There was a time when rock climbing was considered a sport for the bravest and the fittest. This time is long gone. Today rock climbing is everywhere, even kids are encouraged to practice it. And the reason for its popularity – the numerous benefits of rock climbing.
If you are new to rock climbing or even just looking for a new hobby, check out some of the reasons why you should give climbing a chance.
- 1 Physical benefits
- 2 Mental benefits
- 3 Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Rock Climbing
If you want to have fun while working out rock climbing might just be the sport you’re looking for. Climbing is combining the best of both cardio and strength exercises.
Total body workout
One of the major benefits of rock climbing is that it strengthens and tones all major muscle groups simultaneously. Reviews show that pro climbers have lower body fat percentages and lower body mass indexes.
Most affected in the process are the arms, shoulders, forearms, and thighs. After a while, you will also notice an impressive increase in your grip strength. During climbing, you actively engage your core, quads, and calves, while your arms and back are involved when you pull yourself up.
Even your neck muscles will tone up due to the constant looking around while looking for the best way to move forward.
To be able to execute most of the complicated movements you will need to increase your flexibility. It is especially needed when you want to reach for that handhold or foothold that is just a little too far.
If you don’t think you are flexible enough, however, this shouldn’t discourage you from taking up the sport. One of the many benefits of rock climbing is that it also helps you work on that same flexibility. If you still don’t feel comfortable you may want to do more stretches while warming up or trying a yoga class.
Becoming more flexible has great advantages in the long run as you are less likely to suffer from pulled muscles and other muscle related injuries.
Being a low impact cardio exercise rock climbing is suitable for both adults and children.
As a cardiovascular activity, rock climbing can be compared to jogging and stair climbing. Frequent climbing will improve your stamina and lower your resting heart rate. This, on the other hand, leads to a reduced risk of developing heart diseases and keeps the blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol in check.
Burn some calories
A Harvard study shows that an average person burns over 800 calories per hour while climbing upwards and nearly 600 calories per hour while rappelling. Such levels of calories burning are distinctive for only the most intensive forms of exercises, which makes rock climbing the perfect sport for you if you want to lose some extra weight.
Bad weather cannot stop you
In recent years rock climbing has become so popular that there are climbing gyms in almost every city. Bad weather may prevent you from conquering that cliff over the ocean but it is no excuse not to visit the local gym and enjoy all benefits of rock climbing to the fullest.
The benefits of rock climbing go way beyond keeping yourself in good shape. There are multiple mental benefits that are just as important as the physical ones.
There is a reason why the routes in bouldering are called problems. Good route planning is essential if you want to reach your goal. You also need to pick the best place to position your hands and feet, pick the right movement and the strength you need to involve, decide when is the perfect time to shift your weight to avoid falling.
All these on-the-go decisions will help you significantly improve your problem-solving skills.
Recent studies show that climbing releases norepinephrine, a neurochemical that reduces the levels of stress in your system. Combined with the higher levels of Vitamin D when climbing outdoors, rock climbing becomes the ultimate anti-stress pill.
On the other hand, when you start climbing the rest of the world disappears somewhere in the background. Climbing requires you to focus on the current moment and you just forget about your daily problems.
Climbing provides many opportunities to test the limits of your body and mind. Build your confidence by working towards more complex routes. Stand on the edge of your comfort zone and reach new heights to conquer your fears.
The most addictive part of rock climbing is that there is always a new challenge waiting. And with each new problem solved or tough hold reached you feel the satisfaction of success and believe you can do anything – on the rock, as well as in your life.
Make new friends
Whether you climb outside or at the gym sooner or later you will become part of the climbing community. Being part of this community will help you gain valuable insight to advance faster. Climbers are very social people that like to share beta, both at the gym or while having a beer.
Some types of climbing require that you climb together with a partner. When you climb with a partner you entrust your lives in each other and that creates a really strong bond.
After all, don’t forget that everything is more fun with friends around.
Climbing outside will take you to many places you most probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise. Take your time to enjoy the view, it’s a great excuse for a rest.
Being close to nature and seeing the world from a new birds-eye perspective, combined with the adrenaline and excitement will make even the hardest route worth it and will most probably leave you breathless and addicted.
Even when climbing indoors, once you reach your goal you will still feel the amazing sensation of being on top of the world.
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Rock Climbing
Rock climbing may not be the safest sport out there but it certainly is one of the most rewarding. Just look and the many and various benefits of rock climbing and you will see that these benefits outweigh the risks by a far.
Still, keep in mind that safety should always be your number one priority.