Health and Beauty

Can Archery Be a Great Fitness Activity?

The Hunger Games books are a highly popular series, with fans finding them very hard to put down. They’ve also found their place in the world of movies, which makes the whole story even more fascinating. While the premise of the book is a bit disturbing, it features children using archery as a means of survival.

Perhaps such books and movies are why many people have been thinking of archery as a fun sport for themselves or their kids. This is definitely a great way to combine one’s love for the series and get a workout at the same time. There are even some new archery-themed workouts inspired by the Hunger Games.

While it’s commendable that children are taking an interest a sport, is archery really a good fitness activity? After all, at first glance, it just looks like you’re standing and aiming at a target, with no major physical exertion. However, the effort is definitely there, along with several other aspects that make archery an excellent way to get fit. We’ll talk about this in detail:

Can Archery Be a Great Fitness Activity

Killing Calories with Archery

Unlike in the book or movie, the only killing in Hunger Games or archery workouts is done to calories. Students participate in a scheduled workout that mimics the books. They had intense cardio in the beginning, which involved grabbing mats and weights.

The workout also included pitting participants against each other, so fans of the books and movies might forget they’re even working out. This is considered interval training, which helps the muscles adjust to a wide variety of motions. Overall, it’s a great way to combine cardio and strength training.

Archery Workouts

Training in archery is not typically considered one of the more common forms of working out. However, when it’s broken down, archery actually involves many core principles of a full workout. As tributes in the Hunger Games know, archers must be fit to succeed…and live.

Following are some of the benefits we gain from a workout that involves archery:

Strength – An archer must have arm and upper body strength in order to achieve distance and speed with their arrow. The farther a person can stretch their bowstrings back, the more powerful the launch of their arrow will be.

Flexibility – The poses of an archer are not standard body motions, and many archers find themselves contorted in all sorts of poses. A great archer must have body flexibility in order to strike and maintain the arrow drawing motion.

Coordination and Focus – An archer must also have strong hand-eye coordination and intense focus. This helps them to be patient for a target and hit it when it arrives.

Upper back and Shoulders – Individual archery workouts include strengthening the upper back and shoulders as well as the arms. This can be done with both resistance training to and also free weights. Hand and finger workouts can be implemented alongside archery, which will help deal with the stress of repeated bow firings during practice.

Enhancing Flexibility

To increase flexibility, a variety of stretching routines should be performed as well as some yoga. Also, keep in mind that a healthy cardiovascular system is crucial for an archer running through a forest or chasing down a target. This is why you should make sure that running and aerobics be implemented into the workout.

Mental Health

Even if you just use archery as a recreational sport, you might be able to derive great benefit from it. Your mental and physical health both stand to improve considerably, especially if you practice outdoors.

However, even an indoors archery session will benefit you socially, competitively, and in several other ways. You’ll be burning calories, talking to other players, and generally staying in a better state of mental well-being.

Other Forms of Exercise

It’s not just the flexibility and aim that we improve while doing performing archery. Archers also have to walk quite a bit in order to collect their arrow. Even drawing the bow requires quite a bit of energy, especially if you have a high-end bow and arrow set.  

During a proper archery tournament, archers might even walk up to five miles or eight kilometers per day. This means they’re burning about 100-150 active calories every half hour.

Control

Archers tend to develop a high level of physical control over their own bodies. From this, they also develop a certain level of control over their minds as well. This means that they learn to focus on their actions and shut out all other distractions.

There are many distractions involved when you want to shoot an arrow straight towards the target. There’s the noise from the audience and the presence of competitors as well. An archer has to ignore all that and yet take into account the wind and distance in order to fire the arrow perfectly. This level of control and focus will also come in useful for other areas in every life.

Patience

Along with focus and concentration, archers also have to exercise a lot of patience, especially when they’re in training. The sport is fun, but it’s also quite frustrating for those who haven’t tried it before. If you want to become an archer, you’ll have to put in loads of practice every single day.

That arrow isn’t going to reach the target without some serious skills. The learning part might not be so bad, but perfecting those skills will take time.

Hence, if you become an archer, you’ll also probably become a patient, coordinated, and determined individual. Hopefully, this will also make you a better-rounded person.

Stress Relief

Perhaps the most surprising thing about archery is that it can actually relieve stress and train us in the art of staying calm. Yes, you might get frustrated, but any professional archer will tell you that relaxing is the key to perfect aim.

Archers hence develop the ability to aim accurately even when under great pressure. They accomplish this by breathing management, intense concentration, and managing their nervousness. Plus, the archer is alone with the bow, even if there are other players around. This gives you the chance to meditate internally and hence achieve a certain relaxation. 

Reading Up on Archery

If you do mean to try out these archery workouts or just take up archery for your own interest, it’ll be best to conduct some research beforehand. For this, a book called “Archery Fitness: Physical Training for The Modern Archer”. You can get it at the link below:

This book is authored by Mr. Ashley Kalym and is an excellent guide for the absolute beginners in archery. It can also guide you towards improving your fitness levels and enhancing your strength in order to become an experienced archer. You’ll learn how to shoot properly, hold the arrow for longer, stabilize your aim, improve your control, and much more!

Since archery is usually considered an old-timey sport, it’s just as well to start from the beginning. We could hurt ourselves if we don’t read up on the basics beforehand, so get this book in order to gauge your muscle control. It might not be very detailed, but it’ll get the complete novices up and running.

Conclusion

The best part of using archery or The Hunger Games as a basis for your workout is that you can have fun with it. If you’re a passionate fan you might even have fun while getting into shape. If your local gym doesn’t have any setup for an archery workout, see if you can put in a request or get a club together for this purpose.

Of course, the main reward of this workout will be the results you get. Your fitness level will hopefully go up, along with your endurance and overall aim. This will come in handy in real life as well as ensure that you attain a healthier body.

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