11 Reasons Why You Should Try Rock Climbing Now

By James
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Everyone Can Do It

Rock climbing is very different from other popular sports. You don’t necessarily need to be young, old, tall or short to be a great rock climber. Sure, there may be factors that predispose you to the sport, like a background in gymnastics,, but generally speaking, anyone can excel at rock climbing. Some of the strongest climbers in the world range from about 13 to 35 years old. Climbing is truly a very inclusive and enjoyable sport.

You can improve quickly.

Rock climbing is a sport that allows you to easily track your improvements. There are so many skills to acquire and muscle groups to strengthen that you can always be improving something. This sport is very rewarding for beginners all the way to the elite, professional climbers.

It’s Rewarding

There is no better feeling than the sense of accomplishment that you feel when you finally reach one of your goals.  The harder it was to reach that goal, the greater the sense of accomplishment.  That is the essence of climbing.  You find your challenge, study the route, figure out the movements, and then climb to the top, where you take a moment to savor that sweet taste of well-earned victory.

It’s a confidence boost that keeps you coming back, leading to fast improvements in a short amount of time. The enthusiasm and satisfaction of climbing a wall without falling will make you want to try harder levels every time you go back, making it feel like an addiction to self-improvement.  So, if you find yourself motivated by challenges, you’ll probably enjoy climbing.

Help overcome fear of failure

Believe it or not, climbing can help you overcome your fear of failure.  As you walk around a climbing gym, one thing you’ll notice is that everyone is falling…constantly.  It’s normal.  It’s part of the fun.  Once you learn that failure isn’t something to fear but instead something to overcome, you seek harder challenges.  It is this process that  helps you overcome fear of failure.  So try out climbing, overcome your fear of failure, and talk to that person that you always wanted to speak to.    

It’s a full-body workout

Climbing a wall will work every muscle group in your body, and it’s also a fabulous cardiovascular workout. Climbers burn calories at a rate equivalent to high-intensity activities like spinning and resistance workouts. But unlike some other cardiovascular exercises, climbing integrates aerobic exercise with muscle building. That means you get a full-body workout every time you climb (and you won’t get bored while you’re doing it).

Improves balance and coordination

In addition to the benefits for your heart and muscles, climbing will also improve motor skills, balance and coordination. That’s because successfully navigating the various hand- and footholds on the wall requires meticulous eye-hand-foot coordination, balance, and stamina. You have to pay attention to your breathing and your core muscles (which are essential for balance) as well as watching where you came from, where you are, and where you’re going. Simply put, climbing is a total body exercise that increases power from your head to your toe.

Banishes exercise boredom

If you get bored out of your mind jogging around your block (or even worse, pounding it out on the treadmill), you’ll love the mental stimulation and challenge of climbing.  Climbing is way more fun than exercising on any gym equipment. It works both your mind and body. Best of all it trains you to be creative and think out of the box.  It’s also an ongoing competition with yourself as you aim to improve your performance.  Climbing is fun and challenging, and it helps you learn to handle pressure in a supportive, low-risk environment.

Socialize

Rock climbing, especially in a gym, is a very social sport.  There’s plenty of down time while you’re resting between climbs, so it’s very easy to meet other people if you hang out at climbing gyms. Unlike more competitive sports or gyms, climbing promotes collaboration and conversation. As you tackle new challenges, there will be people climbing alongside you and people willing to help if you get into a jam.  So, if you’re looking for a workout partner or maybe just a diverse group of friends, go hang out at your local climbing gym. You’re bound to meet some amazing people.

Positive mental benefits

We all know the mental benefits of exercise. It increases mood-related hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. A 2015 study in Germany tested gym climbing’s effect on depression and found a significant improvement in symptoms in those who climbed regularly.  Climbing teaches you how to stay in the present moment.  “You have to be mindful and focused on the moment. It does not leave much room to let your mind wander on things that may be going on in your life — you have to focus on not falling.”  

Stimulates the mind

Climbing is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one.  Bouldering routes are called “problems” for a reason.  The climb presents you with a puzzle that you solve through body movements and different techniques in order to reach the top.  The route may require fancy footwork, a strong core, contact strength, or just the ability to go for a hold that seems well out of your reach.  There’s often more than one way to do it, and people of different heights, sizes, and skills will end up completing a route totally differently–so one person’s beta (ie, method) might not work for you. Every route is a unique puzzle!

Feeds your craving for adventure

If you’re craving adventure or excitement, then rock climbing is definitely the activity for you. Whether you’re bouldering in the gym just 5 feet off the ground or sport climbing 60 feet off the ground, this sport will definitely give you a rush of adrenaline.

According to Emory University neuroscientist Dr. Michael Davis, sports that involve more fear or excitement cause your body to release more endorphins, dopamine, and norepinephrine — neurotransmitters that are more powerful than cocaine, speed, and morphine. Once you get a taste of the excitement, you might be hooked on climbing for life!