The physical and mental health benefits of fishing

We’ve all heard of the expression ‘gone fishing’, but have you ever taken the notion seriously?

It may come as a surprise to learn that fishing is something actor Dwayne Johnson – aka The Rock – does when he needs to “decompress” and “take mental inventory”, rather than performing one of his epic workout sessions in the gym.

Read more: Walking is the most underrated form of exercise

And with more of us wanting to exercise in the fresh air, unwind and take time out for ourselves, fishing could be a great hobby if you want to practise a little self-care.

Here’s why it’s good for the mind and body.

Fishing is a low-impact workout
While you might picture yourself on a quiet riverbank, once you start reeling in that prize catch of the day, you’re seriously working your upper body. Winding in even small fish takes a certain amount of strength, and if you wade out into the water you’re working your leg muscles too; even balancing yourself is good for your core. Not to mention the brisk walk to find your perfect spot. Exercising without realising it is ideal.

Read more: Fishing tale of woe – and more woe

Fresh air is good for you
One of the best benefits of being outdoors is breathing in all that fresh air. With higher levels of oxygen pumping through your blood, you can feel more energised. Plus, oxygen is thought to help promote the production of serotonin, which can help make you feel happier, calmer and less anxious, leaving your mind free to focus on the fish.

Being outside can help increase your vitamin D intake
With feeling the sun on your face comes a healthy dose of vitamin D. Not only does it help boost your immune system, but blue skies or grey, vitamin D helps you regulate the amount of calcium in your body (vital for healthy bones and teeth). More than that, the ‘sunshine vitamin’ has been linked to fighting depression, so by just sitting on a fishing pier, you’re likely doing yourself a world of good.

Read more: The surprising health and fitness benefits of golf

Fishing helps reduce stress
Just being close to water is a win-win. Research suggests being near water, in water or on water helps lower stress, improves our wellbeing, lowers our heart rate and soothes the soul. And just imagine how passionate you’d become about fishing if you were to reel in a pike (said to be the ideal fish to start with as a beginner).

Do you like to fish? What do you get out of it? Why not share your prize catch in the comments section below?

-With PA

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