If you have never been fishing but are thinking about taking the sport up, you might be surprised to learn that there are several benefits associated with it. Fishing is one of the few activities that almost anyone can participate in, and every year more and more people are casting a line into the water for the first time. Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking up fishing.


Fishing can help you stay in shape

Many people don’t realize that fishing is actually a sport, and that it does require some exercise to reach a great spot. Walking or paddling a boat can increase your heart rate and provide cardiovascular benefits, without straining muscles and tendons. You can choose how much exercise you get when you are fishing, though this does depend on how you reach a favorite fishing spot.

You also have the advantage of being outdoors, which is often the first step towards living a healthier lifestyle. The sun is also an excellent source of vitamin D, though it is important to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.

The type of fishing can have its own health benefits, and some initial studies has shown that it can also help some women recover from breast cancer. The repetitive motions used in fly fishing closely mimic the exercises commonly prescribed to help women with breast cancer stretch the soft tissue, and some recovery groups are incorporating the sport into a healthy treatment plan. It is recommended that you speak with your health care provider before you start any treatment plan.


Eating fish can help you stay healthy and live longer

Fish are an excellent source of essential omega 3 fatty acids which are important for heart health. The fatty acids can help lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. The Mayo Clinic also recommends eating fish to improve brain function in children, along with helping to regulate their heartbeats.

Research also indicates the eating fresh fish can strengthen failing eyesight and reduce a person’s risk of developing asthma later in life. The omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial to your skin, and can even reduce your risk of developing certain types of arthritis. Some studies even suggest that including fish in the diet can dramatically decrease a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. As an added bonus, regular servings of fish can also help you live a longer and healthier life.


Fishing can reduce stress

Stress can cause serious health complications, and it is also one of the main reasons many people take up the sport. The natural surroundings and gentle sound of the water can help you relax and forget about daily stress. The repetitive motions of casting and retrieving can be relaxing, and the excitement of getting a bite can instantly relieve any built up stress and tensions. Studies show that people who have lower levels of stress are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and other health problems.


Reduce some symptoms of PTSD

A study was conducted in 2009 that seems to show that fishing can help some people suffering from a post traumatic stress disorder relax and improve their overall mood. After fly fishing for three days participants in the study reported a decrease in their feelings of guilt, fear, sadness, and hostility. The study also noted that these benefits were still present up to 30 days after the last fishing trip. While fishing might not cure all of the symptoms associated with PTSD, the relaxing sport might be a good place for those suffering from the debilitating disorder to start.


Help you “unplug”

In today’s digital age it can be hard to unplug from technology, but it is possible with fishing. While digital cameras are still used to take and post pictures of the “big one” and some anglers rely on sonar devices to locate fish, you are still outdoors and enjoying nature. Being able to disconnect from most technological devices is a great way to relax and unwind, and leave you refreshed and ready to deal with life’s daily problems.


Other reasons to take up fishing

Some other reasons to start fishing include being able to support local wildlife and conservation funds, along with helping to boost the economy. Fishing is also a great way to build lasting bonds with friends and family. With so many great reasons to go fishing it’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular sport.


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