Whether you’re preparing for the military or police academy or just out for a recreational activity, going to a shooting range can be a stress-relieving adventure. Believe it or not, the benefits of participating in shooting sports can improve your health both physically and mentally.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
Builds physical discipline: In an age of the “couch potato,” this sport can help build many physical disciplines that are not only healthy but enjoyable. Increased strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills are just a few of the physical disciplines acquired in the shooting sports that apply, not only to this sport, but to all of life.
Arm strength: Shooting a gun requires strong, sturdy arms and hands; in order to aim and shoot your target you must keep your hands and arms steady.
Focus: Keeping your eyes on the target while aiming a gun requires a lot of focus. Removing your mind from any other activities, you find yourself in the present moment in which there is only one thing at hand to do, and it straight in front of you.
Eyesight: Practicing your shooting can’t fix any eye deficiencies, but it can exercise the eye capabilities that you already have. By giving your eyes a break from staring at computers, TVs, phones and tablets, you will be relieving this eye stress.
Increases mental discipline: To the surprise of many, shooting sports are primarily mental sports. Experienced marksmen think sport shooting is 90% mental. Concentration levels are sharpened and expanded. Multiple problem solving activities involving logic, mathematics and creative thinking (thinking “outside the box”) are needed and employed to succeed at any level of the shooting sports.
Advances personal responsibility: Personal responsibility is taught throughout the shooting sports to advance both safety and skill development. Shooting sports also cultivate personal responsibility because they are a foundation for both security and liberty in any family or nation.
Promotes liberty: Shooting sports provide a natural environment to educate all citizens with an historically honest view of freedom. It is no mistake that the tools mastered in the shooting sports have been called “the people’s liberty teeth.” This is one of the reasons the Second Amendment in America’s Bill of Rights was adopted.
Courage and confidence: For some people, shooting may seem like a very dangerous or scary thing to do. However, being trained properly is a great way to build confidence and courage.
Adrenaline: Hold a weapon and firing it can be an exhilarating thing to do! Your adrenaline will be spiked and causing a surge of energy to pulse through your blood. Increased levels of adrenalin in your blood signal your liver to break down glycogen, the substance that provides your muscles with glucose, the primary source of fuel in your body.
Physical balance: Remaining perfectly still in your shooting stance while aiming your gun at the target exercises your core muscles, which supports proper posture. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the lower back holds additional pressure and weight from simple daily tasks like walking. Strengthening the abdominal muscles allows the weight of the upper body to be evenly distributed over the front and back, improving balance.