The benefits of fishing include physical and mental health. Fishing is a sport with many benefits for all ages and people in any condition. Few activities offer a range of low-level to aggressive participation. You can take a lawn chair and relax by the water watching the rod. You may prefer casting non-stop for hours using lures. The sport allows you to set time limits and the amount of exertion comfortable to you.
Warning: People with serious or chronic health issues need to consult their medical providers. Do this before engaging in any sports or new activities.
The benefits are going to surprise many people. Fishing benefits go beyond the act of casting and reeling toning your arms. The mental health aspects are being used for people afflicted with PTSD. The scenic views are relaxing, not to mention being away from the daily stresses in your life.
All people need physical activity for health. A low-impact and gentle sport allows anyone to gain some aerobic benefits. Your heart and lungs will work better. You may even shed some of the unwanted weight from your midsection. The sun has benefits for your health. A few hours outside will make health improve for most people.
Mental Health Benefits of Fishing
Fishing will promote mental health due to many factors. A few will be covered to show the importance of fishing to better all-around health. There are groups using fishing as a way of coping for PTSD in veterans.
Fishing reduces stress in two ways. Physical activity has some effect on stress. The larger effect is from being away from your stressors. You will focus on your line, making the perfect cast, and waiting for the strike. Everything else is gone. When a person is focused and is concentrating on a task the daily worries fade away.
The act of fishing does require the concentration and focus at this level. Casting the rod needs you to swing back the rod under control while holding the line. You have to feel the rod load during this part. Then using a forward motion to cast the line is released at the proper point. The amount of force is dependent on the distance. You need to control the force.
When the line is in the water the focus is on watching for a bite or on working the lure. In both instances, you need to be ready to set the hook when a strike occurs.
You have hooked a fish, now fighting the fish is the focus. You watch to see where the fish is running, how hard is the fish pulling, and you make adjustments to control the fish. Once you get the fish to shore the next benefit kicks in, you feel pride.
Throughout the whole process, you have been focusing on fishing. The things that cause stress in your life are taken away.
“Pride is a normal human emotion and one that is worthy of self-study. Healthy pride is about effort, persistence, and the cultivation of behaviors that make you a better person. It’s feeling good for a sense of achievement. Feeling proud of your children who have done well in an activity and are good, decent human beings is normal healthy pride. Healthy pride supports people and their growth. It is a reward for expending effort and a job well done.”(Enamka, https://lynnenamka.com/ ) Use caution to avoid unhealthy pride. It is a cause of many problems in society.
Pride from Fishing
Fishing gives a person a sense of accomplishment. You have found where the fish are located. Chosen the correct techniques to get a strike. Then proven another skill by landing the fish. All of this takes knowledge gained by learning and experience. Once obtained it is yours and no one can take it away.
Some people underestimate finding fish. You need to find a spot, fish like to inhabit. Fish only live in 15-20 % of the water. In other words, most of the water holds few or no fish. It takes skill to get on the fish.
Finding the technique to get bites is one with a large option of variables. The depth, color of the water, temperature and time of day all influence choices in the method to catch a fish. This will make you focus also. Yet, the pride of choosing a productive lure or bait based on the situation is based on skill. You have earned the knowledge.
When fighting the fish knowing when to pull and reel or let the fish run determines whether you land a larger fish. This requires experience and focus. Lacking either you will lose the big fish most of the time. When you land a larger fish it is an accomplishment of mental fortitude, experience, and skill.
Engaging in activities with other people helps build relationships. People need relationships for good health. Outdoor activities promote bonding better than many other activities. These activities promote social and emotional intelligence. In addition to communication and language skills. It is the opposite of playing video games and watching television. They do not have a positive effect.
A family can go to a state park and some may fish. While others can engage in swimming, boating, or observing some part of nature. They can share the experiences adding to their relationships and bonds. This benefit applies to friends doing outdoor activities together also.
Fishing allows for self-reflection, you are away from all the distractions. People will find a place to fish that is a serene setting. Catching fish is often not a major concern. They are seeking solitude and quietness.
