The answer to that question, we believe is yes! Cardiovascular training, also known as simply “cardio”, has many benefits to not just life, but to enhancing the overall hunting experience and success rates. In this article we explore some of the ways in which including cardio training into an exercise regime can benefit recreational hunters.
Firstly, we acknowledge that not all hunting is done on foot. Some hunting can be conducted from a vehicle of sorts, and that’s great, but a lot of hunting often involves hiking through rough and steep terrains, which can be physically demanding. Training cardio can help hunters build endurance and stamina1, which are essential for hiking long distances, and especially helping for hiking long distances with heavy gear2. With a better level of cardiovascular fitness, hunters may be more likely to enjoy the hiking aspect of hunting, cover more ground, thus leading to an increase in chance of finding prey.
Second. Hunting success can often depend on the hunter’s ability to stay calm and focused under pressure. Cardio training can help with this, by having higher levels of cardiovascular fitness, the hunter can lower their heart rate, helping to remain calm in a stressful situation3. This comes from the strengthening of the heart that occurs with regular exercise, becoming a more efficient organ at pumping blood1. This higher level of efficiency should help keep the hunter’s heart rate lower during the excitement of finding and aiming at game, leading to a steadier hand.
Thirdly, cardio training helps hunters become more energy-efficient4. When the body is physically active, it uses energy in the form of calories to power the muscles. With regular exercise, the body becomes more efficient at using these calories, and the hunter can conserve energy during hunting trip1, 4. This could lead to hunting for a longer period of time before getting tired and fatigued, which could again lead to an increase in chance of success.
Continuing on, extra cardio training can help reduce the risk of injury for hunters. Hunting can involve navigating uneven and challenging terrain, which can lead to falls or other injuries. Cardio training can involve movements that are similar to the outputs of hunting, leading to strength increases and flexibility in the muscles involved with hunting5, 6. Beyond that, cardio training can help with balance and coordination, all reducing the likelihood of falls and other undesirable accidents6. With a stronger and more stable body, hunters can move through the wilderness with greater ease and confidence.
Lastly, cardiovascular training may help hunters in recovering after a day of hunting1, 7. Hunting is often physically exhausting, and hunters may experience muscle soreness and fatigue afterwards. With regular cardio exercise, the body is better equipped to recover from physical exertion7.
Generally, the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged care recommends that people exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, on most days, and includes cardio training along with other methods in their fitness regime.
In conclusion, including some sort of cardiovascular training in your fitness regime may be highly beneficial for your hunting success. This is due to the increase in endurance, reduction in heart rate, the improvements in energy efficiency, reduction of the risk of injury, and increase in recovery time. With regular exercise, you may find the hiking aspect to be less daunting, find it easier to remain calm under pressure, conserve energy easier, and cover more ground, thereby increasing your chances of success. Make sure you consult a physician before starting any new exercise regime.
We hope you've enjoyed this article, and even better if you've learnt something! Whilst you're here, have a look around the website! We have a range of tees designed to inspire your workouts, our Primal Origins line. Feel good about working out, and feel like you're training for hunting success.
- Nystoriak, M.A. and A. Bhatnagar, Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise. Front Cardiovasc Med, 2018. 5: p. 135.
- Li, K.W., J.C. Chu, and C.C. Chen, Strength Decrease, Perceived Physical Exertion and Endurance Time for Backpacking Tasks. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2019. 16(7).
- Childs, E. and H. de Wit, Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Front Physiol, 2014. 5: p. 161.
- Périard, J.D., et al., Cardiovascular adaptations supporting human exercise-heat acclimation. Autonomic Neuroscience, 2016. 196: p. 52-62.
- Chen, H., et al., Exercise training maintains cardiovascular health: signaling pathways involved and potential therapeutics. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, 2022. 7(1): p. 306.
- Dijksma, I., et al., A pre-training conditioning program to increase physical fitness and reduce attrition due to injuries in Dutch Airmobile recruits: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 2019. 14: p. 100342.
- Gibb, A.A., et al., Exercise-Induced Changes in Glucose Metabolism Promote Physiological Cardiac Growth. Circulation, 2017. 136(22): p. 2144-2157.