How Older Anglers Can Maintain Their Fitness
Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities among Americans aged 55 years and older, with more than 11 million of them going on a fishing trip at least once per year, according to a report by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. There are many reasons why American seniors love fishing; it’s a great way to get outdoors, relax in a naturally calming environment, and spend quality time with loved ones. It also has been shown to boost the immune system as well as improve cardiovascular health. While there’s a lot of sitting and waiting involved when fishing, it does require a good level of physical fitness to be able to cast properly, maintain balance, and reel in a catch. If you’re an older fisherman or you’re planning to start fishing, here’s how to achieve and maintain the required fitness levels.
Strength training exercises
You need to strengthen your muscles to increase your body’s ability to withstand the trauma that you’re likely to experience when fishing. All the lunging, jumping, and wading through water or mud with a backpack full of gear can cause shearing forces to your ligaments, leading to painful injuries that force you to take a break from fishing. While choosing your strength training exercises, keep in mind that what matters most is the number of reps you can do, not the amount of weight you’re using.
As such, avoid the temptation of doing useless isolation exercises that only increase muscle size in a certain area and instead focus on doing strength training exercises that boost your endurance and make it easier to keep casting and reeling in your catches for as long as you need to. Some of the strength training exercises you can do include deadlifts, lunges, weighted front squats, and kettlebell swings.
Following a proper diet
Any amount of exercise is useless if you’re not backing it up with a proper diet that suits your unique needs as an angler. First of all, protein-rich foods such as the fish you catch are key to support your workout routine and repair worn-out muscles and tissues after a day of fishing. Carbs are also important to provide the strength you need to endure a day of fishing.
However, try to minimize your intake of simple carbs such as white rice or white bread and instead eat complex carbs such as oatmeal or wholegrain rice. Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts are loaded with protein and fat making them a perfect snack for your fishing trip. You can also take various supplements to get the nutrients that are lacking in your diet. For example, calcium supplements can help you build stronger and more resilient muscles while vitamin B12 supplements can boost your cognitive health and energy. However, before trying any supplements, consult with your doctor or a registered nutritionist for advice on which supplements are right for you based on your unique dietary requirements.
Core-strengthening and balance exercises
Balance and core strengthening exercises are key if you want to be able to stand on the deck of your boat for long hours as you wait for the fish to take the bait, especially when fishing in fast water. The core is needed for almost every movement of your body and is especially important for initiating and stabilizing various body movements you do when fishing. Deep abdominal exercises are vital for preparing your body for the rotational forces involved in casting and working lures for sustained periods. On top of that, a strong core protects your spine ensuring that you remain strong and injury free even when engaged in a tough battle with a fish below your boat. Planks, cross-body crunches, and traditional sit-ups are great core exercises you can try.
Any form of exercise is better than none at all if you want to be more comfortable on the water. Once you get in shape and maintain a proper exercise routine, injuries and soreness after fishing trips will be a thing of the past, and you’ll be able to fish all day long without breaking a sweat.