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Hunting is a popular outdoor activity that has been around for many centuries. It involves pursuing, tracking, killing or capturing wild animals for recreation and food. Hunting also provides an opportunity to experience various ecosystems, game species, and habitats, up close and personal. Besides the satisfaction that comes with pursuing and bagging a buck, hunting also comes with numerous health benefits. Wondering how? Here are the key health benefits of taking up hunting.
When you are hunting, you have to maintain body balance as you aim at your target. Any fidgeting or body movement might give away your position and spook your target. Keeping your body balanced engages most of the core muscles while strengthening the abdominal muscles. Also, maintaining proper body balance for long periods will eventually teach you how to keep your weight uniformly distributed. Also, proper leg positioning will be needed for you to maintain this balance. You have to learn how to keep your legs well-spaced while keeping your knees bent at the right angles. Also, you need to master how to exert the right amount of your upper body weight on your core and back muscles. Furthermore, tracking animals stealthily while making sure that your feet don’t make noise will significantly improve balance on your legs. In short, hunting is an art that will strengthen your body muscles, and enhance your posture, while improving your overall balance.
Enhances Physical Fitness
Some people might argue that sitting still in the bush waiting for a rabbit or deer to make a wrong move is not a physically challenging activity. However, there is more to hunting than just sitting still in a blind. Regardless of the animal you are pursuing or tracking, hunting entails a high amount of physical activity. While you might be spending long periods in the bush sitting motionless, you will barely have an opportunity to rest. If you don’t want to go home empty-handed, then you must always remain focused and concentrate on your quarry.
A sneeze, a small flinch or an unnecessary scratch is enough to spook off a turkey, an antelope or whichever game that you are pursuing. And that level of concentration requires a high level of physical fitness. Hunting is also a mentally challenging activity, especially when you encounter rugged topography, foul weather, as well as animals with extraordinary senses. Also, most hunters spend the majority of the hunting pre-season scouting the woods, preparing blinders, gearing up, and enhancing their shooting skills. Upland birders and waterfowlers also spend a considerable amount of their time exercising and training their hunting dogs. Furthermore, carrying the hunting gear for hours also provides a great means of building your muscular strength and enhancing your endurance. If you are a regular hunter, you might not even need to visit a gym. Hunting alone is enough to keep you physically fit.
Helps Your Mind to Relax
Life is getting busier by the day, meaning that people rarely have to rest and relax. Unfortunately, this busy lifestyle can have a negative impact on your wellbeing. It will wear your bran out, and leave you feeling stressed and depressed. And if you fail to do something about it, you might end up with serious health complications. If you are looking for an activity that can help your mind to rest and relax, then you should consider going on a hunting trip. Hunting animals in the wild, gives you a chance to get away from your busy lifestyle, enjoy fresh air, unplug from your electronics and just have a good time. Also, hunting will give your brain something different to focus on. If there was something that was bothering your mind, you will have adequate time to think over it when you are out there in the woods and arrive at a conclusive answer. Also, if your work has been stressing you, going on a hunting trip will help to ease some of that tension. By the time you return home from your hunting trip, your mind will be relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. In fact, there is a high chance that your productivity at work will increase – following your hunting trip.
Boosts Mental Discipline
Tracking one animal, whether it’s an elk, an antelope or a deer for several days requires a high level of focus. And the reality is, not everyone can achieve this level of concentration. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the best and most successful hunters usually have an exceptionally high level of mental discipline. In fact, the majority of them hardly make unwise or poor decisions. This can be attributed to the fact that tracking an animal and finally shooting it is a demanding mental task. Furthermore, hunting requires a high level of accuracy and patience. If you shoot and miss the target or make the wrong move, you will end up blowing up the entire event. Therefore, if you want to improve your mental discipline, patience, focus, accuracy, and decision-making, then you should consider joining a hunting group or team in your area. And you don’t even need to be a professional hunter to join such groups. You just need to be passionate about hunting and be willing to learn.
Boosts Your Adrenaline Levels
You have been pursuing a buck for days or even weeks and all of a sudden it’s right there in front of you. At this point, your palms will become sweaty, your heart will beat at a faster rate, and your breathing may become erratic. What you are experiencing is an adrenaline rush. Adrenaline is usually released into your body in times of excitement, stress or fear. As much as adrenaline release appears like a bad thing, it also comes with numerous benefits. For instance, it can boost your immune system, if it’s regularly released into your body in small doses. Adrenaline might also help to slow down the aging process. Small amounts of adrenaline in your system will increase the number of antioxidants circulating in the body, thus helping to fight free radicals that can cause tissue damage and aging. Also, adrenaline can block pain temporarily. For instance, if you’ve been injured during your hunting trip, the release of adrenaline into your system will interfere with how your nerves react to pain, thus helping your body to focus on the animal that you want to shoot. A burst of adrenaline into your system can also help to prevent diabetes, heart diseases, and various other conditions. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, then you should go hunting one of these days. Seeing your target right in front of you or merely holding a gun or your hunting weapon will have your heart racing.
When you go hunting, there is a high chance that you catch animals like elk, rabbits, bison, venison, deer, reindeers, antelopes and squirrels, among others. All these animals are sources of game meat, which is highly delicious. Game meat offers more nutritional benefits than meat obtained from farm-raised or domesticated animals. For instance, game meat tends to be healthier than meats sourced from farm-raised animals. Wild animals tend to be more active than domesticated animals, resulting in meat that has low cholesterol and low fat. Besides that, wild animals are not confined and they can roam anywhere, which means they are not given hormones or antibiotics to boost their growth. Also, game meat has a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared to farm-raised animals. And just like domesticated animals, game meat is also a great source of minerals like zinc and iron. Iron helps to prevent iron-deficiency anemia while zinc is a powerful antioxidant. Also, zinc is important for your digestion and immune system function. When you eat game meat and meat sourced from domesticated or farm-raised animals, you will notice that game meat is tastier and more delicious – regardless of how you cook it.
As you can see, hunting comes with numerous health benefits. Besides that, it can help to balance the ecosystem. While animal rights activists can claim that hunting is an unnecessary, cruel activity, the taxes that hunters pay every year to obtain permits and licenses can help to fund various programs, both at the state and federal levels, for managing and taking care of parks, improving wildlife refuges, and enhancing the quality of wildlife habitats. Also, hunting helps to cull wildlife herds, thus preventing overcrowding and overgrazing. If you are looking for an outdoor activity that will help your mind to relax, improve your body balance, boost your mental discipline and enhance your focus, then you should consider taking up hunting – either as a hobby or as a sport.