Archery is an old and well practiced sport, a sport that from the outside looks simple but is the exact opposite in practise.
Archery can help a person cultivate their confidence, hand eye coordination, patience and helps to achieve a calm, meditative state. It does not just end there, the sport can help you build muscle, burn fat and get into shape.
So can archery help you lose weight? The short answer is yes, archery alone will not give you the body of a Greek God but it can contribute to you becoming a healthier person.
When combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle archery is the perfect sport to keep yourself fit whilst having fun.
If you practise archery regularly then you will see your body becoming more cut and toned, as well as your back and core being strengthened.
How Does Archery Make You Stronger
What muscles does archery target? Archery is a sport that demands your upper body to put in the effort.
The process of shooting an arrow works several parts of your body, first is your back, then abdominals, shoulders, lower back, biceps, deltoids, triceps and chest.
Drawing the bow back works several groups of muscles and due to needing to keep the bow drawn it holds the weight, this is perfect for working the muscles.
Since this process is repeated several times over the course of your time shooting archery this is great to tone the muscles and also build strength.
Most people do not realize that archery is great for working your abdominal and back muscles. Your lower back and abs will hold the tension caused by drawing back the bow string as your body naturally aims to stay balanced.
Archery does not just improve your physique but also can improve your fitness. Archery’s core concept is to fire an arrow at a target, well what do you do once you have fired all of your arrows?
You have to walk to the target, gather all of your arrows, walk back to your firing spot and repeat the whole process again.
This may not seem like much as all you are doing is walking to a spot and walking back, but you will be doing this countless times in a single session.
This adds up over time in fact it is estimated that taking part in an archery tournament will have you walking up to five miles in a single day.
As stated before, archery is a demanding sport, this allows your body to burn about one hundred and fifty calories every half an hour.
In the olympics, archery athletes will burn over 1,000 calories whilst competing. A study showed that doing only ten minutes of archery burns calories to the equivalent of jogging, dancing and swimming.
So now we know archery can not only help you to lose weight and gain muscle but what if it could also improve your mental health?
There is always more to fitness than just being physically healthy. Your mental health matters just as much if not more. This is due to the mental input required to be successful in archery.
Unlike other sports and activities that are heavily driven by high energy and are adrenaline heavy which make you sweat more, archery is more relaxed and leans more on your mental focus, calmness and ability to control your energy.
Archery helps develop many mental skills such as.
Archery requires a high level of concentration and focus. Any distractions can be costly towards the goal of hitting the target so your concentration levels must be high.
Wind is the biggest distraction as it can cause you to overthink where you aim. But it is not the only distraction, the distance to the target is another factor that can play on your mind.
If you are just starting out these distractions could play on your mind, as hard as you may find it, it is always best to remember that maintaining the intense concentration needed in archery is fundamental to being successful.
The more you practise the easier it will get to concentrate fully on the perfect shot.
Staying calm and relaxed is just as crucial as having high levels of concentration. It is much harder to hit the target if you are tense or anxious.
The sport is very calming unlike most sports that are fast paced and tense, archery can be used for internal meditation.
Hand Eye Coordination
Perhaps the most important skill to be a great archer. It takes the focus of your hands, mind and eyes to make the most accurate shot.
During the act of shooting the arrow you must use all of the various body parts and focus on the target at the same time.
Long Term Health Benefits
We have discussed archery’s effects on your physical and mental health. Now let’s have a look into the long term health benefits of partaking in archery.
In the long term, all the benefits of archery will have an effect on you, be it your physical fitness, the mental clarity gained helps to reduce and potentially eliminate stress.
Being stressed is often linked to a gain in weight and can destabilize your immune system. Many who take part in archery say that shooting an arrow sends your stress flying through the air.
Another impact of archery is it helps to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol affects your skin, hair, lungs, heart and muscles. The sport helps to mitigate cortisol by helping you feel more relaxed.
The Archery Diet
Exercise is just half of the battle when it comes to losing weight, diet is just as crucial and can help to double the gains you get from archery.
An archery diet is similar to a general balanced diet. Much like a balanced diet, the way to go is to make sure you eat high protein and low carb food. Lots of vegetables and dairy is essential too.
Protein helps build and maintain muscle, it should be paired with low carb foods that can be burnt off easily when exercising.
Eating plenty of vegetables will give you a wide range of minerals and vitamins, eating them raw will provide you with the most nutrients but eating them along with protein and low carb foods will give you the benefits raw or cooked.
As you can see archery is a great way to stay fit and help build muscle when living a healthy lifestyle.
However, if your aim is to lose weight by solely taking part in archery you will struggle, archery is best paired with other methods such as going for a jog or the gym.
It is a great way to clear your mind and improve your mental health, this as well as the physical demand makes it the perfect all round sport for those looking to pick up a sport they can do solo or socially.
Archery may take some getting used to and you will need to devote time to it but you will find it is a great assistant to a healthy daily lifestyle.