December 7, 2022

Stressed Out? Fishing And Kayaking Are Proven To Improve Your Mental And Emotional Health

Water sports equipment

What do you consider a successful fishing trip? Is it one where you land a catch big enough to earn you bragging rights on Facebook or is it a few hours of pure, unfiltered relaxation time after a long workweek? Whatever reason you turn to fishing, it doesn’t help to have the right equipment to increase your chances of having a good time. Whether you prefer to go for a fishing SUP to stay active or are just wondering what kind of fishing coolers you should have in the back of your boat, there’s something for everyone on the open water.

How Many People Go Fishing?

The United States is home to hundreds of different outdoor activities. This is partially due to a large and varied population and partially due to America’s naturally diverse landscape, creating an environment that’s just begging to be explored. The number of fishermen and anglers is at an estimated 50 million, with youth participants totaling 10 million per year for fishing trips and expeditions. Fishing is often considered to be a highly relaxing sport as well as a great way to reconnect with friends, though some prefer to go the more active route and will purchase a fishing SUP to tackle more tumultuous waters.

How Many People Go Kayaking?

Regular fishing not your style? Consider kayaking. The year 2015 saw at least 10% of paddle fishermen stating they will go kayak fishing two to five days out of the year, achieving both the zen of fishing and the rigorous exercise of kayaking through a river or ocean. Kayaks have been around for an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 years — the Inuit, Yup’ik and Aleut people of the Arctic Circle and its surrounding fringe have been crafting kayaks for many a century, with the word ‘kayak’ originating from an Inuit term meaning ‘hunter’s boat’.

What Kind Of Kayaks Do People Prefer?

There are a multitude of different kayaks for you to choose from. July of 2015 saw around 30% of paddle fishermen reporting their preference being a sit-inside kayak while they were fishing, with 70% instead going for a sit-on top kayak. A recreational sit-in kayak model is around 12 feet long, considered comparable in size to a typical sit-on-top, and has both a broader beam and a bigger cockpit than your average touring model.

What Are The Physical Health Benefits?

For those looking to get fit and healthy, you can’t go wrong with a fishing SUP or kayaks for fishing. The constant arm movement needed to move a kayak back and forth is well-known for cultivating strong upper-arm muscles as well as a healthy heart, ideal for people of all shapes and sizes looking to bolster their physical health on top of enjoying the great outdoors.

What Are The Mental Health Benefits?

Feeling stressed lately? Kayaking and fishing may be your meal ticket to a more relaxed mind. A 2009 study found that fishing can actively lower symptoms of PTSD (short for post-traumatic stress disorder) as well as improve the mood of those suffering under stress and trauma — a mere three days of fly fishing had participants reporting a 32% reduction in guilt as well as a 43% decrease in feelings of hostility. Of the 9% of Americans currently considering taking up fishing as a hobby, nearly 40% are interested in doing so as a means of reducing their daily stress.

Which Sport Should I Do?

When it comes down to becoming more fit, bolstering your mental health and getting something delicious for the dinner table? You just need to get started. Over 38 million Americans went on kayak fishing outings back in 2014 and this number is expected to remain steady for years to come, so rest assured you’re far from alone on your personal journey toward a better you. Buying the top rated fishing kayaks or a fishing SUP can be available at your local water sports equipment store, with used models offering a good balance between price and quality. Ready to get out onto the open water? The world is your oyster.

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