Fishing Is For Fun – and Unbeleivably Healthy……..It’s around 6:30 AM on a beautiful sunny spring morning and you and your good friend and fishing buddy, Mac, are sitting in your 12 foot aluminum flat-bottom fishing boat on a cypress-laden lake fishing for Bluegill bream. You’ve been on the water since daybreak and have already caught your limit of 10 nice saucer-size bull-Bluegills with fly rods using yellow popping bugs for bait, in a stand of cypress in water not even 2 feet deep. In the shallow water among the cypress and knees is where these huge Bluegills hang-out and that’s where you have to fish them.
Earlier you quietly maneuvered the boat between the trees where you both used a “roll-cast” (1) with your fly rods to cast the top water popping bugs out to the waters surface between the knees. You remember the water exploding as the first 2 Bluegills devoured the popping bugs almost at the same time, seconds after they landed softly in the water, and the battles were on. Bluegills pound-for-pound, are very strong and true fighters, and are a challenge, and a lot of fun to catch. In fact, Bluegills give you a much better fight than large mouth bass, and that’s why you 2 love fishing them.
You the moved the boat about 10 feet and casted out and caught 3 more fish in a matter of minutes, moved the boat again and you 2 caught 5 more fish, giving you your limit of 10 fish. You 2 had set the limit of 10 fish because that is what you’ll need to fry up in avocado oil later this afternoon for you 2 and your 2 better-halfs, along with some homemade fries, and a fresh salad you’ll retrieve from your backyard vegetable garden. You always make a practice of using extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil when frying foods because of the health benefits. In the case of frying fish, you’ll use avocado oil.
You’ve moved the boat out to open water and anchored. Now you are both enjoying the warm sun, listening to all the birds singing, the peacefulness, and really relaxing. You 2 see a blue heron doing his own fishing in the shallow water near the bank. Nature and all of it’s creatures are so incredible!
You’ve poured each of you a cup of espresso/Maca from your thermos bottle and you’re both enjoying sipping espresso and enjoying the antioxidant benefits, and the incredible benefits of Maca (B), while you take a short break. Shortly, you’ll head back into the cypress stands to fish some more Bluegills for at least a couple of hours longer, but being conservationists, you’ll turn any more Bluegills loose that you can’t eat today.
Later you’ll probably have a couple beers and some smoked sardines and crackers which will not only simply taste great sitting on the water, but are very healthy for you. You’re thinking, going fishing today was just what you needed because being out in nature and particularly on the water, is such a healthy, relaxing, restorative, and fun experience, besides the fresh healthy fish you’ll have for supper.
So, What’s So Incredible About Fishing?
Fishing is a rewarding sport that can be exciting and relaxing at the same time. It is also a wonderful and often overlooked way for anyone to burn calories and keep the weight off, while having fun in the outdoors. Many people assume fishing just means sitting around in a boat or on the bank waiting for a bobber to go under, but it can be so much more exciting and demanding than that. In reality, there are many types of fishing that challenge you both physically and mentally.
From stalking rising trout with your fly rod, after hiking up to 12,000 feet to a high-mountain lake, to kayaking on the open ocean while fishing for speckled trout, there is a type of fishing that will keep your mind and body engaged no matter your interest or experience level. One may question how the sport of fishing can provide health advantages. While some may doubt the benefits, a quick glance at what is happening within your body while fishing will reveal the truths.
For example, fly-fishing will take you on rapid rivers or streams or small lakes in often very remote back country locations. In order to catch a lot of fish you will inevitably end up doing some hiking and wading through slippery rock rivers, which in itself, is of course great exercise! In a July 2018 “Special Report on Fishing”, it was revealed 49 million Americans went fishing in 2017.
The primary reason for fishing among adults was to “try fishing as a way to spend time with their families.” The report also noted that 82 percent of adult fishing participants were introduced to the sport in childhood. If you are looking for a way to reduce stress, stay fit, and enjoy being outside in the wide-open spaces, bettering your health and well being, fishing is a fantastic option. But, it gets even better, when you can actually eat the fresh nutrient-rich fish you’ve caught! Like we said earlier, Fishing Is Fun – and Unbelievably Healthy.
Health Benefits Of Eating Fish
Fish is a low-fat high quality nutrient-dense protein. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2, B6, B12, along with minerals magnesium, potassium, and selenium. Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet.
