If you love fishing, you might like to know that there are some real arguments to be made that support fishing as being good for your health. While fishing might not be as good for your health as spending time with your wife like you promised or making it to your kid’s soccer game, you can add the following benefits of fishing to your argument the next time somebody gives you grief for “wasting” your time. You could also use them as a reason to get out the pole and tackle box a little more often if you find yourself spending too much time sitting on the couch.
A little exercise
Yes, fishing can be good exercise. Not the kind of exercise that will burn a lot of fat, but exercise nonetheless. Wading in knee-deep or higher water is a decent low-level lower-body workout. Casting lures and fly fishing do the same for your arms, chest, and back. The bit of extra effort it takes to keep your balance while casting, wading, or standing on a boat can be good for strengthening your core and back. Even the casual hike to your favorite spot is a good low-impact way to get your heart pumping, which helps with overall cardiovascular health.
While it can’t really be considered a workout, the dexterity it takes to tie flies or bait a hook can keep fine motor skills and concentration sharp. These are skills that fade as we age, especially if we don’t use them.
A little relaxation
Fishing can be relaxing. Being away from the hustle and bustle and noise of civilization is something that can help us unwind and unplug. We all need to give our minds a break every now and then, and fishing is the perfect opportunity to do just that. We can clear our minds of everything but the task at hand, or maybe have a quiet day to sort out the jumble of thoughts that can make our brains feel overcrowded. Also, fishing requires patience, which is something we sometimes seem short on in our everyday lives.
A little fresh air
The fresh air, sunshine, and the vitamin D that comes from sunshine also do a body good. Too many of us spend so much time indoors that vitamin-D deficiency has become more of a medical problem in recent years. As for the fresh air part–I don’t think anybody needs convincing that a day of breathing in fresh outdoor air is always a good thing.
A little fun
For many, a bad day of fishing is more fun than a good day of–well, just about anything else. And fun is a good thing. Doing something you enjoy is a great way to feel good about yourself and the world around you. A little fun can help fight stress and depression. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that folks who enjoy life stay healthier than those who don’t.
A little reminder
Lastly, fishing can be a reminder that the world is still bigger than our everyday lives. Nature is still out there and still as beautiful as ever. In the real world, things aren’t always fair, but the fish–they don’t care what you do for a living or high or low you are on the workaday food chain. Which means that fishing can also be a great equalizer and a reminder that your social status should no more inflate your ego than crush it. And that can be the most important lesson you’ll ever learn or teach your children.