Activites, Lifestyle

Shooting Sports As a Pathway to Wellness

Most people would not associate shooting sports with the words peace and relaxation. Yet, going to the rifle range, the archery course or the clays shooting course on the Ranch are wellness activities that reduce stress, improve focus, and stimulate a sense of contentment and accomplishment.

The guides at the ranch jokingly call these activities “ballistic therapy”. All jokes aside, the shooting sports and activities at the ranch help improve your health and promote SUSTAINABLE WELLNESS in surprising ways.

Connecting with Nature

All three of these courses are located outside in nature on a beautiful piece of the property. While the guides set up the equipment, the only sounds you’ll hear are the wind rustling through the Aspen trees and the birds overhead. It’s quiet, and naturally, you begin to relax. You’ll feel less stressed, less angry, less anxious and generally more positive. At a physical level, being in nature lowers blood pressure and reduces muscle tension and joint pain. 

Guides Promote Safety 

The guides at the Ranch are extremely knowledgeable about gun safety. They deliver the safety talk and the mechanics of each gun at a very accessible level that even a total beginner can understand. The guides are extremely patient, never rushing the learning process and answering many questions with sincere interest. The guides are very observant, as well, making slight suggestions or corrections in your posture to inspire better form and more accuracy, as well as making your comfort a priority.

Improves Focus and Concentration

Handling and firing a gun demands a high level of focus. Some targets are up to 1,000 yards away on the rifle range. Hitting a target from an extended distance isn’t easy. Positioning your body comfortably and holding the weapon steady requires concentration and diligence. Every aspect of shooting demands attention and effort. This means that there is zero time to focus on external problems that might exist back “in the real world”. Your entire being is present and focused only on the task at hand.

Better Breathing Reduces Stress

In order to hit the target, you must slow down your breathing enough for the gun or bow sight to stop dancing all over the place. Sometimes it takes several slow deep breaths and a very deliberate exhale to still your body and your mind. Research shows that breathing techniques have the ability to slow the production of stress hormones as well as train your body’s reaction to stressful situations.

Builds Strength

Shooting a rifle or using a compound bow requires arm, shoulder, back, and core strength. You have to stabilize yourself with good body positioning and equal weight distribution in order to maintain your balance. You hold the weapon into a shooting position and keep it there as you steady your breathing and sight in the target. Holding your body in a still position naturally enhances the power in these key areas of the body, which translates into newfound strength in other areas of life.

Boosts Adrenaline

Not only are the shooting sports meditative, but they are also exciting! There is a natural competitiveness that arises on the range or course. The primal urge to hit the target makes these sports really fun and addictive in a good-natured way. The rush of adrenaline that accompanies any shooting experience positively impacts your health. For one thing, it feels great! The activity hones your mind, energizes your body, and floods your system with mood-enhancing neurochemicals.

Inspires Confidence

There is something oddly satisfying when you see the metal target swinging, the clay shattering, or the arrow quivering in the middle of the bullseye. These are the subtle signs that say, “Yes, you did it!” The shooting activities provide small, achievable goals that are met and completed rather quickly. As a shooter’s skill improves their sense of accomplishment is heightened. You leave the shooting courses with a greater sense of confidence, pride, and happiness that you can carry with you throughout your stay at the Ranch.




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