fisherman casting his line


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During the current pandemic, fishing has become more attractive as a pastime, not only as something to do during a socially distant lakeside vacation but as an activity worthy of a short getaway any weekend of the year. Even without the current requirement to avoid large crowds, fishing is a hobby worth pursuing. It's cheap, it's relatively easy to master the basics, and it can be capped off with a healthy dinner if your catch doesn't need to be thrown back into the water. But what should really inspire you to pack your tackle and pick up some bait is how good fishing can be for your health and mental sharpness. Really.

Related: 12 Outdoor Workouts Perfect for Social Distancing

Despite the cliche of the fisherman more focused on drinking beer than catching fish, fishing is actually decent exercise, burning 200 calories an hour. Casting off and winding in small fish requires strength, while hooking a big guy works your shoulders, back, arms, core, and legs. Want to add some cardio? Park your car 15 minutes away from your fishing hole of choice and you'll be adding a longer walk to your day.

It's not only a way to feel the burn. According to one study, simply being by a body of water reduces heart rates and stress levels, and being outside gives you a Vitamin D boost, even if it's overcast. Even better, the British Journal of Sports Medicine says being outside and aware of what's around you (as you do when you're fishing) can improve your ability to concentrate. 

So the next time you're thinking about heading outdoors, grab your fishing rod. Even if you don't catch much (or anything), you'll likely be healthier for spending some time fishing.  

Related: 40 Under-The-Radar Boating Destinations

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