beneficial when it comes to promoting a better lifestyle for them.

There are a lot of things and distractions that our children are faced with on a daily basis, so swaying their focus towards something more positive such as archery can help tremendously with guiding them down the right path.