When we think of the health benefits of sports, we tend to think of high activity, high exertion sports like running or lifting weights. However, there are also considerable physical advantages to be had from seemingly more passive sporting endeavors, too.
While shooting might not top the list for most people in terms of an energy sport it can bring a surprising number of mental and physical benefits to participants. Read on for just a few of the ways taking up a shooting sport could improve your body’s condition.
Shooting is a stress buster
Shooting requires total concentration to ensure you hit the target, meaning it can be a very effective way to block out all the other woes and worries of life as you focus 100% on hitting the mark. Also, as shooting accurately requires total calm, it inspires slow and steady breathing, which has been proven to help in lowering blood pressure and making us more relaxed.
Upper body strength
The power generated by a gun recoiling improves upper body strength. In particular, firing a rifle will increase the strength in your shoulders and upper arms while shooting a hand-held pistol will improve the strength of your hands, wrists and lower arms.
Core body strength encouraging better posture and balance
Shooting requires a calm body position, achievable only by shifting your weight onto the balls of your feet and staying still in a relaxed - but firm - stance. Prolonging this position is a great way to build core body strength and promotes an improved posture while also honing your overall balance skills. There are also multiple supplemental exercises you can do in your time away from the range that will exercise these muscles and skills even further.
Mental training and processing
Shooting is as much a mental sport as it is physical. Much like golf or archery, it requires total body and mind coordination to pull off shot after accurate shot. Indeed, many exponents say shooting is 90% mental pressure combined with 10% ability and these short bursts of intense concentration are a great form of training for the brain.
From assessing wind conditions, to accurately holding the gun and steadying your body ready to take a shot, shooting exercises the mind in ways other sports can’t. In those few seconds before you take a shot, your mind is processing a huge amount of information.
In particular, hunting presents the brain with several challenges all at once - focusing on the target, staying still and silent, choosing the right moment to shoot, etc. If you’re interested in getting started in hunting sports, look into ilearntohunt for hunter safety courses in the United States to ensure your safety and that of those around you.
Increased hand/eye coordination
It should go without saying that shooting will refine your hand/eye coordination - plus it also helps with fine motor skills.
If you’re to have any success at shooting sports, even in just the amateur realm, you need to train your body to make consistently accurate shots. From ensuring you adopt the correct body position to maintaining relaxed breathing and zoning out distractions, shooting encourages strong self-discipline.
Bursts of adrenaline
When you’re lining up to fire, you’ll feel a spike in adrenaline, which starts your liver breaking down glycogen and, in turn, provides the body with glucose to generate more energy. As our bodies increase energy, one by-product is an increase in endorphins and, in particular, serotonin which promotes feel-good emotions and a sense of overall happiness.