Hunting is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of recreational exercise. Every culture across the world has practiced hunting, both in the past and the present. Whether undertaken by individuals, or as part of a group, hunting comes with a number of benefits for participants. It might not be the first sport that you think of when you think about getting fit, but hunting has much to offer both physically and psychologically.
Connect with Friends and Family
While hunting can be done as a solitary activity, it is usually done as part of a group. In fact, for many families, hunting as a group is a tradition, something that has been practiced over multiple generations. Most hunters will learn the tricks of the trade from either family members or friends who also hunt, and each hunting trip becomes an opportunity to bond and to enjoy a shared experience. Bonding activities with those closest to us carry numerous psychological benefits, including improvements in mood and a reduction in feelings of stress and anxiety.
Improve Your Balance and Agility
Standing still and aiming a gun might not sound like much of a work out, especially if you’ve never handled one before, but in fact this simple act effectively targets the core muscles, this in turn supports proper posture. When our abdominal muscles are weak, they are unable to effectively support our weight during everyday activities such as walking, this burden is instead placed on the lower back. Strengthening the abdominal muscles therefore improves the evenness of weight distribution and leads to better balance.
Improve Your Overall Strength
The average hunting rifle weighs 12.5 pounds, add on a backpack full of supplies, ammunition, and everything else that needs to be carried for the duration of the trip and it’s easy to see how a hunting trip includes a good deal of weightlifting. Some hunters prefer to use a bow and arrow, it’s much quieter and somewhat lighter, however even this requires a good deal of tension be produced on the string with each draw, this gives the body a decent workout in itself.
Immerse Yourself in Nature
Spending time outdoors in any capacity is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. There are more health benefits to doing so than most people realize, in both the short and long terms. A number of studies have compared the overall health of those who regularly spend time outdoors with those who rarely see the sun, these studies support the conclusion that even five minutes spent outside has an appreciable effect on a person’s mood and overall wellbeing.
The ultimate goal of hunting is to score yourself a tasty meal using nothing but your own cunning, and a rifle of course. Game meat is generally lean meat, high in protein and relatively low in fat. Hunting your meat in the wild means that you’re also getting all the benefits of an organic free-range diet.
Hunting is a fantastic way to keep fit, to spend more time outdoors, and to bond with your friends and family. If you’ve never considered hunting as a get fit activity before then now is as good a time as any to start.