Top 10 Health Benefits of Fishing

health benefits of fishing

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. But teach a man how to fish and he’ll be healthy for life! Read the top 10 health benefits of fishing below to learn why this classic hobby is also great way to improve mental and physical well-being.

Full Body Strength

The protagonist in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea battles a great marlin for 3 days.   That’s one strong dude. Your average hobbyist won’t be called on to strain day and night to reel in an adversary. But battling even a small fish calls engages the shoulders, back, arms, core and legs in an excruciating workout. Fishing encourages sportsmen and women to train their body so that they have the strength when the time comes for the big catch.

Family Bonding

Fishing is a skill passed on through the generations, with grandfathers taking the younger kids out to a familiar pond and instructing them how to hook a worm. Spending time with your family promotes feelings of security and well-being, making fishing a worthwhile activity to learn.

Boosts Immune System

Vitamin D helps your body regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that improve immune system function and help defend against disease. The best source of vitamin D is a day outdoors under the sun.

Promotes Relaxation

A beautiful day spent in a mountain stream followed by a dinner of grilled fish. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? Spending long hours in nature with a focused task is akin to meditation, an activity linked to lowered blood pressure and decreased anxiety.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Fishing burns an average of 200 calories an hour, depending on the kind of fishing you like to do. Maybe it isn’t true if you are sitting around with a cooler of beer and a king-size bag of jerky. But if you are walking around to test out different spots, recasting your line, and (fingers crossed) reeling in a fish, you’ll have put your heart and lungs to work.

Teaches Self-Reliance

In our service-oriented economy we rely on others to perform all kinds of functions in our daily lives. Fishing puts you out in the wilderness and calls on you to master a variety of different skills. The more involved you get in the sport the more you’ll learn: from driving a boat to hunting down tackle.

This impromptu trouble shooting will spill over into your normal life. If you can fix your rod with just your ingenuity, what else can you do on your own?

Bestows Patience

In our world of over-stimulation and instant gratification, fishing puts your patience to practice. Unless you are extraordinarily lucky, you don’t just drop your line in and hook a fish. Some days (and even some trips) you go home empty-handed. But persisting makes you a more patient person, accepting of defeat but unwilling to quit.

M.J. Ryan, the author of “The Power of Patience,” explains that learning patience benefits health. Impatience causes stress, weakening your immune system and raising your blood pressure. Patience, meanwhile, makes you calmer and more content.

Encourages Travel

At HFR we promote travel whenever and to wherever you can. Travel expands the mind and makes life more fulfilling. Fishers are among the most accomplished travelers on the planet. Whether head to the Great Lakes for Walleye or Florida for Marlin season, you’ll get to see more of the planet with this hobby.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors

Fishing inspires a closer connection with nature and all the creatures in it. Fisher are tuned in to the harmonious ecosystems in coastal environments. They know all about the different fish that live in the water, the insects they eat, and their predators. The exposure to fresh air, sun, and being on the water has numerous health benefits.

Improves Balance

As anyone who has ever reeled a catfish in to a canoe can tell you, fishing requires some acrobatic maneuvers. Balance requires core strength and benefits flexibility, both of which help offset backpain.


  1. My dad has always loved fishing, and I was curious if it did anything for his health. It’s crazy that it can actually boost your immune system. Since my dad’s birthday is coming up, we were going to give him a fishing trip. It sounds like it would be really good for him.

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