Health Benefits of Fishing

Besides being an enjoyable activity, it turns out that fishing can also be good for your health. Here are 14 ways that fishing is good for you.

Fishing Alone

1. Helps Keep You Physically Fit

Fishing is a great way to get your body moving in a low impact way that is easy on the joints. Fishing involves casting, reeling, and rowing which is good for working a variety of muscle groups. Oftentimes you have to walk to your favorite fishing spot which also is beneficial for your health. Battling big fish can even be quite strenuous and really get your heart rate up.

2. Can Promote Social Bonding

Sometimes the best part about fishing is spending the day with people that you care about. Enjoying the company of your family and friends is a healthy way to create stronger connections with one another. It can also be a great way to meet new friends because if you’re both fishing, you share similar interests, which is a great thing to bond over.

Family Friendly Fishing
Fishing Boat

3. Getting Fresh Air is Good for You

Getting out in nature and breathing fresh air can help you escape the effects of polluted air. This is especially true if you live in congested cities. Some studies have even shown that breathing polluted air can impair lung function. Breathing clean air at your favorite fishing spot is a great reason to get outside.

4. Can Reduce Stress

Fishing can release a relaxation response in the brain that reduces stress. Many anglers have reported fishing as a means of reducing stress. A study conducted in 2009 by the University of Southern Maine found that after a fly-fishing retreat participants had lower levels of perceptual stress.

Fishing Benefits
Fishing Boats

5. May Decrease PTSD Symptoms

The same study that showed that fishing can reduce perceptual stress, also found that veteran participants who went on a 2-day, 3 night fly fishing retreat also had improved sleep quality and lower PTSD symptoms. If you’re interested in learning more about how fishing can help veterans you can check out Project Healing Waters, a group dedicated to the rehabilitation of veterans through fly fishing.

6. Vitamin D

Getting under the sun is important because the sun helps your body produce Vitamin D. Studies have indicated that many people are vitamin D deficient. Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to poor bone healthy, cancer, and other diseases. So next time the sun is shining, and your favorite fishing spot is calling your name, make the healthy choice and go fishing!

Fishing Buddies
Fishing in the morning

7. Improves Mental Health

A lack of sunlight has been correlated with lower serotonin levels which can lead to depression and seasonal affective disorder. Sun exposure can be a great way to get a little mood boost and what better way to get some sunlight than to spend the day fishing.

8. Reduces Screen Time

The Mayo Clinic states that there are a number of health benefits associated with reducing screen time. Most people now average between 7 to 10 hours of screen time a day. Getting away from the TV and putting down the phone to go fishing is a great way to reduce your screen time.

Fishing Rod
Fishing the Jetty

9. Nature Can Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that time spent in nature can lower blood pressure. One study examined 112 young adults and found that participants who spent time walking in nature had a positive blood pressure change and an increase in positive mood. Fishing often involves walking through nature to your favorite fishing spot and it’s very likely these same positive changes will result from spending time outdoors fishing.

10. Can Increase Concentration

Spending time in nature can improve your concentration abilities. A study conducted by the University of Edinburgh showed that a short walk in nature can reduce brain fatigue, improve thinking and concentration abilities. Sometimes just viewing green spaces was enough for these concentration boosting benefits. Spending time moving around fishing in a natural environment may also be a great way to get these cognitive benefits.

Reasons to Fish
School of Fish

11. Eating Fish is Healthy

If you are allowed to keep the fish you catch, eating it can make for a very healthy meal. Fish is a lean source of healthy protein and also contains other vital nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and other important vitamins and minerals.

12. Reduces Excessive Sitting

Excessive sitting has been linked to numerous health risks. Fishing is an excellent way to get your body up and moving around. Fishing often involves walking to your favorite fishing spot, standing and casting which can all help to mitigate some of the potential health risks associated with sitting too often.

Surf Casting
Surf Fishing Rod Casting from Beach

13. Learning New Skills is Good for Brain Health

Learning new skills is important for keeping your brain sharp. With fishing, there is an endless amount of things to learn. Every species you are fishing for has different habits and quirks that you need to learn to become a truly successful angler. You have to learn where they are in the water column, the habitats you are likely to find them in, how to work different kinds of lures, the best retrieve for the weather conditions and fish, and much much more.

There are so many different skills to master when fishing that you will always be learning new things and keeping your brain healthy.

14. Fishing Can Improve Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness has been linked to a number of emotional and physical health benefits. When you think of mindfulness you may think that it means sitting alone in a quiet room and focusing on your breathing. However, this is just one form of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness can be reached through any activity, even fishing.

When you are fishing and you are immensely focused on your current surroundings and what you are doing, this can also be a form of mindfulness meditation. Just remember to stay focused on the task at hand, and don’t let your mind wander to your worries and stresses from everyday life. If your mind begins to wander, gently return your focus to fishing and what you are doing in the present.

School of Fish2

Fishing is Fun

Now that you’ve learned the many wonderful benefits of fishing i’m sure you’re all eager to ditch the gym and head down to the river. But don’t forget, fishing is also fun! That’s why many of us do it in the first place. Happy Fishing!