More specifically, indoor rock-climbing. I’m sure outdoor rock-climbing has all the same benefits if not more, but I have yet to experience that so i’ll stick with what I know for sure.
Here are some of the numerous benefits you can expect when you embark on your rock-climbing journey.
- Physicality: Rock climbing is basically vertical yoga. Not only are a lot of the moves very similar, but climbing also teaches you to use your breath just like yoga does. It also trains your muscular endurance, forearm strength, finger dexterity and strength, flexibility in hips and shoulders, and abdominal strength to name a few.
- Breath-work: It’s one of those sports that if you don’t master your breath, then you’re done for. Your muscular endurance will be drained quickly, you’ll feel “pumpy” and gassed out if you don’t breath appropriately. It can be viewed as a form of moving meditation.
- Builds resiliency and problem-solving: Not only can it be referred to as vertical yoga, but it has also been called physical math. Every time you go you set your sites on a different route/problem, then you figure out how to move your body to get to the top. You figure out how to position your fingers, your feet, your hips in order to solve the problem. Whether it’s top-rope climbing (harnessed, higher heights) or bouldering (unharnessed, lower heights, protective mats), you will encounter routes and problems that force you to step your game up until you succeed.
- Showing off: If you’re a show pony, then you are in luck. More so in bouldering, the amount of people that will watch you do routes and cheer you on is pretty fun. There’s a friendly sense of competition and brotherhood that can bring the best out of you. Not to mention that making videos of yourself climbing with your shirt off will always tick the significance box, but i’d pace yourself on those.
- Growth: It is a great sport/activity for seeing improvement and self-growth. Unlike other sports or hobbies, in rock-climbing you can see improvement almost immediately. On your first day of climbing you will find yourself being stumped both mentally and physically by different routes/problems. But as a couple days of climbing go by, you will see that your finger strength and problem-solving skills are improving at a considerable rate. There is a very fast learning process that is great for people who like to see results.
- Community: I would challenge you to find an activity that incites more passion, sense of community, and a thirst for discussion than rock-climbing does. It is a SUPER addicting sport, and most people will become very entrenched into the lifestyle.
- Activity for children: For kids, it is remarkably beneficial. For starters, being lightweight and nimble is such an asset in climbing. Many times in the climbing gym ill see an 11 year old girl doing things that most 25 year old males can’t. And being so light also means that when you do fall, the impact is much less and there’s less chance for injury. It teaches kids how to fail. And more importantly, it teaches them how to succeed after failure. Trying certain routes and falling off, learning from it and figuring out the solution with their body and mind. The joy and sense of accomplishment on their faces is cool to see.
Hopefully this list is enough proof to at least spark your curiosity because it really can be life-changing for not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.