The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Fishing and Eating Fish

Published on:

Fishing is for everyone. Men, women, boys, and girls of all ages, ethnicity, and fitness levels can enjoy an afternoon casting their line into the water, in the hopes of catching a bite. Millions of people take up fishing every year. Whether it’s heading out to the lake with dad or paddling out on the open ocean with a kayak, fishing is an excellent way to spend your time in peaceful surroundings.

calm fishing

While everyone that fishes dream of landing that prize specimen, fishing isn’t just about bringing home a catch – we’ve all heard the story of the one that got away. The sport is about connecting with the environment, embracing nature and enjoying the thrill of the great outdoors – wherever you are.

Whether you dabble in the sport or take your fishing trips seriously, you can benefit from the physical and mental health benefits the pastime has to offer. Here are four reasons why you should give the sport a go. Grab your pole and tackle then head for the lake!

Fishing Helps Keep You Fit

Studies showed that the color green, which is found all over nature: grass, plants, tress, etc., makes exercise feel much easier. Those who are engaged in physical activities in front of the color green showed less mood disturbances and reported that they felt lower exertion during their activity. Another study showed that people who engaged in outdoor activities were associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement.

Sure, standing around with a fishing pole doesn’t require much physical effort. However, fishing is an outdoor sport, and that usually means it comes hand in hand with hiking and climbing trails to reach your fishing spot, as well as constantly moving to cover more water.

The best fishing areas are off the grid, meaning you’ll need to navigate your way through public land to reach the spot, and all that walking burns plenty of calories while strengthening your legs and core. Some forms of fishing, such as on the kayak, require tremendous levels of physical fitness to paddle the ski over a lake or make it through the ocean’s waves to reach the reef.

Let’s not forget about carrying your gear. The fishing poles are relatively light, but your tackle box can take some effort to haul on a hike to the river. Tents, coolers, and other equipment weigh more than a couple of pounds, and someone has to make sure they end up at the final destination if you want to enjoy a refreshing drink after battling to reel in your catch.

Fish Provides Fantastic Nutrition

Fish contains Omega-3 essential fatty acids, most notably; EPA and DHA, (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid respectively.) These EFA’s are responsible for a host of health benefits for the body. EPA and DHA convert into prostaglandins, which regulate cell activity and cardiovascular function. Omega-3 improves circulation, allowing more oxygen to enter the blood while reducing your chances of a stroke or heart attack. This effect increases cognitive function, allowing you to think clearly and quickly.

healthy fish

Your mom was right when she said eating fresh fish is good for your vision – DHA is a building block of proteins in the retina and brain. Omega-3 fatty acids was strongly correlated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration, a degenerative condition in which the central retina becomes damaged, which is one of the more common causes of lost eyesight in elderly populations.

Omega-3 fights off inflammation in the body. Both EPA and DHA have a positive effect on the skin, increasing its resilience to the sun’s harmful UV rays while keeping it clear and hydrated. People suffering from inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, can benefit tremendously from including fish in their meals.

Fishing Reduces Stress

The pace of a modern lifestyle eventually wears all of us down. Responsibilities at work and home often lead to feelings of high-anxiety and stress if we don’t learn how to manage their effects on our body and mind. Going on a fishing trip is a terrific means of escaping the pressure from work and society.

Since most fishing spots are on public land or at the ocean, they provide the ideal backdrop to soothe the mind and relieve stress. Standing at the edge of the river listening to the water gurgle as it winds its way through the riverbed is a peaceful experience that reduces stress. Imagine standing knee-deep in the ocean with your fishing pole as your witness the waves lap onto the beach.

Fly Fishing is also linked to significant improvement in perceptual stress, PTSD symptoms, and sleep quality with those suffering from PTSD.

Helps You Unplug and Reconnect with Nature

According to recent data, the average American spends over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. Whether you’re on a conference call on your smartphone, watching Netflix, or ordering a gift with Alexa, the internet dominates much of our behavior.

By becoming entrenched and constantly interacting with media, we lose our bond with nature and lose the adventurous and joyous elements shared through fishing and other outdoor activities.

Unplugging from the electronic environment that we are all used to, helps to clear your mind of all of the worries in your life and connect with nature. Leave Instagram and Twitter behind and bond with your environment instead.

For many of us, fishing is not just about catching fish, it is about transforming the shorelines, streams, rivers and our boats into breathtaking front porches in Mayberry, even for a few hours. Fishing gives us the license to pretend the world is a good place.

The next time you’re out on a fishing trip, forget about your phone and take the opportunity to be present at the moment. Fishing can and will contribute to a healthy lifestyle that keeps your body prepared for activity and clears your mind of stress and anxiety.

Author: Leo Maze has a passion for the outdoors and sharing his experiences. He is an avid fisher who spends most of his free time by the water chasing bass and trout.

AnglerWise Avatar


Leave a Comment