Is Rock Climbing Good Exercise? Health Benefits of Rock Climbing


Rock CLimbing Exercises

Introduction

Staying fit and healthy is perhaps the foundation for long-lasting life. By exercising frequently, not only are you making your bones stronger and growing your muscles, but you are also sharpening your mind. Repeatedly going through exercise helps your mind nail down tasks. Strength and endurance are the important byproducts of exercising. When you start exercising frequently, you gain physical and mental strength. Continuing to exercise will help you build your endurance, which is the key to getting tasks done throughout your life.

While there are several ways to exercise, you must stick to one form of exercising. Conventional methods such as hitting the gym and running yield great results. Indulging in a sport can help you improve your teamwork and add a dimension to your skillset. However, we find that no form of exercise can match the sheer all-around beneficial nature of rock climbing. Indulging in rock climbing will help you achieve goals, improve mental focus, build character, give you will, and help you become a part of a closely-knit community that will help you overcome great obstacles.

But what is rock climbing? How exactly does this exercise benefit the human body? And where can you start? These are some burning questions that you might have asked yourself. In this article, we shall answer all these questions and show you why it is an exercise you should AYouimbing

Indoor rock climbing is the latest fad in the physical fitness industry. The reason for that is, it is easy to start. You do not need to be an elite athlete or have incredible upper body strength, or need any kind of equipment. Climbing is a sport that appeals to virtually everyone. People of all age groups and skill levels can start rock climbing, almost immediately. All you need to do is show up at your local indoor rock climbing gym, chalk your hands and start scaling a wall!

So Is Rock Climbing Good Exercise? Rock climbing is a great exercise for those that are just venturing into the world of fitness and it is not just limited to rookies and novices. Elite athletes and veterans also partake in rock climbing to improve and challenge themselves.

So what can you expect when you get to an indoor rock climbing center?

Firstly, you will be greeted by walls filled with wedges of different shapes, sizes, and colors. It is through these wedges that you can scale the wall. You have to grip these wedges with your hands and feet to reach the summit. Before you start a climb, you will need a few things, a pair of shoes, a harness, and a bag of chalk. The harness is for those that have never rock climbed before and the chalk is to help you grip the wedges.

While we have made the exercise sound easy, do not be fooled. Rock climbing will test your physical and mental strength. To reach the top of a wall, you will be working out your upper and lower body thoroughly. Every climb you make requires you to keep your focus on the task at all times. You will also be challenged each time you make a climb.

This may sound daunting if you are going to an indoor rock climbing center alone, but do not be afraid. The rock climbing community is quite an encouraging one. Climbers are very supportive, they will help you reach your goals and look forward to what lies ahead. So even if you are a rookie, you will find a bunch of people who want to see you grow.

Perhaps, this overview is not definitive enough to persuade you. If you need more reasons, the sections below will break down the exact benefits of rock climbing, both physical and mental. It will also show you how this exercise can help you meet a bunch of like-minded people.

Physical benefits

You are here because let’s face it, you want to exercise and become physically fitter. We as human beings are very result driven and it is important to understand the physical benefits of rock climbing. However, there is no cause for worry, rock climbing is one of the most physically demanding sports and you will have plenty of results to show once you start this grueling exercise. When you begin rock climbing you will get:

A full-body workout

Climbing a wall will take a toll on your body. It works out every single muscle in your body. Apart from putting your muscles to work, it is also a superb cardiovascular exercise. Rock climbing is an intense calorie burner. The exercise burns as many calories as you would if you indulged in spinning, High-Intensity Interval Training, or resistance workouts. While the aforementioned examples are only cardio-specific, rock climbing is not. Climbing helps in muscle building as well as in increasing stamina and endurance. Every time you decide to climb a wall, you are working out your whole body. The best part? You will never get bored when you climb.

Get stronger

Apart from exerting a lot of force, you are also working against gravity when you climb a wall. It is a very intensive exercise. We can talk volumes about the work that one needs to put in, however, it is simply better for anyone to experience it first hand. Despite the sheer physical force required, there is no need for anyone to possess great upper body strength.

You do not need to have huge arms or big shoulders. In fact, a lot of muscle might even be detrimental over the long run. You will, nonetheless, be working for all your muscle groups simultaneously. Each day you climb, you will become stronger. The science backs this up.

According to research, every time you engage in activities that require more muscles to complete the exercise, you are getting stronger. Conclusively, you are going to get stronger without having to pump iron at a gym.

Climbing is not all about upper body strength. The mark of a great climber does not hinge on their upper body strength, and they certainly do not look ripped or jacked. You need a lot of core strength to scale walls. The key is to stay parallel to the wall and the only way to do it is through sheer core strength. As you start rock climbing and move on to more challenging setups, you will notice that your climbing ability is directly proportional to your core strength. Walls that angle out and go over your head require tremendous core strength to scale.

There is also the matter of using your legs. We did say rock climbing was a full-body exercise. Experienced climbers often use their legs as much as they use their upper body. Your legs can help you pivot and push off from certain spots. When you push with your legs and pull with your arms, you will not get tired too quickly. You will be able to scale more walls and climb for longer when you use your arms and legs in tandem.

Improved balance and coordination

While your body gets stronger, rock climbing also helps you improve your balance and coordination. Climbing helps you build better motor skills. Most importantly, it helps improve your hand-eye coordination to a great extent. You need to stay balanced, coordinated, and conserve energy. By being fully aware of your body, keeping your breath in control, and your core muscles stable you will improve your balance.

