Health Benefits of Fishing
Fishing has always been a popular pastime and a great bonding experience that brings generations together. You will see many grandfathers teaching their grandsons how to cast their first line and handing down their love of angling through the ages. It’s a great recreational hobby for some good old-fashioned quiet time. Just you, your rod and bait and whatever location takes your fancy; a river bank, a lake or out on the open sea. Fishing has so much more going for it than you might ever have realized and while it’s long been an established that it can help quieten the mind and promote a general sense of mental well-being, stepping away from the rat race for a few hours in quiet contemplation, it also has more beneficial results on your health too than you may have realized. Unless you are already a passionate fan of fishing, in which case we are no doubt preaching to the converted. For the rest of you though who’ve yet to take up the pastime and are thinking that it might be your new year hobby, we’re going to run you through what we believe are the Top 10 Health Benefits of Fishing, both for your mental and physical well-being.
1. First up we have to mention Family Bonding again
It’s undeniable that a love of fishing can run through the veins and it’s a great way to while away the hours with your nearest and dearest, reminiscing about how you used to sit on the same banks of the river with your grandfather all those years ago. Kids love spending time with their elders and passing a skill along is such a heartfelt treasure that will bring pure joy and happiness. Instructing a little one how to hook their first worm or use a fishing net and seeing their face light up when they land their first sprat! Fishing then is a great way to promote a sense of overall well-being and security, and that’s something which is hard to put a price on. Just make sure you and your little one are protected from the UV rays so put on some matching fishing shirts and sunglasses for fishing.
2. Spending time outdoors Boosts the immune system
We spend so much time cooped up indoors these days with our faces stuck in one screen or another. Partaking in a hobby that gets you outdoors really helps to inject some much needed Vitamin D into your body which is essential for regulating your absorption of both phosphorous and calcium. You may not know it, but these two minerals are vital for improving the bodies immune system, fending off colds and viruses and helping defend you against disease. OK, so it might not be sunny all year round where you live and fish but spending time outdoors, especially in the sun, is good for the heart and the soul and not just the immune system. Everyone should get outdoors more. Fact.
3. Fishing actually builds Full Body Strength
Do we’re not talking the equivalent of doing a rigorous weight training session and sure, the average fishing hobbyist may not have a challenging adversary to reel in that requires all their muscular strength to land but think about it, even just the act of casting a line and reeling it in engages so many of your muscles. Whether it’s a little tiddler or the catch of the day, you are required to engage your shoulders and arms, back and core, not to mention your legs. You really are getting far more of a full body workout that you bargained on. If you do have aspirations to go after big catch, like Marlin for example, then it’s actually a good idea to be supplementing your regular fishing sessions with some weight based exercise to help build up that muscular strength and endurance. If you fully load it with the necessities, your fishing vest can act as a weighted vest!
4. It’s essentially a one-person sport, so it promotes Self Reliance
Day to day we rely on so many people around us to perform various tasks on our before. Think about it for just a minute and you might be shocked at just how little you actually do for yourself! We live in an environment and an economy today that is all very service orientated, and we can pay anyone to do just about anything for us. Some call it a bit of a Nanny society, and one thing is for sure, it can make us lazier than we used to be. So fishing is an excellent way of getting back to nature but also developing your own unique skill set in order to be successful. You might need to drive a boat to get to your location or go in hunt of your own tackle. You may even have to set up a basic camp or learn some orienteering if you are headed to a new location. Fishing can offer an opportunity to go off grid and really immerse yourself in some dedicated “me” time which means when you are hungry, you need to prepare your own catch of the day, maybe even over a fire that you had to collect wood to set up. If you were a boy scout, you will relish this prospect! Getting back to basics and doing it yourself is actually very liberating and will give you a real sense of accomplishment which will bolster your confidence and improve how you feel about yourself. So what are you waiting for? Put on your fishing shoes and hit the road!
5. We talked about the total body workout, but fishing can also Improve Cardiovascular Health
It might not seem like you are that active when you are fishing and of course, the calories you burn will be determined by how much you’ve had to put the effort in which will be determined by both the fishing conditions and the receptiveness of those fish you are trying to land! Generally speaking though, you can expect to burn an average of 200 calories an hour from a fishing session which is certainly more than sitting indoors playing video games and guzzling down beer. If you are also exploring your area, walking around looking for new spots to fish from, constantly recasting that line and successfully reeling in fish, then you will be putting your heart and lungs through their paces and giving yourself a cardiovascular workout at the same time. See, fishing really is good for your health!
