Fishing is one of the most accessible outdoor sports and one that nearly anyone – regardless of age, fitness, and income level – will enjoy. Despite being one of the most popular recreational activities in the world with the number of participants growing every year, very few people seem to realize that fishing is not only an enjoyable pastime but that it also contributes to the mental and physical well-being of a person. And the best part is that many of these benefits are not only experienced while engaged in the activity but endures long after the fishing trip has ended. So if you’re still on the fence about giving fishing a try, here are some of the best reasons why fishing is good for you.
Fishing Helps to Relieve Stress
In a country where a majority of people are living a stress-filled life (and with less than half doing a good job of managing it), finding a way to relax is vital to maintaining excellent mental health. Although there are other activities that can help with this like engaging in contemplative activities like meditation or paddle board yoga, for some spending a day afield casting for trout on a cool mountain stream or bobber fishing for bluegills on a pond is the answer. In fact, just letting your eyes rest on the gently sparkling water or even just being near water and listening to the lapping waters on the hull of a fishing kayak lowers anxiety and instills a sense of calm.
One of the reasons why many anglers love fishing is because it provides them with a sense of ’freedom’ and a way to escape from the pressures and decisions at work and even at home. When life piles up and becomes too much to take, fishing can provide a much needed weekend away from it all where you can recharge, unwind, and come back rejuvenated and energized, ready to take on the world and all its troubles.
‘Disconnect’ in Order to Relax
In order to truly have a relaxing day fishing, turn off your phone. In this day and age, it is quite easy (and even normal) for everyone in our society to become addicted with computers, smartphones, tablets, and every other gadget out there. And it is a fact that a significant amount of stress experienced by many people comes as a result from always being connected. This is why you’ll want to turn off your phone when you go fishing. By separating yourself from the text messages, the emails, the Facebook notifications, and all of the other distractions, you’ll be able to take yourself back to a simpler time when it was easier to get off the grid and to really get away and leave your stress behind.
Enjoy the Outdoors
In this modern world, it is quite normal for us to find our lives overrun by technology, from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep at night. With all the ‘busyness’ and commotion going on around us, we find it harder and harder to get away from our task-laden life and enjoy the outdoors. Fishing provides us with the perfect opportunity to reverse that lifestyle.
When you go fishing, it is impossible not to feel connected to nature. The warm sun on your skin, the cold water and the smell of fresh air are something that all of us need. While out there on the lake, you’ll be able to take in the scenic views of the surrounding mountains and listen to the stillness all around you. The gorgeous sights and rhythmical sounds of birds and insects chirping in the distance will certainly make you feel much closer to Mother Nature.
Enjoying the outdoors also has a therapeutic effect on the soul. There are few things on earth that can give you a sense of being alive and gratefulness than being out there interacting with Mother Nature.
Helping Mother Nature
When you go fishing, you are actually contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment. By purchasing fishing licenses (and paying the taxes associated with acquiring them) you are helping to fund the different wildlife and conservation programs all over the country or in the state where you are fishing. Some anglers also form groups and communities dedicated to protecting the marine animals and their habitats. Angling has become an important wildlife management tool as well. Over the years, angling has helped to keep the wildlife populations of most fish species remain stable and even flourish.
Fishing Keeps You Physically Fit
At first glance, fishing doesn’t look anything like a physically demanding or strenuous activity. After all, fishing looks lot like it involves a good deal of sitting in a boat or the bank (with a dash of dozing off here and there). However, fishing can actually be a good form of exercise.
While fishing in itself isn’t going to get your heart rate up (unless you’re feeling pretty nervous about falling into the water while reeling in your catch), many of the best kayak fishing spots in the country will require some hiking and paddling to get to, both of which helps in improving your cardiovascular fitness. Throw in carrying a kayak and your fishing gear in a box or backpack and you’re bound to give your muscles and your lungs a fairly good amount of low-impact workout.
Fishing Increases Your Vitamin D Intake
Going out to the lake or river allows you to get some exposure to sun allowing your body to top up on its vitamin D reserves. Vitamin D is necessary to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, thereby keeping your bones and teeth healthy. This happens even if you choose to go fishing on an overcast day. That said, be sure not to forget to splash on some sunscreen every now and then since overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can lead to a bad case of sunburn.