It is hard to take time for mindfulness with the demands of daily life present. You need to take time for yourself away from the distractions. Also, fishing requires the focus and concentration mentioned before. You are placing your attention on fishing. When you are mindful of fishing, nothing else is a concern. At home, many other parts of life creep into your thoughts. Outdoor activities allow you to focus on one activity. Instead of the 5-6 or more faced in your normal daily activity.
Benefits of Fishing for Physical Health
You will have physical benefits from fishing. The sport of fishing makes you move. The casting motion flexes many parts of the body. You need to control the rod leading to hand-to-eye coordination. The muscles are being used in different ways than normal daily activity.
In recent years, many people are spending 90% of their time indoors. Indoor air has more contamination and no sunlight. Sunlight is beneficial by converting cholesterol into vitamin D. This vitamin helps build stronger bones and enhances the immune system. Sunlight is the primary factor in regulating the circadian rhythms. This is the cycle controlling sleep and alertness.
Outdoors in The Sun
” While the sleep-wake cycle is one of the most prominent circadian rhythms, these 24-hour internal clocks play a vital role in virtually all systems of the body.
Research continues to uncover details about circadian rhythms, but evidence has connected them to metabolism and weight through the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol. Circadian rhythms influence mental health as well, including the risk of psychiatric illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder as well as the potential for neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
There are indications that circadian rhythms have an important influence on the immune system as well as processes of DNA repair that are involved in preventing cancer. Early-stage research indicates that circadian cycles can influence the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs and that new medications may be able to harness biological clocks to kill cancer cells.” ( https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm, Sleep Foundation, Sept. 2020 )
People overlook the danger of air in the home. Dust and dander are considered a nuisance but affect your lungs also. Add in the fumes from synthetics, cleaners, and other household products. It is likely worse than the air outside the door. There are instances of indoor air having 100 times the pollution. Fishing gets you outside in areas with less or very little pollution. Go out into nature regardless of the activity.
Fishing requires you to move. You are walking or standing while using the upper body to cast and reel. Add in landing a fish, you are burning calories. Your breathing and heart rate increase slightly during many of the activities. An angler sitting in a chair only doing a few acts will burn a couple of hundred calories. People moving around or casting lures will burn more and have a higher level of exercise.
When casting or reeling in fish you are engaging many muscles to maintain balance. This results in improving your balance. The bending and twisting involved will help with flexibility and toning muscles. Fishing does have many benefits for all people. The exception is people sitting in chairs drinking sodas, beer, and unhealthy snacks.
Instead, take water to drink and healthy snacks to eat. These are beneficial while participating in activities. Walk along the shore trying more spots. You will get more benefits from fishing.
People in a boat often work lures more often. Also, the boat will rock and move while on the water. You unknowingly are correcting to balance constantly with muscles. This may not seem like much but a little adds up after several hours of fishing. In other words, fishing provides benefits you likely do not realize.
Going outdoors is proven to provide mental and physical health benefits. You can adjust the activity for all ages and ability levels. The sun provides vitamin D3 and improves the circadian rhythm. The scenery tends to be relaxing for most people. It takes you away from the daily stress in your life affecting several aspects of mental health. The air is in many instances cleaner than indoor air.
( https://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-fishing/ )
( https://healthtian.com/mental-health-benefits-of-fishing-and-being-outdoors/ )
( https://lynnenamka.com/narcissism/narcissism-articles/pride-wrong-reasons-healthy-pride-false-pride/#:~:text=Healthy%20pride%20is%20about%20effort%2C%20persistence%20and%20cultivation,good%2C%20decent%20human%20beings%20is%20normal%20healthy%20pride. )
( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/benefits-of-fishing_n_5754408 )
( https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact?item=2 )
( https://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20160108/bonding-with-others-may-be-crucial-for-long-term-health )
( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mindfulness )
( https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm )
( https://www.mana.md/indoor-air-vs-outdoor-air/ )