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13 Benefits of Rock Climbing You Should Know

The rock climbing benefits are immense. You can lean the 13 benefits of rock climbing including physical, mental and social benefits of climbing in this article.

By Lane | @Lane

Updated on Aug 09, 2019

benefits of rock climbing

Do you ever want to exercise but don't want to do something boring and tedious? Walking and running can provide some exercise, but they certainly don't provide any stimulation or adrenaline rush. Rock climbing is a fantastic form of exercise and definitely gets your adrenaline flowing. The benefits of rock climbing are immense like no other. Perhaps you get exhausted after rock climbing, but you benefit more from the recreational and enjoyable sport if you take good instruction and safe equipment. Rock climbing is a sport that will make you stronger, more flexible, happier and more.

What is rock climbing?

Rock climbing is a great sport and exercise. In short, it involves climbing up a steep or steep cliff edge, usually completely vertical, and trying to climb down from the top and down to the bottom. Climbers usually use some kind of safety device, such as ropes and harnesses, but there are more extreme versions where climbers do not use any kind of safety device, which is often called free climbing.

4 Physical Benefits of Rock Climbing 

physical benefits of climbing

Rock climbing is an adventurous and hard sport. You need to use your strength to stick to the wall, and keep most of your muscles still and tense up. Due to the complexity of rock climbing, skills such as muscle strengthening, hand-eye coordination and judgement are developed and enhanced during participation in the sport. Here are the main 4 physical benefits of climbing:

• Muscle strengthening: One benefit you get from rock climbing is that it is awesome for your muscle strength. Rock climbing requires several different muscle groups to be challenged during the workout. You have to use both the upper and lower arms, as well as your hands and shoulders to propel yourself up. You use your core and back muscles to support your upper body and use your legs to keep balanced during climbing. In fact, all major muscle groups including Abs, obliques, delts, traps, biceps, lats, quads and calves are incorporated in a single rock climbing exercise, so your legs, arms, and various muscles will be engaged and it is inevitably to make all your muscles strengthened at once you get expedition. A review reported that elite rock climbers often have lower body mass index, lower body fat percentages, and increased handgrip strengths. So stronger muscle is of course an important benefit from rock climbing.

>> Also read, How to Climb a Mountain Safely with 6 Tips

• Increasing flexibility: Climbers need to have good flexibility and adaptability as they have to reach and leap to handholds and footholds usually far away. To get the great foothold you may have to stretch your legs, and to get the next handhold which is several feet above your head, you have to stretch your arms upwards. Rock climbing is able to push your body to the comfort limit and build and increase the flexibility. You may find yourself that the range of motion increased. Flexibility is also beneficial in your life, which leads to suffer less muscle and joints injury.

• Burning calories and lose weight: It is reported that the average person can burn close to 900 calories hourly while climbing up and close to 600 calories hourly while rappelling down. If you don’t have readily available calories from food, your body will turn to your fat reserves for energy. The study by Dr. Kathleen Zelman of WedMD shows that burning 500 calories more than one eats every day can help shed 1-2 pounds per week. Therefore, rock climbing can help you burn calories and lose a whole lot of weight in a limited amount of time without question.

• Prevents chronic illnesses: The various activities involved in rock climbing help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rock climbing is an active and intense physical activity, and because of its health benefits in reducing stress, cardiovascular activity and building endurance and strengthen muscle, it can help to avoid the risk of a variety of chronic illnesses.

6 Mental Benefits of Rock Climbing

health benefits of rock climbing 

There are many health benefits of rock climbing, but they’re not all physical. You can get other benefits including emotional and psychological. Read on to understand why rock climbing is so good for you.

• Stress relief: One of the most beneficial aspects of rock climbing is stress relief. When you’re climbing, your attention is focused on your body movements and the goal of the summit. You can get a lot of norepinephrine which is a neurotransmitter in the body that aids in releasing stress after a rigorous climbing session. Besides, climbers get lower stress levels as they are more exposed to the sun and Vitamin D. Rock climbing is perfect for those who want to live a healthy life with busy and stressful work.

• Conquers fears: Fear is one of the biggest obstacles that prevents us from enjoying life. The fear of heights and the fear of falling from heights are the most common fears among people. Rock climbing is a great way to overcome these fears. Climbers often wear safety belts, whether they are climbing indoors or outdoors. Safety belts are used as a safety measure to prevent climbers from falling if they lose their balance or grip. With the safety belt, a climber can reach a comfortable height. Overcoming this fear of heights can help many climbers and help build confidence and self-esteem.

• Challenge yourself: with confidence and self-reliance, climbers find themselves standing on the edge of their comfort zone. Climbing offers many people the opportunity to tap into their unlimited physical and mental potential, allowing them to further challenge themselves as they complete increasingly complex routes. After the challenge is completed, climbers will continue to face greater challenges and difficulties. 

