Rock Star July 29 2016

Be a Rock Star!

Originally thought of as a sport and skill only for elite mountain scalers, rock climbing has evolved into a popular leisure pastime for kids and adults, beginners and advanced.  There are literally different levels at which to train: 

Bouldering – rope-less climbs at lower heights, often in a gym above mats

Sport Climbing – using ropes, safety harnesses and shoe clips, you climb outside on a pre-marked route with rocks that have places in which climbers can clip in

Traditional Climbing – using safety gear, exploring unmarked routes

Whether outdoor on a mountain or indoor on a man-made wall, rock climbing allows you to rise to new physical and psychological heights.

Physical Benefits of Rock Climbing:

Toning Your Body – since you are using your upper body and core to maintain a steady grip and pull yourself up, your arms, shoulders, back and neck muscles will gain strength. And don’t discount your legs!  Your thighs, calves and glutes get a strenuous workout as they are your solid base.

Improving Your Endurance – like climbing stairs or jogging, climbing is a lower impact cardio that helps you build stamina and improve both your breathing and your heart rate.

Increasing Your Flexibility – climbing includes bendability, such as reaching trickily (I may have made up a word!) and lengthily, so several rock climbing gyms are adding yoga classes into their offerings.

Psychological Benefits of Rock Climbing: 

Improving Goal Setting – to climb higher, on rocks and in life, you must figure out what your goals are and then work to move towards them. This forces you to practice patience, preparation and planning.

Instilling Self-Awareness – you know the goals we talked about, you have to be focused on reaching them, and aware of the obstacles and opportunities around you. Climbing is considered to boost puzzle-solving skills and overall brain power!

Creating Confidence – in order to strive high, you have to have the belief that not only you can, but that you WILL reach the summit! Each new height is a new accomplishment to celebrate and you will gain the self-confidence to strive higher each time!

Relieving Stress – because you are so focused on your effort and environment, you don’t have time or brain power to think about anything else. I have the same experience when I go to Bingo – so focused on making sure I correctly daub every number called that I can’t worry about anything else! 

While climbing, like marathon racing, is seen as primarily a solo sport, it is actually quite social.  You can build trust and bonds with your climbing partner(s).  Sounds like it’s worth a try!