Sense of Fulfillment
Like any other sport, fishing can be challenging, and overcoming this challenge gives you an opportunity to achieve something. As any expert would tell you, any form of accomplishment fulfills the basic human desire for purpose and adds value to your life, which in turn makes you a happier person overall.
It is a fact that every angler remembers their first catch, and all of them always have the same reaction when you ask them about it. Their eyes light up and there’s that big smile across their face as they recount their struggles of bagging their first fish. Obviously, achieving their goal of landing a fish has proven to have boosted their self-esteem, and it sure will do the same to yours.
Learning to Be Patient
Sitting still while waiting for the fish to come along and take your bait is often enough to teach you how to be patient. Many anglers can actually sit and wait all day long and still go home empty-handed. Also, when you do catch a fish, you have to be patient when reeling in your catch so that it doesn’t break your line. When a fish takes your bait, it is quite normal for you to find yourself fighting with it for a few minutes or a few hours before you can finally land it.
That’s another thing that anglers love about fishing. The wisest anglers know that it’s not always about catching a fish. Instead, fishing is all about the innumerable life lessons that you learn while you’re out in the water.
Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
Spending some quality time with your loved ones and the people closest to you is precious, and fishing is a great way of bonding with them. Whether you bring your best buddies, you partner or your kids, you’re bound to have some good time with them and create memories that will last for a lifetime. Joining a fishing club also gives you a chance to connect with a community of like-minded people. And being around people who share the same interests as you is more than enough to make fishing an excellent way of spending your day.
That flexibility is one more thing that makes fishing great. You can go at it alone if you need some ‘me’ time or when you’re in a contemplative mood, or you can invite your friends or family to join you.
If you’re going fishing with other people, you may find that you’ll need to make certain adjustments especially if they’re not avid anglers. In such a case, you may want to choose a fishing destination where they can engage in other activities after fishing. For instance, you can choose a spot where there’s a great beach for picnicking or swimming if you choose to go fishing with your kids.
You should also consider setting your sights low for the moment and target the more abundant and easily caught fish instead of pushing for the big catch. You don’t want to intimidate them especially if this is their first time fishing. Sure, it may not be that much fun for you, but the smiles and companionship will more than make up for your loss.
Need More Reasons to Go Fishing?
Those top 5 reasons should be more than enough to convince you to try fishing. But if for some reason you still feel they’re insufficient, we have here a few more arguments that might finally encourage you to do so.
Explore Areas You’ve Never Visited
If you’re going to be an angler, you’re going to have to do some exploring in order to find the best fishing spots in and around your area. Maybe there’s that section of the lake which you never paddled to before. Maybe there’s a small pond right across town which you’ve never visited. Unless you’re quite content with that same fishing spot you’ve been visiting for the last ten years or so, then you’ll have to pack your kayak and fishing gear and embark on a new fishing adventure.
Fish Makes for a Good, Healthy Dinner
Not everyone brings home their catch, especially if you’re into catch-and-release form of fishing. But for those who do, that big fatty trout that you landed will definitely make for a great and healthy dinner. It is a fact that fish is one of the healthiest meats available, filled with a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids which lowers your blood pressure and reduces your risks for a heart attack.
Fresh Air Is Good for You
Most (if not all) fishing destinations are located somewhere away from the smoke and smog of the city. When you visit a fishing spot in a lake, river or a mountain stream, you’ll be able to breathe in the clean fresh air spiced with the scent of trees. This will give your lungs that much needed break from all the air pollution that you’re exposing them to on a daily basis. Needless to say, exposure to air pollutants can lead to a number of health problems, including chronic respiratory conditions (such as asthma), heart disease and lung cancer.
Fishing Is Fun
For many anglers, a bad day of fishing is still a much better alternative than spending stressful hours at work. In fact, many anglers go fishing without even thinking about their catch. Some of them just go there in order to be alone or to meet up with their buddies. See, it’s not always about the fish. It’s more about enjoying yourself and having some fun while you’re out in the water. Catching a big fat bass or trout is just a bonus.
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There are perhaps countless other reasons why fishing is good for you, but the ones listed above is sure to make anyone want to give this sport a try. Whether you’re looking for a way to de-stress and relax, or perhaps looking for an activity which you can share with your family and friends, do give fishing a try. This moderately-active and outdoor-oriented activity is without a doubt one of the best thing you can do for your physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.