Rock climbing is an indoor and outdoor recreational sport that is one of the world’s fastest growing sporting activities. Rock climbing seems like a sport that is difficult unless you have massive upper body strength. Yet, humans learn to climb even before we walk, pulling ourselves up to get a higher view or to grab something bright and colorful that mom has carefully placed out of our baby reach. Our earliest natural human instinct is to climb anything we can hold onto.
Rock climbing evokes images of Tom Cruise hanging off that spire in Monument Valley in the opening of Mission Impossible or Sylvester Stallone (pick a scene) in Cliffhanger.
Some rock climbing involve ropes and harnesses and other complicated equipment but you can also free climb without ropes or harness. If you do any extensive hiking especially in the mountains, rock climbing is likely going to come into play as you explore deeper into the wilderness.
Rock climbing is also a way to get outside and enjoy nature. The good news is that rock climbing is suitable exercise for people of varying fitness levels and when done properly it can also provide many health benefits. No matter if you are interested in improving your cardiovascular health, toning muscles, or losing weight, rock climbing may be just the activity for you!
Health Benefits of Rock Climbing
Jim Stiehl, a professor in the sport and exercise science school at the University of Northern Colorado and the co-author of “Climbing Walls: A Complete Guide,” says “Many people who have never tried climbing mistakenly believe that its primary prerequisite is extraordinary upper body strength and, therefore, is the sole province of strong athletes. When climbing, however, technique is often more important than strength.”
The benefits of rock climbing can be summed up into 3 main areas: Physical, Mental and Social.