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Did you take your sunshine pill?
Sunlight provides our bodies with the vitamin D it needs to survive. Healthy bones and teeth are only 2 of the reasons you need vitamin D. Studies are now showing the sunshine vitamin can also help prevent serious conditions like dementia.
Yet, most of us aren’t getting the daily dose of sunshine we need to be healthy. A surprising 93% of the average American lifespan happens indoors.
If you want to lead a long and happy life you should find an outdoor hobby, like hunting. The health benefits of hunting extend far beyond being outside.
Not only will you be able to soak up some rays, but you’ll also be getting in shape. Read on to learn the top psychological and physical reasons you should try hunting.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Hunting
Hunting is an activity that benefits your entire well being. You’ll be able to have fun, get in shape, and learn valuable lessons.
Here’s a short list that includes 5 of the top health benefits of hunting.
- Fresh Air
- Cardiovascular Strength
- Food Awareness
- Burns Calories
- Self Discipline
Well rounded hobbies that address physical and aspects, help prepare you for everyday life. The lessons you learn while hunting, won’t leave when you return home. Instead, you’ll find yourself using different hunting tips and tricks to brighten up your everyday work week.
Let’s start exploring the first benefit, getting fresh air.
1. Fresh Air
You can get fresh air from gardening or taking a walk. Yet, if you feel the sense of adventure calling your name, hunting is the better option.
Imagine yourself, after a long, adventurous hunt. The sun is setting as a soft breeze gently blows the grass. Delicious, crisp fresh air fills your lungs, and a smile comes across your face.
When you’re hunting in the great outdoors, everything feels right with the world. If you don’t already spend a lot of time outside, hunting can motivate you to change your lifestyle.
New hunters will notice that after their first experience, they start seeking more outdoor activities. One of the reasons your body begins craving to be outside more is because of the fresh air.
Here are some of the benefits that come from breathing in the fresh air.
- Better Digestion
- Regular Heart Rate
- Improve Immune System
- Increased Energy
- Clean Lungs
When you breathe in fresh air, your digestive system will thank you. The flow of oxygen increases as the fresh air enters your body. As a result, the increased oxygen helps your body effectively digest food.
If you’re looking to lose weight, an improved digestive tract is a great starting point. Fresh air also helps improve your heart rate and blood pressure. Once again, it’s the oxygen-rich air that helps your body function at it’s highest capacity.
The benefits of oxygen filled fresh air include your immune system as well. The oxygen gives power to your white blood cells, and in return, they can kill off dangerous bacteria.
Finally, clean air helps your lungs dilate more. Airborne toxins leave the lungs as they open up for fresh air.
2. Cardiovascular Strength
Hunting requires you to move your body in a lot of different ways. Sometimes you’ll be sitting still, waiting for your chance to strike. Yet, other times you’ll be hiking, carrying, and bending.
The variety of activity helps keep your body guessing. Unlike the predictability of running on a treadmill, hunting requires your body to pay attention. Unsure of what your next move will be, every muscle will be ready to go.
Short bursts of activity you’ll experience during hunting mimic a high-intensity interval training workout or HIIT. High-intensity workouts are tremendously helpful in improving cardiovascular health.
Your cardiovascular system is a type of organ system. It allows your blood to circulate throughout your entire body.
As the blood travels, it carries important nutrients to different areas of the body. Nutrients like electrolytes, or amino acids, provide your cells the nutrients they need to function. Failing to participate in cardio friendly exercises can wreak havoc on your body.
A lack of physical activity can cause the body’s blood vessels to become narrow. Sometimes the blood vessels will even become completely blocked.
When blood vessels become tight, different serious health complications can arise. Heart attacks, chest pains, and strokes, all come from issues with the cardiovascular system.
Hunters have an opportunity to reduce their chance of ever getting heart disease. Studies show you can reduce your odds of getting heart disease with physical activity.
Being outside for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week reduces the risk of heart disease by 30% or more.
3. Food Awareness
Of course, hunting helps individuals gain a greater appreciation for where their food comes from. Yet, it also helps hunters realize how much food they need to survive.
When you go on a hunting trip, you have to plan everything you’ll be bringing. Overpacking will mean you can’t carry your load. While underpacking could mean you go home empty-handed.
Out in the woods, you’ll want to make sure you have every tool you need. Knives, guns, rope, and more, will be carefully planned and packed ahead of time.
Keep in mind, it’s important to find a hunting rifle or gun, that you can easily carry. Smith & Wesson, Spikes Tactical, and Heckler & Koch are just a few of the companies hunters use for their guns.
After packing up your gear, you’ll also pack your food and water rations ahead of time. Preplanning meals forces hunters to learn about healthy portion sizes. First-time hunters will learn about the limited amount of food they need to survive.
A lot of people have no idea what a healthy food portion is. American adults eat 300 more daily calories than they did in 1985. One of the reasons more calories are being consumed is because of confusion surrounding portion control.
Here’s a quick overview of accurate portions for one adult individual.
- Vegetables: 1 Cup
- Cheese: 1 Ounce
- Meat: 3 Ounces
Most accurately sized portions can fit into the palm of your hand. This is great news for hunters, who will have to carry everything they plan on eating.
4. Burn Calories
When you’re a hunter, you won’t have to worry about counting every calorie. After a long weekend of hunting, feel free to indulge. Now, you can enjoy a guilt-free sweet or treat, because you’ve earned it.
The body burns calories every day, but it’s not always enough to get rid of fat. Did you know a pound of body fat holds 3500 calories? The typical, sedentary body will burn just enough calories to survive.
Contrarily, hunters are able to burn an incredible amount of calories. As you eat smaller portions of food on your hunt, your body will start consuming stored fat. As a result, you’ll be able to lose weight and increase your energy.
5. Self Discipline
It’s usually easy in life to know what the right thing to do is. Yet, convincing ourselves to actually do the right thing, is anything but simple.
Self-discipline means being able to do the things you know need to happen. Even if you don’t feel like it.
It’s exciting when you’re hunting, waiting for the game, and it suddenly appears. Whether it’s a squirrel, fox, or duck, the very sight can send a rush of adrenaline through the hunter’s body.
“It’s time!”, your mind will tell you, as you feel a heightened sense of energy. However, your sense of self-discipline can override the urge to act.
First shot placement, is crucial if you’re going to be a good hunter. This goes for both large game hunting trips and small game ones.
As you learn to silence your mind, the distractions will fade away. Suddenly you won’t notice any pesky mosquitoes or uncomfortable positions you’re in. All that will matter is working towards achieving your goal, and making that shot.
Exercising self-discipline through hunting will also benefit your everyday activities. You’ll approach daily and weekly goals with a new sense of resolve.
You’ll stop listening to your mind when it tells you things like, “you can’t do that” or “this is impossible!”. Instead, you’ll know the truth, you can do it, and it is possible. You just have to wait for the right moment to act, and stay patient.
Finding You Time
Quality time is one of the best health benefits of hunting. Away from the television and cellphones, you can finally get quiet.
If you’re going on a solo hunting trip, consider bringing a small journal along. It’s a great way to document your experience while also getting out your thoughts.
Florida Independent is proud to provide you with the answers you’re looking for. We understand just how busy life can be sometimes. Between work, school, family, or friends, it can be hard to find personal time.
If you want to have a healthier body this year, you’ll have to make a few promises to yourself. Check out our latest article about 5 ways you should resolve to take care of your body.