Why should I Climb?
So you have friends that climb at the local gym or the crags and they keep inviting you to climb with them. Once or twice you’ve thought about joining them but what’s in it for you? What are the benefits of rock climbing?
Rock climbing is fast becoming one of the most popular sports in the world and most everyone can climb. There are no age restrictions and no predefined fitness levels required for this activity. All you have to do is find the local gym or crag, partner up and give it a try.
Below we discuss the benefits of rock climbing that will certainly make an improvement to many facets of your life.
THE BENEFITS OF ROCK CLIMBING
- Increases your muscle tone and strength. While you are climbing you engage many different muscle groups – your forearms, back, core (abdominal muscles) and legs. You will develop and maintain strength the more you climb.
- The more you climb the better your fine (hand eye co ordination) and gross (the body, arm and leg co ordination) motor skills will become. These skills are especially important for a child’s development to help them perform everyday skills from kicking a ball to writing. As adults get older motor skills slowly decline. Exercise or physical activity has been proven to delay the decline of motor skills but also improves motor skills in older people significantly.
- Climbing will increase your visual perception. While climbing you need to see routes, determine your path and distances between holds and adjust as needed.
- Your cardiovascular health will improve. While climbing, more blood will flow from your heart to the rest of your body. Improved blood flow will help lower your blood pressure an prevent cardiac disease.
- You will become more flexible. When you are climbing you will find yourself stretching to reach grips and holds, this in turn improves your flexibility.
- By improving the above mentioned skills you will increase and refine your speed, agility, co ordination, balance and overall health.
- Climbing increases problem solving abilities. While you are climbing you need to use your problem solving abilities to maneuver from one hold to another.
- By climbing you reduce stress. When you exercise the body releases the feel good hormone endorphin and reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
- Your mind will be more focused. Climbing requires you to focus on on where you are and what you are doing constantly. Many climbers use climbing as a form of meditation as they can only focus on the present moment.
- No two climbs are ever the same, you can choose different routes and different methods climbing. You are always challenged and will give you ambition to improve yourself.
- Climbing can reduce your symptoms of depression, anxiety and even PTSD.
- You become more sociable. When rock climbing you will often need a partner to spot or belay you. Many climbers are always looking for partners to climb with, learn from or teach.
- Climbing improves communication skills. When you are climbing or belaying/spotting someone you need to communicate clearly and effectively to prevent falls and accidents.
- When climbing with someone else you develop trust. Trust allows one to develop and maintain healthy relationships. This is especially important for children that are fearful or distrustful.
other benefits of rock climbing
You can climb virtually anywhere, in any season and at any age. Indoor climbing gyms can be utilised year round, and when outdoors you can rock climb in summer and ice climb in winter.
You will find yourself in amazing spaces when you climb outdoors. Crags are found in beautiful places in nature and you will find yourself looking at familiar rock formations from a different perspective.
Lastly, you are never too old or too young to climb. Babies and toddlers are curious by nature and love climbing on, through and up things and they can be taught how to climb safely. Older adults can also benefit and enjoy the benefits of rock climbing (perhaps not like a sprightly 20 something but that shouldn’t stop them.