Fish is packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients that can lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Eating fish is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients keep our heart and brain healthy and function properly (2). Two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are EPA and DHA.
Our bodies don’t produce omega-3 fatty acids so we must get them through the food we eat. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in every kind of fish, even fresh-water fish, but are especially high in wild-caught or cold water fish and seafood (A)(non-farmed fish). Wild-caught fish have a much better ratio of 2:1 or 1:1 of healthy omega 3s to omega 6s making it leaner and healthier, with more polyunsaturated good fats, which isn’t the case with farmed-raised ocean fish.
Farmed-raised fish are fatter and higher, like 20:1 ratio, in fatter omega 6s than omega 3s, and that’s why you should avoid farmed-raised fish. Farm-raised fish are not only fatter, but also are given hormones and antibiotics, besides being fed polluted (PCBs) bait-fish. According to a Jama Network Medical Review study fish literally saves lives.
Eating seafood two to three times per week equals longer life and reduces risk of death from any health-related cause by 17 percent. Seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are preventable through nutrition and lifestyle changes, like adding omega-3s to your diet. Low seafood intake contributes to 55,000 deaths each year, making seafood a leading dietary contributor to preventable death in the U.S. Some good choices are salmon, trout, sardines, herring, mackerel, light tuna, shrimp, and oysters. Let’s look at some amazing health benefits of eating fish.
Longer, Healthier Life. Help maintain a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of sudden death, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and the University of Washington found that older adults who had the highest blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.
In 2018 the American Heart Association reaffirmed its position of recommending that everyone should eat at least two servings of fish a week to assure the beneficial health effects of polyunsaturated omega 3s on the human body. According to the CDC, heart disease is the number 1 killer of Americans killing 600,000 people a year. A Harvard Medical School study found eating one or 2 3-ounce servings of wild-caught fish a week reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.
A New England Journal Of Medicine (NEJM)study following over 22000 male physicians over 17 years, and found an 80 to 90 percent reduction of risk of sudden cardiac-death with those who had the highest blood levels of omega 3s, compared to those with the lowest omega 3s blood levels. Another NEJM study showed the Mediterranean Diet, which involves eating a lot of fish as a staple, reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events by 30 percent.
One final study by the WHO found that up to 80 percent of cases of coronary heart disease, 90 percent of type 2 diabetes cases, and one-third of cancers can be avoided by changing to a healthier diet, increasing physical activity and by stopping smoking.
Infant Brain Development. Aid healthy brain function and infant development of vision and nerves during pregnancy. One 2010 World Health Organization study babies from moms who ate seafood twice a week were observed to have greater IQ by 5.8 points. According to a study in the Journal In the Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics, omega 3s are critical for a baby’s nervous system in the first year of life.
Restore Brain Cognition In Elderly. A American Journal Of Preventive Medicine study found that eating fish is associated with larger gray matter volumes in brain areas responsible for memory and cognition in healthy elderly people, and less risk of Alzheimer’s developing.
Various Health Issues. Eating fish may decrease the risk of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and diabetes. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has endorsed the fatty acids in fish as an effective part of depression treatment. People who regularly eat fish are 20 percent less likely to suffer from depression.
May Prevent Inflammation. A Harvard Medical School study confirmed the anti-inflammatory property of fish. Research finds that people who regularly eat fish high in omega-3s, reduces inflammation in their bodies, and are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA). And in those who already have the disease, marine omega-3s may help reduce joint swelling and pain.
Let’s take a look at the physical benefits of getting out in nature and actually fishing.
Physical Benefits Of Fishing
Your exercise and adventure in nature begins the moment you step out of your vehicle and head toward your fishing location. According to the NIH, taking a walk is a “step in the right direction”. The best fishing areas are off the grid, meaning you’ll need to navigate your way through public land to reach the spot, and all that walking, including carrying all your fishing gear and the added weight, etc., burns plenty of calories, according to Harvard Medical School, while strengthening your legs and core.
Actually, during a morning or afternoon of fishing, you could burn from 500-1,500 calories without even realizing it. Considering that a person of average body mass and fitness level will burn about 250 calories in an hour of walking on a treadmill, according to experts, fishing is a great option to not only burn a surprising amount of calories, but also be a load of fun in the process. Casio has an online Kisan calculator for determining calories burned based on different weights and speeds.
