What are the benefits of climbing?

The benefits of rock climbing not only include the physical but also the mental and social.

Physical benefits:

  • strength including legs, arms, fingers and core
  • cardiovascular performance
  • Weight loss
  • muscle tone
  • flexibility

Rock Climbing is one of the best total body workouts available. It’s a unique sport in that boys and girls are equally capable. A common misconception is that climbing requires an already strong upper body. This idea often discourages girls from participating. An effective rock climber is one who understands that much of climbing is related to technique, balance and leg strength.

Mental benefits:

  • Decision Making
  • Visualization
  • Problem Solving
  • Goal Setting
  • Planning
  • Concentration
  • Determination
  • Self Confidence
  • Stress Relief
  • Sense of Achievement
  • Spatial awareness
  • Motor Skills

Each climbing route is like a puzzle, which takes patience and planning, forcing the climber to make decisions as one gets to a spot and strategizes where to go from there. Climbing requires for you to make spot decisions as you go, commit and follow through. Your ability to assess a problem, look for a solution, and then execute a plan is required. Beginners typically decide their route hold by hold, not looking ahead to see the larger picture in front of them. Soon one begins to visualize a route before grabbing the first hold. With practice, the climber is able to see the entire route in his mind, building his problem solving and planning abilities.

For many, one of the most beneficial aspects of climbing is stress relief. The climbing wall takes your all and in return, takes it all off your shoulders. When you’re climbing, you’re concentrating on your body movements, and the goal of the summit. The real world drifts away, leaving you and gravity to duke it out. After a rigorous climbing session your endorphins are peaked and you can get back to life with a clear head. A climbing training wall at home or work is perfect for those go getters with busy, stressful lifestyles that want to live a healthy life.

The sense of achievement gained by reaching the summit is second to none. Whether it’s a route you’ve just on-sighted, or one you’ve been working, outdoor or indoor, you’ll find yourself somewhat changed every time. By achieving something which once seemed impossible, it forces the climber to realize their true abilities versus their perceived abilities, increasing confidence. When put into perspective of what has already been accomplished, anything seems possible.

  • Social Benefits
  • Belong to a Community
  • Networking and friendship
  • Communication and listening skills
  • Trust
  • Leadership Skills
  • Healthy
  • Builds Character

Although the practice of Rock Climbing is essentially you vs. yourself, it can still be regarded as a team sport, because you’re never alone (or shouldn’t be). You’ll either be climbing with a group of friends, school mates, colleagues or family. Learning to put your trust in the person holding your rope fosters relationships pretty quickly. Bouldering is shorter climbing without a rope, but still requires a spotter to guide the climber to the landing mat safely.

The different roles one plays when climbing, build character and leadership skills. Every climber will get the chance to be the student and learn from others, then the teacher sharing that knowledge. One minute they’ll be the climber being supported by others encouragement or advice, then they’ll turn around and be the belayer or part of the encouraging group. The climbing community is one where every achievement is celebrated.

Communication between the climber and belayer is paramount to climbing safely. The safety system consists of a series of commands or statements and recognition statements, used to inform each other of one’s status in relation to the rope and climb.(Eg. Climber to Belayer: “Slack” for more rope when climbing up, “Take” to pull rope tight and hold.) . Speaking clearly and listening attentively come naturally when your life depends on it.
Friendship has got to be one of the best, yet unexpected advantages of becoming part of the rock climbing community. I personally count some of the people I’ve climbed with as truly great friends.