The Health Benefits of Shooting

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks." —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785

The list below was adapted from a list posted at and has been modified to correct some technical issues.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of the shooting sports:

Builds physical discipline: In an age of the “couch potato,” the shooting sports can help build many physical disciplines that are not only healthy but enjoyable. Increased strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills are just a few of the physical disciplines acquired in the shooting sports that apply, not only to this sport, but to all of life.

Arm strength: Shooting a gun requires strong, sturdy arms and hands in order to aim and shoot accurately.

Focus: Keeping your eyes on the sighs while aiming requires a lot of focus and concentration.  Removing your mind from any other activities, you find yourself in the present moment in which there is only one thing at hand to do, and it straight in front of you.

Eyesight: Practicing your shooting can’t fix any eye deficiencies, but it can exercise the eye capabilities that you already have. By giving your eyes a break from staring at computers, TVs, phones and tablets, you will be relieving this eye stress.

Increases mental discipline: The shooting sports are primarily mental sports. Experienced marksmen say that shooting is 90% mental. Concentration levels are sharpened and expanded. Multiple problem solving activities involving logic, mathematics and creative thinking (thinking “outside the box”) are needed and employed to succeed at any level of the shooting sports.

Advances personal responsibility: Personal responsibility is taught throughout the shooting sports through safety, maintenance, and awareness.  Shooting sports also cultivate personal responsibility because they are a foundation for both security and liberty in any family or nation.

Promotes liberty: Shooting sports provide a natural environment to educate all citizens with an historically honest view of freedom. It is no mistake that the tools mastered in the shooting sports have been called “the people’s liberty teeth.” This is one of the reasons the Second Amendment in America’s Bill of Rights was adopted.

Courage and confidence: Shooting is a great way to build confidence and courage.

Adrenaline: Shooting a firearm  can be an exhilarating thing to do! (Especially one with considerable recoil.) Your adrenaline will be spiked and causing a surge of energy to pulse through your blood. Increased levels of adrenalin in your blood signal your liver to break down glycogen, the substance that provides your muscles with glucose, the primary source of fuel in your body. 

Physical balance: Holding the firearm still and maintaining in your shooting position while aiming at the target exercises your core muscles, which support proper posture. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the lower back holds additional pressure and weight from simple daily tasks like walking. Strengthening the abdominal muscles allows the weight of the upper body to be evenly distributed over the front and back, improving balance.

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As far as I know all the information presented above is correct and I have attempted to insure that it is. However, I am not responsible for any errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use or misuse of this information, nor for you doing something stupid with it. (Don't you hate these disclaimers? So do I, but there are people out there who refuse to be responsible for their own actions and who will sue anybody to make a buck.)

Updated  2016-02-16