• Cure of depression: Rock climbing can help people with depression. Because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to challenge. When on a rock climbing, you are focused on the task at hand without other thoughts. Some people who suffer from depression say that rock climbing help them to better manage their condition and to live a near-normal life. 

• Nurture problem solving skills: By taking so many different routes to the 'peak', you have a chance to test your problem-solving skills and learn how to negotiate success through the smoothest route. Stretching little minds toward creative solutions is an excellent practice for facing life's road challenges.

• Breathtaking sights: Climbers consistently participate in the euphoria of being at the top of the world, whether indoors or outdoors. On the summit, the climbers get a breathtaking vantage point from an amazing bird’s-eye view. This view is often coming with adrenaline, happiness and excitement, all of which are positive feelings that develop a sense of accomplishment and a fair reward, especially after putting in a lot of work.

3 Social Benefits of Rock Climbing

Although the practice of rock climbing is basically all by oneself, it can still be considered as a team sport, because you’re never alone. You can climb with a group of friends, classmates, colleagues or family members. Learning to trust the person holding the rope quickly fosters a relationship. Bouldering is a shorter climb without ropes, but still requires an observer to guide the climber safely to the landing pad.

• Team building: Small group climbing forces team members to plan and execute. Everyone is responsible for other's safety and without everyone's cooperation they will fail. This teamwork help climbers build confidence, trust, and learn how to work together more effectively. 

• Communication: Rock climbing is a great way to meet and know other people. Communication between the climber and belayer is important to ensure climbing safety. You will encourage your team members and get a lot of encouragement as well.

• Friendship: Friendship has got to be one of the best and unexpected advantages of becoming part of the rock climbing community. You will develop strong friendships with your climbing members due to the level of trust involved and through sharing challenges and experiences.

7 Tips to Keep You Safe While Rock Climbing

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits of rock climbing that not only challenge your body, but also allow you to work mentally, satisfy your intense need for adventure and get true friends. That is why 25 million people enjoy the rush of rock climbing around the world every year. While climbing is a safe activity with proper training and practice, the average climber still experiences approximately one injury per 1,000 hours of climbing. Most accidents happen because of climber error. Are you ready for the climbing adventure? Learn the following 7 tips to keep you safe in rock climbing.

1: Wear a helmet

A mountaineering helmet is a basic wear when you climbing. Sport climbers still face the risk of hitting rock walls, turning upside down or encountering occasional loose rocks. Head injuries from falling and falling rocks are serious life-changing events. So, no matter what kind of climber you are, always protect your head by wearing a helmet. The helmet should feel comfortable, not too tight, and be placed flat on your head. Helmets usually come with a hard protective shell and an internal strapping system.

2: Check harnesses carefully

benefits of rock climbing 

The harness allows you to fasten to the rope securely and efficiently. After you have prepared the rope and attached it to the bottom of the route, check that both the climber's and belayer's harness buckles are doubled back. Most harnesses have adjustable leg loops, so make sure the leg rings are comfortable. Buckling your harness properly is critical to safety.

3: Always check knots

Before you lead a route, double check the knots. Make sure the knot is secure, tied right and finished with a backup knot. And check the rope is threaded through bot the waist loop and the leg loops on the harness.

4: Check the rope and belay device

Before you start climbing, double check the rope and belay device to make sure the rope is threaded through the belay device properly. Also, make sure that the rope and belay device are attached with a locked carabiners to the belay loop on the belayer's harness.

5: Bring enough gear

benefits of rock climbing 

Before rock climbing, check what equipment you need to bring. If it is a sport climbing route, visually verify the number of bolts that need to be pulled quickly. If in doubt, prepare more quick draws than you think you need. Bring a correct rock climbing shoes which not only protect your feet, but their sticky rubber soles give you the friction and durability to grip footholds during your climb. It is vital that you take enough chalk on your climb to improve your grip on the rock by absorbing sweat and other forms of moisture on your hands and skin. This not only increases friction, it prevents chafing and rubbing. Grip is such an important factor in rock climbing, so it’s vital that you take enough chalk on your climb. It is also necessary to bring a GPS tracking device if there is no cell service to stay safe and keep in touch with your team members.

6: Don’t overestimate your skill level

Climbing can make you feel rushed and feel like you can conquer the world. Although we love the climbing world for this reason, this confidence can lead to many safety problems. So always maintain your capabilities and never push yourself exceed safety limits.

7: Watch out for falling rocks and debris

If you climb during the rainy season, the water is likely to loosen the rocks and create conditions where rocks and debris fall to the ground. Therefore, it is critical that you always have your protection point in a shaded area. Also, keep your loop points away from flat or vertical cliffs.

Conclusion

Whether you are a professional rock climber or a beginner, there are some important health benefits of rock climbing that can be gained by participating in this sport. Not only does rock climbing provide physical benefits, such as building endurance, muscle and flexibility, but it also has mental and social benefits. It is a great form of exercise and will get you in top state immediately. While rock climbing is not the safest sport, it's definitely exciting and it can be done in many ways. Start rock climbing and make you better now!

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