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Archery Fuels Your Body

According to Harvard University, 30 minutes of archery burns about 100 calories, depending on your body weight.

In addition, properly drawing a bow strengthens your core, arms, chest, hands and shoulders.

A strengthened core also improves posture and blood flow, boosting Energy levels as your cells pump oxygen to your organs and muscles. But archery’s physical benefits don’t stop there.

Paralympic archer Leigh Walmsley turned to archery as a low-impact, social sport to relieve her rheumatoid arthritis and mental pressures from her divorce. Walmsley doesn’t explicitly consider archery part of her RA treatment plan, but Dr. Daniel J. Lovell of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital believes several factors make archery beneficial to chronic-arthritis sufferers.

“Archery and RA go well together because with consistent practice to develop accuracy and muscle memory most people can do well in the sport,” Lovell told Madeline Vann of  Everyday Health.

Vann said Lovell and his colleagues offer archery at a summer camp for children with RA. “Archery is also adaptable to make it possible for people with varying abilities to compete,” he said.

They also enjoy those “feel good” chemicals often associated with exercise.

Consider visiting your local park or range for a 30-minute archery workout the next time you need a midday work break. Archery exercise helps you burn calories and combat the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day.


Archery For Your Mind and Spirit

Shooting archery provides meditative effects, encouraging you to focus on your target and forget about everything else. 

If you suffer from depression, you’re not alone.

According to the World Heath Organization, about 450 million people worldwide battle depression. Huffington Post recommends exercise and meditation for improving mental health. With archery, the two go hand in hand.

Louise Redman, Australia’s champion archer, turns to archery to battle depression. “I suffered from postnatal depression quite badly with both of my kids,” Redman told the Canberra Times. “With [Ainslie], I knew it was coming and I wanted to do something about it before it hit me.”

Redman didn’t want to sulk at home.

She wanted to get active, so she picked up a bow and arrow for mental healing. “You’ve got to be in a meditation state when you’re shooting,” she said. “You can’t do anything else. It appealed to me. It was better than sitting on the floor, crossing my legs and humming.”

Redman thinks archery was the perfect cure for her postnatal depression.

She said the ailment is more common than people realize, and encourages other moms to seek help and healing through the support group archery provides.

Military veterans are also turning to archery to battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). SB Nation interviewed U.S. archers at the 2016 Invictus Games, an international Paralympic event for wounded veterans. Great Britain’s Prince Harry founded the Games in 2014.


The word “invictus” means “unconquered.” In other words, the Games inspire veterans to be “unconquered” by the mental and physical injuries suffered during their service. Even so, each day brings new battles.

Joshua Lindstrom, an archer and retired sergeant first-class of the U.S. Special Operations Command, shared how he copes with his traumatic brain injury. “I have a Traumatic Brain Injury – an invisible injury, so I have to learn how to engage the thinking gears in situations that I’ve found myself deficient in,” Lindstrom told SB Nation.

Lindstrom accomplishes that by including meditation in his shot process. “Before I shoot, I have to meditate for 15 minutes,” he said. “I have to get out of the me that gets angry easily, and get into the me that lets stuff slide, like I used to be.”

Lindstrom told SB Nation that pre-shot meditation helps him overcome anger so he can cope with stress, anxiety or pain. “Every time I overcome something, in spite of what has happened, that’s one more time,” he said. “One more success makes it easier every time.”


Depression has long been a “taboo” topic, with a stigma surrounding clinical treatment. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, yet many battle daily depressive thoughts in silence.


Discuss treatment options with your doctor, and consider trying archery to re-center your focus and take your mind off gruelling demands.

The National Wellness Institute (NWI) lists “spiritual wellness” as one of holistic wellness’s six dimensions. According to NWI co-founder Dr. Bill Hettler, this means finding meaning and purpose in human existence. Archery helps provide a focus and purpose as you learn the sport and strive to be a better archer.

In conclusion, whilst archery is not a "cure-all", it does provide many benefits for health and wellness.  Whether you’re trying to lose weight, battle depressive thoughts, build new relationships, experience a post-exercise high, or relieve back and neck pain through a stronger core and better posture, archery might help.

Talk to your doctor about the best way to achieve holistic health, and consider adding archery as either a recreational hobby or as a sport where you can compete around the country or even the world! 

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