It’s no secret that rock climbing is good for the body, but it’s also great for the mind. Sure, it is easy to see how it is over flowing in physical benefits. Not only does it give your core a good workout, but it offers more of a whole body work out. As you climb, you’re stretching up to reach and giving your shoulders, upper back, neck, arms, legs, hands and fingers a workout. Its probably one of the best total body workouts that you can do and it is a great low impact activity for people of all ages and skill levels.
Rock Climbing And Your Body
Contrary to what you might expect, you do not have to start rock climbing with a strong core. Though it certainly doesn’t hurt to have good core muscles, this activity is more about balance and technique with a focus on leg strength. This is because you’re using your legs to launch yourself up as you climb.
Of course, the entire body works together to get you climbing, which is why this is such a great workout for the body. Unlike most other activities, you build lean, endurance muscles when you take up rock climbing. If that sounds vaguely familiar, it should, because those are the muscles that marathon runners get from their training.
A good side effect of rock climbing is that it ends up boosting your ability level in other sports and activities. For example, if you play tennis then you’ll notice that your stronger hands give you a better grip and a stronger swing. Or, if you do yoga, then you’ll notice that some poses are easier to hold thanks to your stronger core and better balance.
Rock Climbing And Your Mind
You might think that this activity is good for the brain because it gets you outside with nature. It’s true that nature has a positive effect on the mind, but rock climbing is something that be done indoors or outdoors. That makes the real benefit the activity itself. The Huffington Post website recently ran an article on this very subject.
Think about it like this – with rock climbing, you have to approach the activity unlike others as it is a bit of a challenge. You have to look at the area you want to climb and try to determine the best method of action before you make your attempt to scale it. The actual process of climbing is a bit like doing a puzzle as you have to search for places where your hands and feet will fit as you go up. It takes a lot of concentration and a lot of strategizing to get yourself up there.
The end result here is that over time, rock climbers develop superior goal setting, problem solving and planning abilities based on needing these exact skills for climbs.
And like most physical activity, rock climbing gives you some stress relief as you focus on making it to the top and stop worrying about the day’s problems.
top image via Flickr/Reno Tahoe