6 Fitness Benefits of Climbing
Climbing is a popular activity undertaken by a wide variety of people. Climbing presents a huge range of health benefits that work together to keep you fit and well.
Take a look at the list below for some reasons as to why that is, and see if climbing might be for you!
It’s for everyone
Anyone can start rock climbing. It’s often seen as a highly athletic sport, but technique is more important than physical strength. However, the more you climb, the more physically fit you will become. Age also isn’t necessarily a factor – some walls are designed for children as young as five, and people often continue to climb well into their later years.
It’s an all-round workout
Climbing really does work pretty much everything. There are obvious strength benefits for your fingers, shoulders and arms, but your back, abdominals and legs will also get a thorough workout. Climbing will also boost stamina as well as strength. Climbing is also a good cardiovascular workout and comes with all the benefits that brings, such as reduction in the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Climbing requires you to achieve all kinds of different positions that will mean reaching and stretching, so it’s also great for increasing flexibility.
It’s a social activity
Climbing is rarely – and often shouldn’t be – undertaken alone. It most usually requires at least a partner, though climbing groups are common. You’ll develop strong bonds with those you climb with, as the exercise takes trust and good communication.
It’s good for the mind as well as the body
Climbing is all about technique and problem-solving, not just brute strength. As such, it gets your mind working as much as your muscles. Climbing takes patience and planning – beginners will typically work out their climbs as they go, but as people become more practised, they tend to map out their route before their ascent even begins. It’s also good for mental health – as with all exercise, climbing can boost mood and reduce stress. This can be due to the physical exertion releasing endorphins, or because climbing allows individuals to set their own goals and work towards them, giving a sense of achievement. It can also boost self-esteem and improve confidence in one’s ability to rise to challenges.
Goals are individual and measurable
Everyone who starts climbing can choose what their goal will be. Most climbing walls are designed with multiple levels of challenge by providing different routes to suit different abilities. However, nothing is demanded of anyone, so each climber can decide on their own personal goal. It’s also easy to measure improvement and success.
It’s easy to get started
Most places that have a climbing wall will also have all the necessary equipment available to hire, such as climbing shoes (though some places allow trainers) and harnesses. Special clothing isn’t necessary as long as you are comfortable and unrestricted. As you really get into it you may want to purchase your own equipment, but to start with everything you need will be provided.