January 6th, 2003

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

The Fit Flyfisher
By Mike Flagg (Mike MT)

Fly fishers; in general, believe their sport to be an easy, relaxing way to escape the grind of everyday life. While it is an escape, it's seldom easy. We push ourselves harder than we ever would at work because, well, this is different. This is fly fishing!

We walk for miles lugging a vest loaded down with every gadget and fly box we own - just in case, wade tough - sometimes treacherous - currents, cast over and over again without ever giving a thought to proper body mechanics, and to top it off we seldom, if ever, take any food or water with us, that would just be more stuff to carry.

All this extra exertion without the proper fluids and nutrients is quite a shock to a body; generally resulting in pain, stiffness, and fatigue. We'll discuss nutrition, hydration, body mechanics, first aid, and a few other items later, right now let's go over some ways to get in shape for the coming season. What, now? Yes, now!

First of all it's important to understand you don't need to be Lance Armstrong or Arnold Schwarzenegger to fly fish; far from it. In most cases all that's needed is some light off-season cardiovascular conditioning to get the most from your outings without the lingering side effects.

First, diet is just as important as exercise. Meals should be regularly scheduled and consist of a small portion of meat with the majority of the plate filled with veggies, preferably steamed or raw. Snacking is okay, just try to make it something healthy like fruits. Try it for a week and see how much better you feel.

Go for a walk with your spouse a few times a week. They'll love you for being romantic, you'll get some exercise, shed a few unwanted pounds, and it's a great cure for cabin fever. Bring your heart rate up gradually but don't over do it, you're not running a marathon.

Get on a light aerobic program like skiing, ice skating (when's the last time you did that?), swimming, racquetball, speed walking, jogging, etc…consult your healthcare professional if you not sure of a program best suited to you.

Become involved in a tying and/or fishing club in your area. If there isn't one, start one. Conditioning the mind is just as important as conditioning the body. You'll keep focused, fuel your desire for better health, make new friends, and have a ton of fun!

The point is do something physical this winter in addition to restocking your fly boxes. Your body will thank you. And that relaxing day fishing this coming season will be just that…relaxing. ~ Mike MT

About Mike:

Michael Flagg is a Total Body Modification Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, Neuromuscular Therapist, and Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. He lives in Kalispell, Montana.


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