Standing knee deep in a secluded mountain stream while whipping a fly through the air is one of life’s most exquisite pleasures. Everything from the scenery to the solitude makes fly fishing one of the most enjoyable ways to spend the day. But, far from simple recreation, fly fishing can actually help improve your health and keep you feeling your best.
So, while you probably don’t need to be convinced to fish more often, remember the five health benefits detailed below when you are trying to decide whether to fish or not.
1. Fishing helps elevate your mood.
Obviously, fly fishing makes you smile; otherwise, you’d have hung up your rod and waders long ago. However, you’ll also enjoy biochemical changes while hanging out in the great outdoors, which will improve your mood too. And because happier people often feel healthier (regardless of their actual health status), it always makes sense to do everything you can to keep a rosy outlook. Just be sure that you practice good sun safety while soaking up the rays, by wearing an appropriate sun screen and a good set of polarized glasses.
2. Fishing gives you a chance to spend time with loved ones.
Few things in life are more meaningful than spending time with those you love, and fly fishing gives you a great way to do so. You should probably try to mix it up a little too: Go fishing with a fellow angling buddy one weekend, then take your kids out an introduce them to the sport on the next. You could even sneak away with your spouse or special someone for a fly-fishing date.
3. Fishing helps you heal more quickly.
Spending time looking at natural scenery can help accelerate the healing process, so you may want to consider making a concerted effort to get out and fish when you are trying to get over a cold (assuming your doctor deems it safe to do so). Doctors have known that views of the natural world help patients heal more effectively since the 1980s, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t try to take advantage of the same principle.
4. Fishing helps reduce your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is an increasingly common problem in the modern world. And while it usually requires medications to treat, it is also important to embrace a few lifestyle changes to treat the disease. Because most fly fishing takes place outdoors in natural areas, it can help reduce your blood pressure immediately and for a few hours after heading back home.
5. Fishing helps you get some extra exercise.
Unlike some other types of fishing, such as catfishing or ice fishing, fly fishing helps you get a little exercise. Casting a hundred or so times and balancing yourself in the current helps tax your muscles in a low-intensity and low-impact manner, which will help you remain healthier. In fact, fly fishing can help you burn a significant number of calories too. This is very important for most modern anglers, as relatively few people get enough exercise on a weekly basis.
As you can see, fly fishing (and most other types of angling) helps support good health in a number of ways, so you should make every effort to get out on the water as much as possible. However, the benefits detailed above only represent a handful of the ways in which angling helps to keep you healthy and happy, see the Outdoor Empire article for all the benefits fishing has to offer.