Archery, the national sport of Bhutan, has successfully remained an integral part of the Olympics since its inception. Today, it remains a popular form of competitive sport, and for good reason.
The benefits of archery are not just limited to spending time surrounded by nature. It also helps sharpen the mind, improves one’s physical stamina, and sometimes helps burn calories.
Benefits of Archery
Archery is a sport that requires precision, focus, control, patience, and determination regardless of being practiced recreationally or competitively. In fact, given the numerous benefits of archery, doctors in France prescribe patients to practice archery as a healthy activity.
At the same time, the French Archery Federation has continued to introduce several courses to create awareness about the mental and physical benefits of taking up archery.
Mental Benefits of Archery
In addition to being a popular sport worldwide, archery can provide several mental benefits for individuals who practice it regularly.
Some of the key mental benefits of archery include:
- Improved focus and concentration: Archery requires mental focus and concentration, as archers must focus on the target while aiming and shooting the arrow. This can help improve mental discipline and focus in other areas of life.
- Increased self-confidence: Archery requires skill, patience, and determination to succeed, which can help improve self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: One of the most important examples of the benefits of archery is its ability to help reduce stress. Several studies have concluded that this sport can provide a sense of relaxation and stress relief. Moreover, the repetitive action of shooting arrows can help calm the mind as well as reduce anxiety.
- Improved mindfulness: We’re all well aware of how important practicing mindfulness has become in today’s fast-paced world. Since archery requires being present in the moment and focusing on the task at hand, it can lead to improved mindfulness and awareness.
- Enhanced problem-solving skills: Archery requires problem-solving skills, as archers need to adjust their aim and technique based on various factors, such as wind speed and distance to the target.
- Improved mental toughness: Another archery benefit is its ability to help develop mental toughness, as it requires patience, persistence, and the ability to handle setbacks and failures.
Physical Benefits of Archery
The benefits of archery are not limited to improving one’s mental well-being. Archery can also provide several physical benefits for both beginners and trained athletes.
Some of the key physical benefits of archery include:
- Increased upper body strength: Archery requires using the upper body muscles, including the arms, shoulders, and back, which can help build strength and muscle tone.
- Improved hand-eye coordination: Mastering archery requires hand, eye, and body coordination. By engaging in regular practice, competitive archers end up having improved overall hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
- Better balance and coordination: Archery requires balance and coordination, as archers must maintain a stable stance and use their core muscles to support the upper body during the shot.
- Increased flexibility: Another one of the benefits of archery includes its ability to increase flexibility in athletes. Archery requires a range of motion in the upper body, which can help improve flexibility and range of motion in the arms and shoulders.
- Cardiovascular exercise: Many health professionals claim that regularly engaging in this sport provides moderate cardiovascular exercise, especially when practiced outdoors. This is mainly attributed to all the walking required in the sport to retrieve arrows. Professional archers end up walking at least five miles in a tournament. This leads to burning approximately 100-200 active calories every half an hour.
- Reduced risk of injury: Archery is a low-impact activity that puts minimal stress on the joints and muscles, making it a good option for individuals with joint pain or other health conditions.
- Improved posture: One of the most essential benefits of archery is the sport’s contribution towards correcting one’s posture. Since mastering this sport requires archers to maintain proper posture and alignment, this helps improve overall posture and even reduce the risk of back pain.
Indeed, archery has come a long way since it was first used for hunting. Today it provides a fun-filled activity for people of all ages to come together and there is a wide range of mental and physical benefits of archery. It also serves as an excellent means of socializing and building self-confidence and resilience.