While climbing you also need to keep a close eye on the path that you are following. You need to watch where you came from and where you are headed. Doing so will help you maintain rhythm and focus more on accomplishing the task. Often, we will see new climbers exhaust themselves because they are not fully attentive. The key is to focus and so everything step by step. Rock climbing is an exercise that conditions your whole body, from head to toe!

Mental benefits

You might already be thrilled about the physical benefits of rock climbing, but wait till you hear about its mental benefits. Rock climbing offers numerous mental health benefits. Every time you set out to tackle a course, chances are you will not take the same path. This is because your brain wants to challenge itself and every time you take on a new course, the sheer adrenaline rush is unmatched. Rock climbing works out your brain as much as it works out your body, with rock climbing you will be able to:

Kick boredom away

These days we are conditioned to receive almost immediate hits of dopamine. The abundance of social media has corrupted us and we are finding almost anything and everything boring. Traditional exercises such as jogging are ridiculously monotonous. Rock climbing on the other hand is a completely different thing altogether.

Every time you climb, you will never get bored. The real challenge with rock climbing is to figure out how to conquer the wall. The mental stimulation is quite frankly brilliant. You will set out for each climb and immediately get to problem-solving. You will be challenging and asking where to put your hands and feet next, and at the same time, you have to maintain balance. Each time you climb up, you are only competing against yourself. Every time you climb you are going to have fun and you will learn to handle pressure. The environment around an indoor rock climbing session is very encouraging. All the more reason to start today!

Help with depression

It is no secret that people today are feeling the effects of depression and anxiety more than ever. These mental health diseases can be disastrous for the health of the individual. Exercising is one of the best tools that can help you overcome depression. Through climbing, you will be focused on the task at hand. You are required to make quick decisions on the fly, make immediate plans for the ascent, determine if the route you are taking is viable, and so much more.

Every minute you spend on the wall, you are making decisions and reinforcing the neural pathways in your brain that will improve your mental functioning. More importantly, climbing is an intensive activity that will help you deviate your focus from the more sinister thoughts in the mind.

There have been numerous studies that show the positive effects of rock climbing on mental health. It is known to reduce symptoms associated with depression, will improve coping mechanisms, and reduce anxiety. It is shown to do all these far better than any other physical activity. The sheer mental focus and will be required to scale a wall is great for the mind. Rock climbers often report feeling more in command of their decisions and have control of their outcomes as they go through the challenges of a climb, one after the other.

Fight the fear of failure

We all have fears in life and none as striking or as alarming as that of failure. We all have an inherent fear of failure, even in the smallest of tasks, we do not want to put a foot wrong. No matter the worry in your mind, whether it is the fear of failure for a big test or a project at work, exercising is one thing that will alleviate stress. Rock climbing itself is quite difficult, scaling a wall is a daunting task. However, the nurturing nature of the sport means you will not feel bad to fail. In fact, you will be able to use failure as a learning experience. Each time you fail here, you will immediately look to try and use a different strategy. Rock climbing is a forgiving sport and through this, you will be able to accept the inevitable failure in life and instead use it as a springboard.

Social benefits

While exercising might not seem like the most conventional way to socialize, you will be surprised to learn that rock climbing fosters a great community of individuals. Forget bars and cafes, meeting people through rock climbing is a way better alternative. Not only will you be able to bond on a shared love for fitness, but you will also meet incredibly encouraging people. Through rock climbing, you will be able to:

Meet new people

Like we discussed earlier, rock climbing is a great way to meet people. It is a very social exercise, unlike other forms. Here collaboration and conversation are important for individuals looking to improve. The people you meet when rock climbing are some of the friendliest you can find. You will find individuals who are helpful and will push you in the right direction.

For those of you with an ambitious nature, you will certainly find individuals with a competitive streak. As you progress, you will find yourself drawn to a group of people who share the same mindset as you. At the end of the day, you might even be routinely hanging out with them, outside your climbing sessions.

Connect with like-minded people

The advantage of rock climbing is that it is a very mentally stimulating sport. It also means that it takes a certain kind of individual to take it seriously as an exercise. Other sports do not have a specific requirement, where you have to fit into a mold.

Rock climbing introduces you to people who will help you achieve goals and cheer you on. The communities formed around indoor rock climbing gyms are very tightly knit. You will see everyone cheering on each other and pushing themselves to be better each day. Veterans will attest to this fact. They often preach that it is the right people that will make or break the experience. So when you step into your indoor rock climbing gym, try to get to know those around you a little better.

Having fun

Our society encourages us to engage in indulgent behavior. While going out for drinks is not necessarily bad and is a fundamental way to socialize, it is not exactly healthy either. Instead of drinking or hanging out at a cafe, you can go rock climbing. Instead, going for a climbing session together is a lot more fun. Taking part in these activities forges bonds that will last a lifetime.

Climbing together also helps you push each other and the benefit of supporting each other is unmatched. There are always new challenges when it comes to rock climbing and tackling these with your mates is something else altogether.

Conclusion

If you had never considered rock climbing as a sport, by now, the argument is quite compelling. Think of the sport as something of a personal challenge, it requires you to step outside your comfort zone and you should embrace that feeling. You will get fitter and stronger, each time you climb.

Once you scale a wall, you will find yourself immediately thinking of the next challenge. The feeling of scaling the wall is simply euphoric. Don’t take our word for it, go try it out for yourself and see how you’re feeling at the end!

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