Chances are that taking up either before your retirement will help you enjoy your golden years more.

There are of course many hundreds of different hobbies and pastimes that you could pursue, and you probably will want to try out a few new ideas. However, having a sport or hobby that you have been good at and can look forward to devoting more time than you have been able to when working is one of the good reasons for retirement.

Both golf and fishing are often recommended as they are both reasonably active outdoor pursuits that encourage the participant to go out and enjoy themselves. Golf appears on the face of it to be the better choice in this respect as it requires the participant to walk around a golf course at least getting fresh air and exercise, whereas the impression of a fisherman is often sitting by the lakeside bored, which is not so attractive.

This is not the case, a round of golf does require a reasonable walk of perhaps two miles or so when playing a round of eighteen holes. It is better exercise than none at all, but hardly as good even as walking the dog. On the other hand, walking a river while stalking an elusive fishy quarry can demand walks of many miles. Therefore, it is no good trying to judge the relative merits of either golf or angling by the amount of exercise either provides during your old age.

The next aspect to be considered is the effort that is required to undertake each. It will all depend on the locations visited and the approaches taken. But it is fair to say that golf can be a very gentle walk round a course, interspaced with spikes of activity when the golf ball is being hit with a wood or an iron. This is a stress point at which many people have been known to suffer heart attacks – and if you are fortunate enough to manage to make it round the course, then a regular couple of alcoholic drinks at the nineteenth hole will not improve your fitness. Again the criticism of golf in favour of fishing must be tempered. If your choice is spending long periods by the water, and then get a sudden huge unexpected bite, this can be just as stressful!

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