If you are reading this, I probably don’t have to sell you on the wonders of fishing – you are probably already a fan of heading out to the water, rod in hand, to see what’s biting.
And you aren’t alone: Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities in the world, and the number of new anglers grows every year.
But few people realize that fishing is not only an enjoyable pastime, it provides a wealth of mental, emotional and physical benefits too.
In fact, many of these benefits endure much longer than a given fishing trip, which means that you’ll not only feel better while you’re on the water, you’ll feel better after you come back home too.
So, while you probably don’t need any additional reasons to go fishing, we’ve given you 11 more below.
In the early 1980s, researcher Robert S. Ulrich noticed that post-operative patients in a hospital had different views outside their room windows.
Some of the patients could only see another building outside their window, while others had a good view of a natural area, which was full of trees. Ulrich began studying the differences in recovery times between the two groups, and his results were quite interesting: Those patients with a view of trees healed more quickly than those in the other group.
Additionally, the patients who could see trees suffered from less post-operative pain and required less pain medication than the other group.
Subsequent research has shown that there isn’t anything special about a view of trees, per se. Rather, it is the view of natural habitats that helps accelerate the healing process and reduce pain. So, this means you don’t have to go fishing in a forested stream or pond to enjoy these benefits – you simply need to go fish in any natural setting.
Although the exact reasons that it happens are not yet clear, time spent hanging out in nature helps to reduce your blood pressure.
High blood pressure (or hypertension, as it is also called) can lead to a host of serious health problems, and put you at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. And while there are medications doctors can use to help reduce blood pressure, many have negative side effects.
Additionally, research has shown that the benefits provided by spending time in natural surroundings last for some time after you come back to civilization.
And don’t think you have to spend 8 hours on the water to enjoy these benefits – researchers have determined that, while more time spent outdoors is better, it only takes about 30 minutes per week to improve blood pressure and overall health.
Most of us could stand to lose a few pounds and get more exercise. In fact, a 2013 study found that 80 percent of American adults fail to get the proper amount of exercise each week. But inactivity doesn’t only lead to obesity, it can also cause cardiovascular problems, depression and a host or other illnesses.
Fortunately, fishing can help you prevent these outcomes.
No, you won’t burn many calories while sitting on a dock with a cane pole and doing 12-ounce curls with your favorite beverage. But if you are actively fishing, you can end up burning about 200 calories per hour, which can be significant.
Even a relatively relaxing day of bank fishing will require you to walk up and down a shoreline, while casting and retrieving for hours at a time – all of which burn calories. And if you are fortunate to hook up a true giant, you’ll expend a ton of energy battling it to the shore, boat or kayak.
Continue reading here, at Outdoor Empire.
This Retro Won first appeared July 14, 2017.
The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women. View all posts by The WON