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12 May 2020
Fishing is more than just a hobby. It has so many health benefits on the human body, both physically and mentally, that one could consider it a way of life. There is a reason so many people seek out fishing as their outdoor activity of choice, whether they realize it or not.
While some of the impacts of being outdoors seem obvious, it creates more mood boosting and high energy spikes within a person’s mind than they realize. Those positive, physical feelings create a body to want to come back for more and feel those energy spikes again.
There is an immense amount of research showing how adequate amounts of vitamin D play an important roll against cancer, heart disease, fractures, autoimmune diseases, influenza, type-2 diabetes and depression.
Over the years, there have been numerous studies that show a correlation between being in nature and reducing a number of health risks. One recent report specifically identifies the impact that outdoors and greenspace have on a variety of health benefits including high blood pressure.
“People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a physiological marker of stress.” Study co-author Prof Andy Jones.
No surprise that the outdoors brings fresh air. Less pollutive air helps the airways in more ways than one- improving heart health, brain health and even the health of your immune system. But importantly, breathing fresh air actually cleans your lungs. When you breath in fresh air, it allows for lungs to dilate more fully and improves the cleansing process lungs follow.
Fishing helps get you out in nature, with cleaner, crisper air. While you expend energy fishing and battling a tough catch, research shows that being in fresh air, specifically surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90% of people. So you get that extra boost of energy just from being out in nature.
As we all age, cognitive function declines, which means memory problems and neural process handling slow down. Like everything in our body, we can help train and improve this function with fast, challenging brain activities. Fishing presents countless mental challenges that requires fast actions, choices, and creative solutions, triggering multiples stimuli in the brain.
Harvard Health Publications provided a piece about the best ways to fight cognitive decline. The majority of their key takeaways add up to fishing as a solution- keep learning, use all of your senses, believe in yourself, repetition, and spacing over a longer period of time.
Fishing has a combination of stress reducing bases: being out in nature, the effects of the sun and air, the brain power and mindfulness it takes to focus on actually catching fish, and the physical exertion. It is no surprise that stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate all decrease during this time.
On average, fishing burns around 200 calories an hour, depending on fishing type and the amount of movement you do between spots and more. It is even a low impact workout, meaning it is easy on the joints. Wading in waist-deep water, launching your boat, and long reel-ins on a deep sea catch can help with increasing muscle strength.
In a 2015 study, researchers found benefits of treating PTSD for veterans with outdoor activities, particularly fishing. Organizations like Project Healing Waters are dedicated to the psychological and physical benefits fly fishing has for veterans.
Most people don’t spend as much time as they should outside. But sun brings powerful body reactions that help it with a myriad of benefits. The most obvious is a positive mood. The brain is triggered by sunlight and releases serotonin, a hormone that directly improves mood and reinforces happy thoughts.
Bottom line, only good things can come from getting out on the water. Be safe, and enjoy nature.
Happy casting, fishheads.