ThisIsPhysicianWellness.com – Barbara Minkowitz, MD
What is your favorite wellness activity?
How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been doing archery for about 10 years and indoor cycling about 4 years.
How did you get started?
I had a patient who came to me for a wrist injury as they were on their way to archery practice. I got the number of their archery coach because I was excited to get into archery after being introduced in college.
How does this activity impact your mental, physical, and / or emotional well-being?
It’s great physical exercise, archery for the upper body and core and peloton for the lower extremities. I have built serious shoulder muscles from archery. I use an olympic recurve bow, which requires 36-38 pounds of draw-weight. A solid core is also important to pull a bow back and to have proper form.
Archery is also very zen. It’s a very quiet sport, you’re looking at the target, hyper focused, and you can block everything out. I stay sharp mentally by having that time when everything quiets down…it keeps things in perspective. It helps me step back from situations so I can think clearly.
How does this activity bring wellness to your life when other activities have not?
Archery requires me to maintain a regular stretching routine to keep up with the demands of the sport. Because I have a regular morning stretching routine, I’m always prepared to practice when my schedule allows. Peloton allows me to burn off energy at the end of the day to help me sleep better.
Archery offers a chance to bond with your kids since this is something families can do together. When I go to tournaments, my daughter often joins me to make memories and spend time together and get some physical exercise.
I also get to meet interesting people outside of medicine. My coach is a former olympic archer who coaches team USA at tournaments. He keeps me focused and makes sure my form is correct. Having the best teacher has been tremendous. It helps you learn faster and maintain proper form without risk of injury. This is a sport with top players that are approachable. I have shot at tournaments on the same target as women that have been in the olympics.