6. Fishing is like a meditation session and Promotes Relaxation
This is probably one of the most widely acknowledged health benefits of fishing, and it is indeed one that should not be underestimated either. There is nothing that sets the mind more at ease or does the soul more good than being at one with nature in quiet contemplation. Imagine the scene. You and your favorite fishing rod, sat by a babbling mountain stream for the day, totally at one with nature and your environment. Breathing in the fresh, crisp and invigorating mountain air. Sounds pretty idyllic we think you’ll agree and even the most stressed-out city slicker is bound to find themselves chilling out a bit. Fishing typically involves long hours too, often sat around not necessarily doing an awful lot! Take that opportunity to be reflective and self-observant and think of it if you will like your very own meditation session. Trust us, your blood pressure will thank you for the much-needed downtime.
7. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again! Fishing sure does require Patience
We live a fast-paced life and no mistake. Everyone is running a million miles per hour and looking for instant gratification to such an extent that we demand and expect more and more all the time. We want it all, and we want it NOW! Unfortunately, those little fishes didn’t quite get that memo, and they may well make you play the long game. Unless you happen to be blessed with extraordinary good luck which we think would take the fun out of fishing anyway, let’s face it, you are going to be standing around for quite some while! It’s highly unlikely that you rock up, drop your line and hey presto, immediately hook a fish. So patience dear reader is required and in some cases, quite a lot of it too! So stop looking at your fishing watch and start enjoying! The more you persist, the more patient you will become and that is a great lesson to take with you back into the real world. Never quitting too is an excellent quality that will always stand you in good stead. On the flip side, if you exhibit regular traits of impatience, you are negatively impacting your immune system and raising your blood pressure, so the fact that those fish might keep you hanging on is a good thing! The more they resist, the calmer and more content you will become.
8. More physical benefits of fishing up next as it helps to Improve your Balance
Fishing does require core strength and for you to really center your balance, especially if you happen to be on a canoe at the time! Even if you’re not fishing in a canoe, say you are on a small boat or even perched on the side of a river bank, if you have a remotely heavy weight on the other end of your line, it’s going to be fighting against your center of gravity the whole time. Trying to pull you in or topple you over. So by really focusing on your balance and core strength to stay upright at all times when you have a powerful adversary on the other end of the line, you will become more grounded, and your balance and stability will naturally improve. It’s probably a health benefit that you never before considered, but it is a real one worthy of mention.
9. Chances are if you enjoy fishing that you will be enjoying more Travel Opportunities
One of the greatest things in life is to be able to travel. It promotes such a sense of freedom, and there is nothing more liberating than getting out and about whenever and wherever you can. Fishing provides a real opportunity to do that, and it’s one hobby that you really can enjoy pretty much anywhere unless you are in the middle of a barren landlocked desert of course. You won’t be surprised to hear that Fishers are some of the greatest explorers and are an accomplished and well-traveled lot! A passion for fishing is a passion for life, and you can go wherever you choose to go from the great lakes of Alaska to the shores of Florida. If they’ve got water, chances are there’ll be fish to catch. Everyone knows the benefits of travel and exploring the planet more which leads us onto our final Top 10 Health Benefit of Fishing. So pack your fishing backpack and start your adventure!
10. You simply get to Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Last but by no means least, fishing just means that you can enjoy the great outdoors more often. We’ve talked about travel and also about the benefits of Vitamin D, and you don’t even have to go that far away from home if you don’t want to. Just getting outdoors and up close and personal with Mother Nature is an utter joy. It’s not just fish that you will encounter either. You get to marvel and enjoy all the flora and fauna and various ecosystems that are in the vicinity. Fresh air, sunshine and just being close to the water bring so many therapeutic benefits. Fishing really is a marvel!
If the fishing bug has not yet bitten you, we think it’s about time you bought your first fishing rod and experienced just for yourself the many wonderful health benefits that fishing has to offer.