Therapeutic Benefits of Participating in Hunting Sports
Keeping up with the pace of modern life can be very stressful. And stress can have many negative impacts on our physical and mental health, including high blood pressure, headaches, sleeping problems, depression, anxiety, and many more.
Sometimes all you need to do to decrease your stress level is take a step back and engage yourself in a rewarding physical activity such as hunting.
Initially, this age-old activity was necessary for providing food, clothing, and tools. Today, hunting is a sport like any other, only with stricter rules and regulations.
Hunting is not only fun, but it is also beneficial to your health as it can help with the following five health features:
- Physical balance
- Mental strength
- Stress level
Let’s elaborate on these benefits in more detail!
1. Physical Balance
Shooting requires taking a strong stance while remaining perfectly still. A good stance is something that needs a lot of practice as it is crucial for shooting accuracy. Over time, you will develop stronger core muscles that are accountable for distributing upper body weight evenly.
Practicing your shooting stance will help you build better posture and improve your balance and stability.
If we were to observe hunting as an exercise routine, it would involve using all of our muscles. This outdoor activity often involves long hikes through rugged terrain, climbing up and down the hills while battling unpredicted weather conditions along the way.
It’s safe to say that hunting is a physically very demanding sport that will get you in shape in no time. And the best part is that you will achieve this great level of fitness while doing something fun and exciting.
A successful hunt will reward you with high-quality meat, the kind you can’t buy in average supermarkets. This meat contains less fat and cholesterol, more proteins, and a greater variety of vitamins, such as Vitamin E, iron, beta-carotene, zinc, and selenium.
It is also a great source of good fat as it provides Omega-6 fatty acids that are great for preventing heart disease, maintaining healthy bones, regulating metabolism, and preserving the reproductive system.
More importantly, game meat is free from hormones and additives that are commonly found in processed food, and it tastes better.
4. Mental strength
Hunting is a game of patience where you need to outsmart your prey, much like in the game of chess.
Sometimes you will come back from hunting empty-handed, thinking that you have failed. In reality, you will learn more from your unsuccessful hunting trips than from successful ones.
You just need to re-think the whole experience and draw conclusions that can help you on your next adventure.
For instance, think about what went wrong. Was it the wind direction that kept shifting? Did the animal come from an unexpected direction? If it did, why do you think that is?
These are all pieces of a puzzle you need to assemble and use to your advantage the next time you go after your prey.
Moreover, hunting will teach you to be patient, and patience can be a great tool for coping with everyday life. You will become calmer in situations where things aren’t happening as fast as you would like them to.
Mental toughness comes from dealing with situations that are outside your comfort zone. You can get caught in a thunderstorm or get lost in the woods when you are out hunting.
Overcoming these uncomfortable situations will help you develop a stronger, more resilient mindset.
6. Stress level
Just being surrounded by nature will make you feel more relaxed, but when you add shooting a 9mm ammo from your favorite weapon, you get instant stress relief.
The act of firing a shot at a live, moving target releases endorphins into your brain. This hormone is also known as the hormone of happiness, and releasing it on a regular basis can improve your overall well-being and have a positive impact on your mental state.
When you are in the woods, stalking your prey, your mind becomes unburdened from a fast-paced everyday life. Hunting provides you with a counter-balance between the city rush and the slow-moving nature.
Ultimately, hunting helps you gain a different perspective on life and provides you with a safe place where you can always go when you feel pressured by your day-to-day life.
A respected behavioral scientist, Erich Fromm said it best:
“In the act of hunting, a man becomes, however briefly, part of nature again.
He returns to the natural state, becomes one with the animal, and is freed from the burden of his existential split: to be part of nature and to transcend it by virtue of his consciousness.
In stalking the animal he and the animal become equals, even though man eventually shows his superiority by use of his weapons.”