There is no doubt this country has seen an uptick in the amount of people who are investing in “precious” metals, specifically lead, as the shooting sports starts transcending from a typically male dominated arena to women and children as well. Now some experts are touting the benefits of a “day at the range” as being a stress-reliever and possibly a life-saver for some. I know there might be many who are skeptical of this claim, but there is no doubt in my mind that “rippin” through a few boxes of shells can be very cathartic and relaxing to say the least.
Listed below are what some consider to be the top 10 health benefits of a day at the range:
Builds physical discipline: We’ve all heard the term “couch potato” for certain, in this country especially, inactivity is causing major health issues for young and old alike. Well the shooting sports can actually help build and maintain health through many physical disciplines such as; increased strength, stamina, coordination and fine motor skills, just to name a few of the many benefits you might see from this amazing sport.
Focus: This aspect of shooting is a dual benefit, because not only do you need to train your eyes to perceive what is in front of you, but also what is further downrange as well as what appears in your peripheral vision. It can also benefit your mental acuity, honing your focus from the inside-out as you slow your breathing, creating the necessary finesse needed to squeeze the trigger properly as well as the inner calm that will dictate your success.
Eyesight: Although shooting may not be able to correct eye deficiencies, it can and does provide muscular exercises that can help correct many physical issues. It also gets you outdoors which in this day-and-age provides a well needed break from our eyes staring at computers, tvs, phones and other electronic devices that can lead to other eye-related injuries.
Increases mental discipline: Many people unfamiliar with the shooting sports do not realize just how much of your mental processing is involved. Experienced shooters have expressed opinions that their inner focus can equate to as much as 90% of their overall success. They notice concentration levels increase as they focus on the task at hand, sharpening while expanding to accept all the intricacies involved in their success.
Advances personal responsibility: We all know how inherently dangerous firearms can become in the hands of an irresponsible owner. To overcome their dangers, the shooting sports helps retrain people’s thought processing, allowing them to become more personally aware and responsible for their surroundings. Both safety and skills developement are a priority that is taught by experienced instructors throughout the country, helping to create more responsible gun owners.
Promotes liberty: Many within the shooting sports community believe in the true Founding Father intent of our 2nd Amendment right as it relates to liberty and freedom. As you gain enthusiasm for the sport, you can see an increased sense of awareness awaits you, as you realize that a well-regulated militia is one that has mastered the skills involved in shooting and is willing to defend our nation if a need were to arise, and that is one of the main reasons the phrase was incorporated into our 2nd Amendment.
Courage and confidence: There are many people in our country who view firearms as “scary” or “extremely dangerous”, yet many also understand that in the “right” hands they provide the means and abilities to accomplish a specific task with proficiency. Shooting can essentially build the confidence and courage as well as a better understanding of what this tool can provide, when place in competent hands.
Physical balance: Not only does shooting increase your “inner” balance, but it also increases your physical balance and stability as well. Increasing core strength overall which can help with everyday tasks such as walking, running and playing with the kids.
Adrenaline: Just holding a firearm can get many people s “juices” flowing, but the actual act of firing that firearm, can be extremely exhilarating. This exhilaration can cause many chemical changes within the body including a spike in adrenaline. It is a medically proven fact that higher levels of adrenaline in the blood allows certain switches to be thrown which in turn provides more nutritional value for your muscles. It can also help with lung function and eyesight.
So next time you run out to the range, remember all the benefits your body is receiving from what you have normally just done for “fun”. Shooting can provide a fun time for all, if we follow the simple rules of safety and we place responsibility high on the priority list for being a safe gun owner.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams