While I have never personally gone fishing, there are several reasons you might consider trying the sport yourself. First and foremost, fishing is extremely accessible to anyone of any age and fitness level. If you don’t think so, ask one of the 46 million Americans who fish today—I can almost guarantee, based on their own experiences, they will encourage you to get on the water.
So, in recognition of Go Fishing Day, let’s cast a line and while we wait, chat and chew about the health benefits of fishing.
Fishing keeps you active. From throwing the rod, pulling the reel, and lifting the fish from the water to actually getting to your chosen spot, the sport of fishing includes a great deal of physical activity. Even before you cast a line, you are likely to bike or hike a trail to get to your favorite fishing spot. From there, you might paddle out to the open water and continue to soak up the benefits once something eventually bites!
Fishing helps relieve stress. We’ve talked a great deal about different ways to help reduce stress (see this post and another here), and now you can add fishing to your list! Spending hours unplugged from the world does wonders for your mental state—there’s nothing more rewarding than connecting with nature on a deeper level and being alone with your thoughts. Not having to answer to anyone or anything can give you the peace-of-mind you’ve been craving but couldn’t find a way to achieve it.
Fishing provides self-fulfillment AND social bonding. Fishing can improve your self-esteem by gaining respect for the environment, mastering outdoor skills and achieving personal goals, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. It can also aid in a person’s social and personal development as well. A fishing experience can help strengthen relationships with family and friends—but it can also provide an opportunity to mentor someone on the importance of natural resources and our responsibilities to protect them(1).
Fish make healthy meal choices. If you decide to keep your fish or buy one from your local grocer, you won’t be disappointed with your catch. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer several cardiovascular benefits, which include helping decrease blood pressure and lowering the risk of stroke and heart failure. The Mayo Clinic also reports their ability to reduce irregular heartbeats and improve brain function in children as well.
For more health benefits, check out the infographic below provided by Bass Pro Shops.
Go Fish for Healthy Recipes
If you’re looking for a nutritional way to enjoy your fish, try one of the recipes below:
- Bourbon-Glazed Salmon
- Fish Chowder
- Baked Cod with Feta and Tomatoes
- Open-Faced Blackened Catfish Sandwiches
- Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce
If you’ve ever gone fishing you have probably made a habit out it. For anyone who wants to get started, all you really need is a fishing starter kit, which includes a rod, reel, line and bait. Don’t feel the need to spend money on expensive equipment—it doesn’t necessarily raise your chances of catching more fish. If you have some advice to share, feel free to do so in the comments below—give others the encouragement to take up the sport you love yourself!