Hunting is an activity that provides a wide range of health benefits. People from a wide range of cultures have been embraced hunting for thousands of years for the health and nutrition benefits this sport provides. Hunters not only get to commune with nature, they also snare fresh game that can create nutritious, delicious feasts for their families.
7 Health Benefits of Hunting
But hunting is more than just a way to put food on the table. This activity can also provide mental, physical and social benefits for people involved in it. The mental activity can help make people more focused, the physical activity it requires can help to make people stronger and working as a team can help to strengthen social bonds.
For hunters, few things are more relaxing that spending time in nature tracking bird and animals. Whether they do it along or with a group it helps them to enjoy quality time doing one of the things they love best. This can help their mind and body to relax and improve their mental and physical health.
There's nothing like the solitude of being in the woods early in the morning, breathing in fresh, clean air and interacting with nature for cleaning the lungs, clearing the mind and helping the muscles of the body to relax.
For many hunters this is a very therapeutic experience.
Improves Physical Balance
It takes great balance to stay in a shooting stance perfectly still while aiming at a target. This engages the core muscles, supports proper posture and provides a crucial form of exercise people need. This strengthens the abdominal muscles and teaches people to keep their weight evenly distributed.
Proper Leg Positing
To maintain proper balance while hunting, people have to learn to keep their legs properly spaced, their knees bent at the right angle and learn to put the right amount of the upper body weight on their back muscles and their core. Moving stealthily through the bush, careful not to step on noisy twigs, improves people's ability to balance on one and both legs while shifting their weight.
Increases Aerobic And Anaerobic Capacity
Trekking through the woods for miles, hauling the wood for and constructing blinds, training hunting dogs and practicing target shooting, are all activities that increase a person's aerobic and anaerobic capacity and the strength of the muscles all over the body.
This type of activity also builds the anaerobic power of the muscles and can help to improve heart health.
Physically Demanding Activity
Engaging in the physically demanding activities that hunting demands requires the type of deep breathing that can help to increase lung capacity and improve the body's aerobic system.
Regularly expending the quick bursts of energy it takes to keep up with an animal racing through the woods is equivalent to an elite athlete building up the power of their anaerobic system to improve their performance and endurance.
A hunting rifle weighs about 12.5 pounds. Holding it in a shooting position or simply carrying it for 6 to 8 hours requires a great deal of strength. Hunting with a bow and arrow requires having the strength to carry a bow and the power to manage the 80 pound draw it takes to create the tension to get off a good shot to fell your prey.
Regular Strength Training
Carrying a rifle or a bow and arrow and being able to shoot either of them accurately requires many hours of strength training. People who hunt with either a rifle or a bow and arrow have to build up the strength and endurance of the muscles in their biceps and forearms. This type of strength training increases a person's overall strength significantly.
Improves Mental Health
Hunters have to deal with the a wide range of temperatures, rugged terrain, inclement weather and many other challenges that are part of adventure out in the wild. A mental health study done in 2011 found that doing challenging outdoor exercise was more effective than doing exercise indoors in decreasing tension, anger, confusion and depression.
Benefits Of Outdoor Exercise
Another study which was done in 2010 revealed simply spending five minutes outdoors in a green space doing exercise can dramatically improve both mood and self-esteem. So hunters who spend 8 to 10 hours a day roaring through the woods or up in tree stands stalking prey, are actually gaining a great deal of mental health benefits whether they bag their prey or not.
Wild animals consumer grass, fruits, vegetables and spring water that contain a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are stored in their bones and muscles.
When hunters bag wild game, bring it home and cook it and eat the meat, they are ingesting healthy, lean protein that will help to increase their strength and vitality.
More Nutritious Meat From Wild Than Commercially Raised Animals
The average commercially raised animals are fed a diet that includes grains, hormones and a wide range of chemicals to keep them healthy and make them grow faster. Those things remain in the muscles and bone of the poultry, cattle and other animals that are sold as food.
There is no doubt the lean meat from wild game eaten by hunters is lower in fat and higher in nutrient content than most commercially raised animals.
Helps The Natural Environment
Hunters help the environment in many and diverse ways. The taxes paid by hunters help to fund state and federal programs for managing and maintaining parks, improving wildlife habitats, and enhancing wildlife refuges. Hunters also help to cull wildlife herds and prevent overcrowding and overgrazing in their habitat.
The Big Picture
Hunters play a major role in supporting a healthy green environment. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an estimated 13 million hunters spend about $70 billion a year on hunting and fishing licenses, equipment and hunting related goods and services. Much of that money helps non-game species as well.
It helps to protect wild habitats and keep them clean, undamaged and as natural as possible. The money also funds research by ecologists to keep designated green spaces safe and uncontaminated for birds, wild flowers, butterflies and all other wild things.
Hunting Helps In Many Other Ways
Those are just the top 7 ways hunting improves peoples health. But hunting helps people to enjoy a better quality of life in many other ways. It provides a respite from the hustle and bustle of the workaday world. When people are hunting there are no stress inducing schedules and deadlines to make them rush. All they have to do is clear their minds, tune in to the rhythm of nature and move at its pace.
A Unique Opportunity
Few things allow people the unique opportunity to interact and move in harmony with the natural world like hunting does. It creates a deeper connection between people, wildlife, the land and the spirt linking it all together.
Listening to the wind rush through the trees, watching the movements of the leaves and hearing the heartbeat of the earth itself promotes a focus on the natural systems few other activities can match.
Breathe Deeply And Slowly And Enjoy The Experience
Hunters are taught to breathe deeply and slowly and pay attention to the slightest movements, scents and sounds. They must pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and consider the wants, needs and desires of the animals they are stalking.
Training all your senses on nature is an experience that brings hunters a sense of peace. To be successful, the must develop a oneness with nature. It enables them to sense the presence of their prey and discern their location. A produces a higher level of focus.
An Adrenaline Rush
For a hunter, tracking and downing their prey is an exhilarating experience. Their adrenaline spikes and they can feel the energy surging through their blood. It's the feeling of success in the dance between man and animal.
It's an interdependence that has existed since the dawn of mankind. The liver instantly begins to break down more glycogen and release more glucose into the muscles for the task of securing, dressing and moving the prey. It's a primal rush that hunters enjoy immensely.
A Bond With Hikers And Birdwatchers
As they make they way into the woods, all their senses on high alert for the presence of wild game, hunters share a bond with hikers, birdwatchers and other nature lovers. They all want to enjoy nature in its glory.
They take each step carefully so as not to disturb the forest floor and make their quarry aware of their presence. They want the sounds of the wild, natural creatures to continue blissfully unaware of their presence. It's an exhilarating sense of harmony.
Cathartic And Healing
The sensations hunters experience are cathartic and healing all at once. They return to the responsibility of their regular life feeling whole and healthy.
The Diet Fitness King Team is a team of 6 people lead by the founder Greg Davis. We have all different levels of experiences and credentials in the health field and our goal is to provide people the highest quality information available. Everything we put out is well researched and we have a lot of passion and pride behind this! Please let us know if you find any incorrect information on our website or feel free to contact us with feedback in general.