With or without fish at the end of your line, simple acts like heading outdoors, lugging gear, casting your rod, tying knots, breathing fresh air and getting much needed sunlight do wonders for your physical and mental health. Let’s delve on what angling can do for your health.
The start of the new decade hasn’t been the best. We’ve been tried and tested by fate too many times in the first month of the year. Huge losses in Australia due to the horrible bushfires, mass panic worldwide caused by the recent coronavirus incidents, an impending volcanic disaster in the Philippines, the very close call with World War 3, and just now, a major loss to the world of sports with the death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant in a helicopter crash.
The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do. — Kobe Bryant
Trying times for sure for everyone as we all have our own personal challenges to face every day along with the horrible things that are happening around the world. This is a perfect reminder that we should not take for granted every single day that we have here on Earth, that life is short and we shouldn’t miss opportunities to spend time with the people we love and we should enjoy the small things in life to the fullest.
Now let’s proceed to discussing what angling can do for your health physically and mentally.
1 Strengthens your Core / Improves Balance
Anyone who has ever been on a boat while angling knows that a good sense of balance is required to fully enjoy it. Spending a day on a rocking boat can do wonders for your core. You’ll quickly learn how to activate your leg, lower back, abdominal and gluteal muscles together to create a more stable stance for your casting and angling purposes. I mean, it doesn’t hurt to head to the gym a few times a week for a better workout but who trades a Vanuatu fishing trip for a gym session?
2 Cardiovascular and Physical Strength
A daily run can do wonders for your body, but we can’t always run if we can also go for a fish. Angling provides us with ample opportunities to improve our cardiovascular strength, as long as we don’t bring an esky full of beers and just sit on the bank waiting for a bite.
Walking around the lake or along the bank of a river finding fish can do wonders. Hours of walking and looking for fish will give us a great workout, both for the heart and for our legs. Casting heavy poppers or jigging 300g jigs will work our arms, shoulders and back well. Expect soreness of the above-mentioned body parts if you don’t do this type of fishing often.
3 Sun Exposure – the good kind
Spending a day under the sun allows our bodies to produce Vitamin D. This unique vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth and helps improve our immunity to some diseases. Good sun exposure is needed but make sure to protect yourself from too much exposure to the sun! Remember to cover up and use sunscreen when angling!
4 Chill Out
There are days when we want to just break our rods into pieces when the fish aren’t cooperating. Thankfully, we’ve had years of angling already under our belts, patience has been bestowed upon us by the fishing gods. In this world of instant gratification, having near unlimited amounts of patience is key to surviving the hustle and bustle of life. Some days we go home empty handed, but with persistence and patience, we learn to accept defeat but also learn to never quit.
5 The Travel Bug
Another great benefit to angling is the desire and need to travel to far flung destinations to catch the fish of our dreams. Travel is a big part of angling, may it be to your local fishing hole or even to the most remote destinations on the planet, we need to travel to get our fish. Travelling expands our minds as we absorb different cultures and scenery which makes our lives more fulfilling. Anglers are some of the most accomplished travelers out there and the more you get into your angling, the more destinations will be pinned on your map to chase your fish of a lifetime. Different targeted fish live in different parts of the world, so get your passport ready and prepare to ingest amazing experiences from different countries like fishing Vanuatu.
6 The Macgyver Gene
All of us have had to put on our Macgyver hats sometime in our lives, probably more often than your average joe. Angling can bring out skills we never thought we had and asks us to master a variety of outdoor skills for maximum enjoyment. The deeper we go into the sport the more skills we learn and master, like driving a boat, launching and trailering a boat, making temporary fixes to outboard engines and setting up a safe and comfortable camp. You’ll soon learn how to be self-reliant and this is of much importance in this service-oriented world where we constantly rely on others to perform all kinds of functions in our daily lives. Let’s make Macgyver proud and let’s work our way out of our angling conundrums ourselves, shall we?
7 Enjoy the Outdoors
When we fish, we create a connection with nature and the surroundings we visit. A literal connection with the fish we catch, may it be on the line or in our hands ready for release gives us a beautiful sense of fulfillment like no other. The exposure to fresh air and the sun will provide us with joy and catching a fish can just be a bonus.
8 Bonding with Family and Friends
Angling is an activity that is best enjoyed with people you love. Spending time with your family out on the water promotes a sense of security and well-being. Passing down your angling knowledge to your kids at your local fishing hole then watching them grow into the sport and make great anglers of themselves are extremely fulfilling as well. Angling is not just an activity to be enjoyed alone. Inspire the people around you by exemplifying how much fun you have just by being outdoors versus playing video games at home while eating junk food the whole day. Be a great role model, show them how to treat the environment well and you can sleep well at night knowing that the future is alright.
With all the negative events this month, it is important to just talk to your friends and family. Ask how they are doing and if they need any help. Sometimes a willing ear to listen to personal problems is more important than material things. If a friend is going through tough times, invite him or her out on the water. Teach them how to fish. Spend time with them. Life is short, so let’s make the most out of it.