Here in the United States, there are a number of sports and recreational activities people can choose from, but one of the most popular has to be hunting. Between the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017, statistics showed that just under 17 million people took part in hunting of some sort. Whether just heading out for a few hours on a quick hunt or booking a full hunting trip with a professional outfitter, it is a sport that only seems to grow in popularity.
So besides the fact that it is incredibly popular, what may come as a surprise is the fact there are a number of health benefits associated with hunting. That’s right, hunting can actually help your overall health. Here’s a look at the top five health benefits that are associated with hunting.
Gets You Up and Moving
A big part of hunting is the fact that you traverse out into the woods by foot and walk around. All this trekking and walking around most definitely counts as physical exercise. If you’re curious to just how much exercise you take part in on a typical hunt, try wearing a pedometer on your next trip. There’s a good chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many steps you take and how many calories you burn.
Enhances Your Balance and Flexibility
Because the ground is so uneven in the woods, and the fact you need to move slowly and quietly, you’ll find you are doing a lot of work where balance and flexibility are concerned. Often, you will have to hold a position for many seconds, even minutes at a time. This is a workout for your muscles and your ability to balance in one spot. Much like yoga and Pilates focuses on slow, well-defined movements, you’ll be doing the same.
Work on Your Mental Sharpness
There is a lot of emphases placed on the physical demands of hunting, but any experienced hunter will tell you the real challenge is mental. It takes a lot of focus and mental discipline to be a hunter and professional marksmen will attest to the fact that sports shooting is in fact 90% mental. What this means is that you’ll be working on your concentration levels and mental fitness each and every time you head out. Think of it as exercising your brain.
A Chance to Socialize
If you plan on hunting with a couple of friends, then you’ve also got the social aspect. Socializing helps to improve your mood, relax you, and just allow you to enjoy the moment. Hunting can prove to be a real bonding experience with your friends.
Take in the Fresh Air
For those who live in a busy congested city, the idea of “fresh air” may seem a bit foreign. Getting out into the woods gives you a chance to breathe in all that fresh, crisp, clean air, which not only does wonder for your physical health but also your mental health.
A Well-Rounded Sport
Hunting is one of those sports that is challenging, exciting, and can prove to be very beneficial to your physical and mental health.