7 Health Benefits of Fishing | Get Healthy 2020

I’m giggling this morning as I look for a fishing photo for an article I’m working on and find an image of a friend looking at his GPS — not a fishing rod. Fishing is fun, but it’s more of an ice-fishing season than fly-fishing. However, I do plan to bundle up and bust out the dory to do some floating and fishing on the river.

This is a friend holding his Garmin Alpha GPS, which he uses to track his dogs. No, we were not fishing on this day.

Floating and fishing are a couple of my favorite past-times. My mother taught me to fish when I was around five-years-old. I probably learned to float at an even earlier age. The outdoors is a happy place where you’ll find health, smiles and adventure.

If you’re looking to fulfill your “I’m going to get healthy” or “I’m going to lose weight” resolutions, you may want to take your rod to the water and start casting a line.

In Colorado and New Mexico, we’re fortunate to have a variety of fishing opportunities at any given time of year. Anglers can head to streams, rivers and lakes to fish for various species of fish, but one of my favorites is hooking trout on the fly.

In Colorado, we have five species of trout, the Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, Brook and Lake Trout. New Mexico anglers will find the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Gila trout, brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout.

Health Benefits of Fishing

(This is a brief listing. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found other benefits.)

  • Gets you outdoors – Being in nature has measurable benefits to your health and happiness.
  • Boosts your immune system – These days more people are at risk of vitamin D deficiencies. The best place to find this nutrient, which aids in the absorption of immune-boosting minerals is outside. “Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It also occurs naturally in a few foods — including some fish.” (A note of caution, as you soak up a little vitamin D, remember to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.)
  • Increases body strength – The amount of strength an angler will develop depends on the type of fishing in which they partake. If you’re standing on a raft, rushing down the rapids of a river, you’ll use muscles to balance and cast. However, if you are ice fishing, which is generally looked at as a sedentary sport, you may have to drag your supplies for several yards or maybe miles to the perfect frozen spot on the lake, again using many muscles. If you only have to haul your tackle box and chair a few yards to sit and read a book, you’ll acquire less strength — unless you’re hauling in a huge sturgeon.
  • Aids in cardiovascular health – As I mentioned above, the measurement of heart rate will vary depending on your method of fishing, but ideally you’ll at least get your blood pumping when you set the hook.
  • Healthy meals – Fish are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and as mentioned above, a source of vitamin D. This benefit I share with caution because if you’re a Colorado fly-fisherman, you probably practice catch and release when fishing. However, if you’re looking for healthy, local-caught or raised, food, catching your own fish is a great place to go.
  • Teaches survival skills – There is huge reward in heading into the wild outdoors, to bring home our own food. Acquiring food is in our primal makeup. Learning to navigate the wilderness to a high-mountain stream, or to load the gear in our compact eco-cars to take the family fishing at a local reservoir is part of the rewarding work. Another benefit to our inner wild-self is the feeling of accomplishment when you learn to care for the fish, then prepare a savory meal to share at the table.
  • Promotes bonding with others – Whether you’re taking family or friends with you on your fishing trips or only sharing the rewards of your day on the water, you’ll have experiences, skills, and tales to share with others.

Now’s as good a time as any to pick up your fishing tackle and head to the water. If you haven’t learned to fish yet, go visit the local angling shop and ask for a day, a half-day, or other types of guided trips Learn as much as you can, and then make a plan to share the experience with others.

Maybe your state has something like this offered by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF)
*This is not a sponsored post

Need a New Year’s Resolution? Take the Trout Challenge!

Today, January 1, 2020, NMDGF has launched the New Mexico Trout Challenge (NMTC). This challenge, which is the first of its kind for New Mexico, will encourage anglers in our state to catch five of New Mexico’s trout species.

Anglers who choose to participate in the challenge will need to download the Powderhook application on their smartphone or tablet to track their progress. Information such as the lake or stream where the fish was caught, how much the fish weighs along with a picture of the fish are just a few examples of what will be required from anglers. For anglers who do not have a smartphone or tablet, there are alternative ways to enter this information including calling the Information Center at (888) 248-6866.

There is no time limit to complete the challenge and every angler that completes the challenge will receive an NMTC coin for bragging rights.

Who knows, maybe you will be the first person to complete the challenge and be on the list in the NMTC Hall of Fame. “This challenge will not only test the fishing abilities of trout anglers across the state, it will be a great way for fellow anglers to prove their skill and enjoy the variety of outdoor recreation opportunities New Mexico has to offer,” said Kirk Patten, chief of fisheries management for the Department.

The post Need a New Year’s Resolution? Take the Trout Challenge! appeared first on New Mexico Department of Game & Fish.


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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast. 

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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5 Replies to “7 Health Benefits of Fishing | Get Healthy 2020”

  1. I’ve grown to like the idea that I’ll be able to catch fresh fish and eat it on the same day that I caught it, so it might be a good idea to start fishing as my hobby. I think I’ll start by hiring a fishing charter to help me out so I’ll have access to great fishing spots. Since you mentioned that this will help me boost the minerals that I’m getting for my body because I’ll be outdoors, it seems like a great reason to start it.

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