Burning Calories Fishing Style


By Lisa Leath Turpin, Health & Wellness Coach

Fitness Lisa TurpinAny movement and activity is good. Especially the kind we LOVE, like fishing! Improve strength, drop unwanted pounds, and increase your positive and emotional outlook. That’s what we all want. I encourage people to be active in any way because inactivity is the worst thing you can do to yourself.

Let’s take an activity that is so near and dear to our “Destin Life,” and, in honor of the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo, take a look into the possible benefits of FISHING.

Depending on what type of fishing you do, it can actually burn far more calories than you expect. There is an active and inactive part to fishing. Take into account how much you are moving, the strength it takes, the muscles used, etc. Below are some rough calorie estimates for various styles of fishing.

In our area, a popular fishing activity is Shore Fishing—the least active, therefore the least calories burned—between 75-100 cal/hr. This will also most likely be the case for bay or boat lure, sit and wait, fishing. You may be able to bump calorie expenditure up a bit if using live bait instead of lures.

Kayak & Paddleboard Fishing is growing in popularity. I believe it’s the increase of active people looking for the extra challenge. The benefits of this style of fishing go way beyond calorie burning. Most of the expenditure comes from the act of kayaking or paddling and is probably the fishing activity where the calories are more consistently burned per hour (less idle time). It’s estimated between 300-500 cal/hr. Core stability, full body strength, balance, endurance all play a huge part.

King MackeralDeep Sea Fishing is a biggie! During active fishing, you can burn upwards of 800+ cal/hr. Those of you who are regular fishermen, either by trade or sport, know the energy, effort, struggle and MUSCLE it takes to reel in any fish of any substantial weight, but think of the large meaty groupers, various beautiful bill fish, colorful mahi-mahi, and the like. So, depending on the duration and intensity of your catch and how many you catch in that outing, you can reely get in a good day of exercise! Remember, though, the aspect of beer drinking, which will negate the calorie burning benefits.

Since we are all unique, individual caloric expenditure will vary, but the variety of muscle groups needed to lure in that beauty is not just forearms and wrist. Core muscle strength in the low back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders and arms, especially biceps, are extremely important. Your ankles, calves and legs are used for stability and power. There’s hardly any part of your body not affected when the exciting bite comes to your line. If your muscles are not conditioned for this catch, you might lose it, and it could become just a tale of “the one that got away.” Even worse, you could hurt yourself, and my first guess is it’ll be your low back or shoulders, maybe a torn bicep.

Do you want to become a more competitive angler? Show off to friends or increase tournament shape? You can practice fishing techniques. But adding an exercise program and healthy diet to the mix can really bump up your success, making it more fun with fewer struggles. Try pushups, lunges, rowing, back extensions, calf raises, leg raises, ab twists, curling torso movements, planks, bicep curls and cardio. The rowing machine would be an excellent choice, along with twisting exercises to train the core. While reeling in your dream catch, try to engage your abs, thighs and glutes to protect your spine.

For many, fishing is also a great way to relax, reduce stress and improve mental focus! Staying in shape will help you bring home the fish instead of the tales! Be Active, Stay Active and Enjoy Life! #saltlife, #beactive850