How Does Archery Burn Calories?

Even though archery isn't highly strenuous, you still need to warm up.
Even though archery isn't highly strenuous, you still need to warm up. (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a new hobby or have previous experience with archery, you’ll find joy in knowing that the sport certainly burns some calories. While it isn’t too physically demanding and probably won’t help you dramatically shed pounds, you can enjoy an afternoon of archery as part of your regular workout regimen.

Activity Involved

Archery isn’t a strenuous cardio workout that gets your heart pumping, but it is a form of exercise that burns calories. Target archery requires you to stand in place and shoot at targets at various distances and locales. While you’re not moving around a lot, you are carrying a pack of arrows, as well as a bow, making you lift some weight. Plus, while you’re aiming at the target, you’ll hold up the bow and arrow for several seconds until you’re ready to release. If you’re not used to the weight, your arms will feel the burn. Field archery also requires you to shoot at targets, although you’ll be walking around to do so -- possibly on some type of course.

Calories Burned

As with any form of activity, the more you weigh, the more calories you utilize. So if you weigh around 125 pounds, you’ll burn roughly 105 calories from 30 minutes of archery target practice. But if you weigh closer to 155 pounds, you’ll shave off 130 calories, and as much as 155 calories if you are at a weight of 185 pounds.

Warming Up and Cooling Down

You’ll also burn calories from your afternoon of target practice if you warm your body up ahead of time and then do some sort of cool-down activity afterward. Just 15 minutes of walking and light stretching uses up 60 calories at a weight of 125 pounds. If you weigh 155 pounds or 185 pounds, you’ll burn off 75 and 90 calories in 15 minutes, respectively.

Losing Weight

You have to create a deficit of 3,500 calories in order to lose 1 pound of body weight, explains Either burn off all those calories -- about 500 a day to lose a pound a week -- or burn a few and cut some calories with your diet. Shave 200 calories from your daily diet and then burn 300 calories with exercise, for example. Since a half-hour of archery doesn’t use up that many calories, go for a run beforehand. Keeping a steady pace of 5 mph for 30 minutes -- or a 12 minute mile -- burns 240 calories at 125 pounds, 300 calories at 155 pounds and 355 calories if you weigh 185 pounds. You’ll get the cardio your heart craves and then head off to get some toning while shooting a bow and arrow.

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