For Body and Mind: The Health Benefits of Fishing

For Body and Mind: The Health Benefits of Fishing

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In the United States, fishing is one of the most popular outdoor pastimes. Fishing is truly a fun hobby for many, but did you know that it has many benefits for your health? Check out this article to find out how fishing is good for you, mentally and physically!

Strengthens the body

When it comes to strength training, fishing is the ideal low-impact activity for anyone with health difficulties. Even though it may not seem like it, fishing actually works out several distinct muscle groups — from setting up equipment, casting your line, reeling in your catches, and even controlling your line.

For instance, reeling in a fish employs your back and core muscles, and casting requires arm and shoulder strength. Leg strength is also important when walking great distances on rough terrain and standing for extended periods. Even small fish like catfish can require intense physical effort!

If you’re looking for a more intense workout, you can try more active fishing techniques. Fly fishing, for example, requires a total body effort involving the lower, upper, and trunk muscles!

Enhances cardiovascular strength

Depending on the type of fishing you enjoy, did you know that you can burn an average of 200 calories each hour when fishing? The physical activity involved in fishing raises your heart rate, which improves your level of fitness and allows your heart to pump more effectively. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that being outside decreases blood pressure, which reduces your risk of developing heart disease.

Provides healthy meals/food

Eating your catch is also healthy, as fish are nutrient-dense, low-calorie, and protein-rich!

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fish, lower blood pressure and lessen the risk of stroke. They’re also good for your eyesight, heart health, and more. Oily fish like mackerel, salmon, and trout are the healthiest catch.

A great amount of vitamin B12, which is necessary for the health of DNA, blood cells, and neurons, can also be found in fish.

Boosts immune system

Fishing gives you a chance to soak up the sun and get Vitamin D. Vitamin D strengthens your immune system and improves cell growth by helping you absorb calcium and phosphorus properly. This helps you fend off illnesses and diseases and speed up your body’s healing process.

Combats stress

Whether you're fishing with friends and family or enjoying a quiet day by yourself, fishing is a terrific way to relax and improve your mental health.

Fishing has been known to lower cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone. You can even feel this effect up to three weeks after your fishing trip.

For a good reason, fishing has long been regarded as therapeutic. Even those who have undergone trauma or battle post-traumatic stress disorder can benefit from fishing. Angling also has a great deal of promise to benefit those who are depressed or anxious.

Encourages patience and concentration

Fishing tests your patience in a world of constant stimuli. You don't always cast your line into the water and immediately reel in a fish. The bite can be difficult and slow on some days, but if you stick through them, the experience teaches you to be more patient.

With fishing, your focus and concentration are increased. One of the most evident ways modern living has affected our brains is our limited attention span. How does fishing help? For those who suffer from behavioral issues like attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder, fishing is extremely beneficial. A 2012 study found that angling can enhance short-term focus. Because angling "fascinates" the mind, it appears as though people can focus for extended periods of time with ease. A person's attention span can be permanently increased by repeated sessions, improving their performance in school, the workplace, and daily life in general.

Improves self-esteem

You might not be great at fishing right off the bat, but as you practice more and get the hang of it, you’re fishing confidently before you realize it! This is why fishing is great at boosting your self-esteem. A 2018 study supports that recreational fishing improves self-esteem, optimism, and resilience among adolescents. The opportunity to set and accomplish new personal goals while fishing can help you become more self-assured as you put out the effort to do so.

Can you remember reeling in your first catch? It’s a truly satisfying and memorable moment for many, especially knowing the hard work that came into it.

Creates connections

Speaking of memorable fishing moments, the art of fishing is typically passed down through generations, which is why many recall their first catch with a relative. Fishing is a wonderful skill to acquire because it fosters sentiments of stability and well-being to spend time with your family.

This is not limited to family, however. A fishing trip is not only a great way to spend quality time with loved ones, but also to meet new people and bond through fishing. People from all walks of life can connect through fishing.


Undoubtedly, fishing is such a well-liked pastime with its many advantages. Whether you’re a weekend hobbyist or a professional angler, you may have already experienced some of these firsthand. Even if you come home empty-handed, a day spent fishing is still a day well spent! Keep these reasons in mind to encourage your friends and family to take up fishing, too.



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