Whether you scaling on a river, walking down an established path to the pier and your boat, or hiking into your favorite hidden lake away from it all, this movement not only provides your body the physical exercise to keep you healthy, but also a good dose of the “green” of nature. Studies have shown, like this NIH study, that the color green, which is found all over nature in grass, plants, tress, etc., makes exercise feel much easier.
Those who are engaged in physical activities in front of the color green showed less mood disturbances and reported that they felt lower exertion during their activity. Another NIH study revealed that people who engaged in outdoor activities were associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement to not only the physical aspect, but the experienced mental well being, than doing similar activities indoors.
In relation to your heart and cardiovascular system, this increased movement, however strenuous, encourages your heart to work harder, to maintain adequate energy, helping it grow stronger from the exertion. Even just walking to your fishing destination will burn some calories, keep the pounds off and strengthen your heart, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol, and increase your overall health, per another NIH study.
Once you start actually fishing, the repetitive motion of casting and retrieving, works all the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and torso, which may ordinarily remain idle. Exposing the central core of our bodies to any physical fitness greatly increases its strength and decreases the risk of injury to these areas, particularly to back injuries. In addition, the best fishermen learn to develop casting accuracy through practice.
This helps build hand-eye coordination and strengthens the small muscles in your hands, wrists, forearms, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Even the U.S. Veterans Health Administration has adopted the use of fly-fishing and fly tying as a recreational therapy for injured military veterans because these calming, repetitive, low-impact activities help them regain strength and the use of their muscles.
Fishing is such a great, low-impact activity that it is widely used as a rehabilitation therapy by psychologists, counselors, and physical therapists, too. What’s important to remember, regardless of the physical activity, either strenuous or not so strenuous while fishing, the full-body workout you’ll get while fishing, will prevent muscle atrophy, or muscle-wasting, or even loss of function and disability, particularly, as you age, and is much more physically beneficial than remaining motionless and being a “couch potato”.
Mental Well Being Benefits
Being out in natures “green”, among the sights and sounds, free from life’s distractions, concerns, and stressors, creates a mind-clearing, or “re-centering” utopia which will recharge the toughest of minds. Taking in nature will remove the constant stimuli that impedes your ability to think freely and undistracted. An inevitable state of relaxation and calmness comes with time spent outdoors experiencing Mother Nature has to offer because it is by nature, a reflective and meditative activity that forces you to slow down and enjoy your surroundings.
Not only does being out in nature doing some fishing and getting sun help restore your Vitamin D levels, Georgetown University researchers have found that sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in boosting human immunity. Nature and its wonders can bring on a sense of awe, and even unleashes one’s imagination which can beneficial in restoring mood and a sense of tranquility, and can have a positive effect on anxiety and depression.
That’s why counselors and therapists who work with veterans, people with chronic illnesses, and others who have experienced trauma in their lives. Fishing challenges your mind, reduces stress and demands your undivided attention, per a Harvard Medical School study. Therapeutic experts claim that, because fishing requires focus, it helps take a person’s mind off internal conflict.
Locating fish, developing a strategy, choosing the correct fly or lure, and properly presenting that lure to the fish all require critical thinking and creativity, which allow a healthy escape from stress, depression, and anxiety. This has been proven in clinical studies in which the stress hormone cortisol was measured in a group of Iraq war veterans before and after a weekend of fishing. The cortisol levels measured high prior to the fishing trip, but quickly were reduced after fishing and remained low for at least 3 weeks.
Researchers noted that their patients slept better, expressed lower levels of depression and anxiety, experienced fewer symptoms of somatic stress, and were far less likely to experience the feelings of guilt, hostility, fear, or sadness normally associated with PTSD and traumatic experiences.
It has helped countless people with chronic illness, post-traumatic stress, and debilitating injuries to recover and live full, healthy lives. It allows us to explore our natural world and stay active well into old age. Fishing is a calming, enjoyable activity that has the power to transform your outlook on life. Grab a rod and reel, you might just hook a better more healthy way to live.
We hope you found “Fishing Is Fun – and Unbelievably Healthy” article informative and that you’re ready to go fishing, or at least buy some fresh fish to cook and eat. Your comments and questions are welcomed.
(1) The Orvis Company Video
(2) Inside Human Video
Following the link (A) will take you to a product review for additional information and to order wild-caught fish and seafood. Following the link (B) will take you to a product review for additional information and order the all-natural organic whole-food, nutrient-dense, Peruvian Maca to restore your health.