Fishing is one of the most accessible outdoor sports. Nearly anyone, no matter age, income level or even athletic ability, can participate. Over 46 million Americans fish today, including millions of women and a growing ethnic segment. Many of us grew up fishing with our fathers and grandfathers while some are just fishing for the first time. No matter who you are or how you have come to the sport of fishing, there is a direct connection with your health and the lines you wet.
While fishing isn't necessarily going to get you shape, many fishing opportunities require a bit of physical activity from walking to hiking to paddling as means to reach your favorite fishing hole. Just getting outdoors and away from the daily grind and all the distractions we have in life is good for your body ultimately making you healthier and happy.
Fishing, and particularly Fly fishing, has been harnessed to help women with breast cancer recover. Groups like Casting for Recovery combine breast cancer education with the sport as a form of support, therapy and exercise. Also Project Healing Waters help veterans with physical and emotional recovery through fly fishing activities.
Not only does the pure act of fishing aid in a healthy lifestyle but the rewards of catching fishing doubles that effort. Although most support catch and release fishing, those that keep a few fish for the dinner table enjoy the benefits eating fish provides. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research has also shown that consuming fish help with eyesight, improved skin conditions and reduced risk of arthritis. Although there are great benefits with consuming fish, anglers should be cautious about consuming to much. Many species accumulate heavy metals and other toxins from waterways and consumption should be limited to a few meals a month.
Reduce stress, improve your health and take to the water knowing that those few hours fishing on the local pond or in the nearby stream offers much more than just the tight lines you have come to enjoy. Jump start your healthier lifestyle today with more fishing days.
- Phil Manning (FISH THIS)