5 Reason Why Veterans Need To Be Fishing

Filed Under Brain Injury, Combat PTSD, Dogs, Fishing Therapy, Military, Nature, PTSD, Service Dogs, Tears, Tears of a Warrior | Comments Off on 5 Reason Why Veterans Need To Be Fishing

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Guest Blog by Jon Sutton, Content Manager for Outdoor Empire

 

Author: Travis Pike, Outdoor Empire

Veterans are a unique group of people who face a variety of unique challenges in their lives. As unique as veterans maybe they do share the ability to benefit from an activity as old as civilization. We call it fishing. Here are 5 reasons why Veterans need to get out there and fish more.

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Getting Outside

Something as simple as getting outside and in nature can be a major benefit to your psyche and even your body. Getting outside doesn’t just mean walking out of your home, it means actually getting out in nature.

First, you get better air in the countryside than the city. There is no smoke, smog, or ground level ozone to worry about. As a veteran, you may have been exposed to harsh chemicals, and of course burn pits. Fresh air can help reduce the symptoms of most chronic respiratory illnesses.

You’ll also get a healthy dose of sunshine. Sunshine provides you with a blast of vitamin D, a vitamin associated with bone health. The average adult is likely vitamin D deficient, something I learned from my VA Doctor. A little sunshine can go a long way to long lasting health. That being said, don’t forget the sunscreen, you know what they say about too much of a good thing.

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Getting Physical

PT it’s good for you and good for me. With almost 80% of the veteran population being obese a little PT can likely go a long way. Most people may think of fishing as sitting in a chair and drinking a beer, but they’d be wrong. There is a big difference in fishing and getting buzzed in a boat.

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When you’re fishing you can be involved in any number of strenuous activities, including wading through water, paddling a kayak, and or hiking to a premier fishing location. That’s just to get to you to where you start fishing, from there you start working the shoulder and arms by casting over and over.

Plus, once you get a fish the cardiovascular activity starts as you fight that big boy to the boat or the shore. Watch any fishermen catch a keeper, and look how he sweats and struggles. It may not be as bad a Platoon Sergeant Death Run at 5 a.m. but it’ll get you huffing and puffing.

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Relax a Little

Ah, greeting the great outdoors with a fishing pole in one hand a tackle box in the other is an amazing way to relax. Veterans on average face the stress of everyday life, and with a high percentage of veterans facing stress, depression, and anxiety the ability to relax is sacred. Heck, just talking on the phone with the VA is enough to drive you mad.

Fishing has shown to reduce cortisol, a hormone associated with stress by over 30% for up to a month. A study by the University of Maine showed fishing reduced anxiety, stress, fear, and guilt by a substantial amount for up to 3 weeks in combat veterans.

On top of everything fishing reduces, time in the sunshine has proven to release a chemical known as serotonin. The theory is that serotonin improves moods and triggers happy thoughts.

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Keeps You Sharp

Young veterans face higher rates of TBI than the average population, which can result in reduced levels of cognitive ability. Let’s not forget that the Vietnam generation has reached an advanced age and with age often comes reduced cognitive function.

Fishing provides stimulation to the brain that engages a wide variety of different senses and forces fishers to use reasoning, and make logical assumptions. Fishing also boosts self-esteem and confidence.

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Cause Fish are Delicious

Everyone loves good food, that’s true. This may not be specific to veterans because fish is delicious. Fish is also packed with protein and is low in calories and cholesterol. It’s also full of healthy fats, like Omega 3 acids that help with joint health. Any infantry veteran will tell you their joints suck, so they need all the help they can get.

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See the Outdoor Empire original article for all the 11 health benefits of fishing.

by Tony Seahorn

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We often talk and write about spending time in nature as an important element of the healing process.

For those with Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD or more accurately PTS), finding solace in natural places helps us realize and appreciate the marvelous wonders of the world.

Following is a link to an article that appeared this weekend in Parade Magazine worth reading.

Living in awe…

Feeling Awe May Be the Secret to Health and Happiness

 

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