Let’s face it. We all know getting fit takes more than pounding it out on the treadmill (plus, how boring is that?). A balanced fitness plan needs to incorporate both cardio and strength workouts. And while you’re putting in the time, you should be having fun, too! If you’re looking for a workout that hits all three of those crucial goalposts, then it’s time to take a closer look at indoor rock climbing.
Why You Need Both Cardio and Strength Training In Your Workout
To keep your whole body healthy, you need to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your fitness routine every week. Why is that important? Because your body needs the benefits of both strength and cardio workouts to remain healthy – benefits like these:
- Cardio – Cardio workouts strengthen your heart and improve cardiorespiratory function. You’ll know you’re working hard enough when you start breathing hard and you can feel your heart pumping harder. Cardio workouts also burn calories and fat, promote better sleep, and build endurance. You won’t get tired out as quickly, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. Even better, a heart-pumping workout releases endorphins in your brain, which are the chemicals responsible for feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Want to feel better about life in general? Getting your heartrate up is a great place to start.
- Strength – Most people understand that regular cardio exercise is important (even if they don’t do it as often as they should), but what about strength? Is strength training just for body builders who want to bulk up? Absolutely not. Strength training helps your body maintain muscle over time. As people age, they naturally begin to lose muscle mass. Strength training helps prevent that. Building strength also helps your body look leaner, feel stronger, and build stronger bones. If you have a chronic condition or injury, strength training can help offset some of those effects. And if you are looking to add some bulk, you’ll get those benefits, too.
In order to get those benefits, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise each week. They also recommend that you do some kind of resistance or weight training to build strength at least twice a week.
Build Strength and Endurance on the Wall
If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot of time at the gym, we’ve got good news for you. Rock climbing can give you both types of workouts at the same time. One study found that experienced climbers parallelled moderately-paced runners in terms of heart rate and energy, and even inexperienced climbers meet recommended heart and energy guidelines for workouts. It’s like running an 8-11 minute mile, only without the pounding or the treadmill.
Rock climbing also builds strength throughout your whole body. As you pull yourself up with your arms, back, and shoulders, you’ll also be using your legs and core to push upward, maintain balance, and provide support.
Indoor rock climbing makes achieving those benefits even easier. With access to climbing walls year-round, you won’t have to worry about getting rained out or climbing in extremely hot or cold temperatures. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on reaching your goals and having fun while you work out.
If you’re looking for a way to experience all the benefits of cardio and strength training while challenging yourself in a brand new way, give indoor rock climbing a try. It’s the workout you’ve been looking for to boost endurance, build strength, and challenge your mental and physical limits.
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