Fitness, Fish & Friendship

By Shannon Latham

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in Week 9 of our Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge! Time flies when you’re keeping busy and staying active. The longer hours of daylight are also helping time pass more quickly in my opinion. Our goats have been more active since March came in like a lamb. I’m praying the weather continues to be mild when spring kids are born later this month and into April.

No matter the weather, I’ll be doing chores and staying active. Recently, I had the chance to join a group of ladies in rural Franklin County for a POUND® exercise class early on a Saturday morning. This full-body cardio session allows you to jam out while working out as though you’re playing the drums. It’s so much fun! You’ll also discover muscles, like hip flexors, that you never knew you had.

For three consecutive weeks in February, I traveled to visit Latham® dealers and customers across South Dakota. This amount of travel was interfering with my regular workout routine, so I had to find a way to overcome my excuses for not exercising. One way I did that was to reactivate my BeachBody on Demand® subscription. This allows me to download a series of 30-minute workouts that I can access from anywhere, as long as I have an internet connection. My online workout provides me with the flexibility to exercise in my motel room before my workday begins.

Not everyone would enjoy traveling north during the winter months, but I truly do. In fact, I volunteer for such trips because it’s like taking a walk down memory lane. When my dad was still working as a rural mail carrier, he would have President’s Day off and usually spent the day ice fishing. I would travel either to southern Iowa or northeast South Dakota to meet him and his buddies for a few days on the ice. Those fishing trips created some of my best memories!

This year on President’s Day I had the pleasure of fishing with Latham Regional Sales Manager James Keltgen and his father, Myron, who owns Lake Area Ag in Watertown, South Dakota. We met at 6:30 a.m., so we could fish a couple of hours before the workday began. Then we’d try to catch the late afternoon bite. Although I didn’t catch a trophy walleye, I at least got bragging rights for the first fish caught. I probably had the smallest catch of the day, too, but no one really wants to brag about that! (If you want to see some of James’ great catches, follow @jibberjam on Instagram.)

There are so many reasons I enjoy fishing. Fishing can help keep you fit. Choosing a fishing spot that’s a 10- to 15-minute walk from your truck provides some obvious aerobic exercise. Being outside also allows your body to stock up on Vitamin D. This nutrient helps keep bones and teeth healthy, plus it boosts our immune system and can help fight depression.   

Another way to fight off the sadness that can overshadow Midwesterners in winter is by connecting with people through shared interests like fishing. Fishing, whether inside an ice shack during winter or from a boat in the summer, allows you to share the company of others. One of my favorite activities is playing cards either in the ice shack when the fish aren’t biting or around the table in a cabin on a warm summer’s evening. Fishing also helps lower stress because you can unplug from cell phones and email. Plus, you get a chance to connect with others in your fishing party when you sit down to enjoy your fresh catch.

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Because we’re in the season of Lent and many Iowans are looking for a healthy alternative to fried fish on Fridays, I’m sharing with you a recipe for Poached Salmon with Herb and Caper Vinaigrette.

I got this recipe when I attended a cooking class in August 2018 on board a ship that was cruising Alaska. Salmon fishing in Alaska was on my Bucket List, and I got to enjoy it for a day in the salmon capital of the world. It was so much fun that I’d love to experience it again someday! In the meantime, I’ll relive wonderful memories each time I enjoy a salmon dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe, too.