Top 10 Health Benefits of Rock Climbing


Rock climbing is a versatile, physically demanding sport that can be done indoors or outdoors. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialised climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

  • Combines cardio and strength into a single workout: During a single session of rock climbing, the body executes a number of physical tests, including boosting heart rate, building muscle, and developing stamina. The upper body strength required for rock climbing is a given for pulling oneself up, while the legs and core build muscle as the body strives to find balance. According to a 1997 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the cardio and energy consumed in rock climbing are similar to running at a pace between 8 and 11 minutes per mile.
  • Strengthens and tones muscles: Rock climbing requires several different muscle groups to be engaged during the workout. Abs, obliques, delts, traps, biceps, lats, quads, calves – in fact, rock climbing even works your forearm muscles by strengthening a climber’s grip. Virtually all major muscle groups are incorporated in even a single rock climbing expedition. A review published in the Journal of Human Kinetics in 2011 reported that elite rock climbers often have lower body mass indexes, lower body fat percentages, and increased handgrip strengths.
  • Increases flexibility: Rock climbing encourages participants to increase their range of motion. Rock climbing demands flexibility and adaptability as it requires climbers to reach, leap and climb to handholds and footholds usually far from a comfortable distance. According to the July 2011 issue of “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,” the American College of Sports Medicine suggested stretching should be done at least twice a week to increase flexibility, range of motion and improve blood circulation.
  • Mental strength: In bouldering (a type of rock climbing done without ropes or safety harnesses) the routes climbers take are called problems – and justly so, as rock climbing requires problem-solving skills. Navigating routes demands a climber to judge their individual abilities, such as reach, the strength required to complete the next step, current energy levels, and route planning. Furthermore, rock climbing requires hand-eye coordination necessary for a climber to judge what he or she sees in a crag and how to reach it.
  • Reduces stress: Rock climbing reduces stress by increasing levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter in the body that aids in releasing stress. Climbers oftentimes become immersed in the flow of the activity enabling them to become consumed in the activity of reaching, climbing, and leaping, creating a sense of ecstasy. Climbing outdoors also has been proven to further lower stress levels as climbers are more exposed to the sun and Vitamin D.
  • Burns calories: Harvard Health Publications reported that a 155-pound person burns about 818 calories hourly during a rock-climbing ascent and 596 calories per hour while rappelling. According to Dr. Kathleen Zelman of WedMD, burning 500 calories more than one eats every day can help shed 1-2 pounds per week.
  • Prevents chronic disease: The various exercises involved in rock climbing can aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said rock climbing was a vigorous and intense physical activity and because of its health benefits in reducing stress, cardiovascular activity, and building muscle, rock climbing can decrease the risk for various chronic illnesses.
  • Breathtaking sights: Regardless of whether a climber is indoors or outdoors, climbers unanimously partake in the euphoric feeling of being on top of the world. In reaching the summit of a climb, climbers view the vantage point from a breathtaking vantage point an awe-inspiring, bird’s-eye view. This view will oftentimes be accompanied by adrenaline, happiness, and excitement, all of which are positive feelings that foster a sense of accomplishment and just reward, especially after putting in so much work.
  • Conquers fears: Fear is among the greatest obstacles which prevent us from enjoying life to its fullest extent. The most commonly held fears among people are the fear of heights and the fear of falling from heights. Rock climbing is a fantastic way to conquer these fears. Climbers are frequently strapped to harnesses, whether or not the climb is being done indoors or outdoors. The harness serves as a safety measure, preventing climbers from falling when should they lose their balance or grip.  With the security of the harness, climbers can reach heights at their own comfort level. Conquering this fear of heights empowers many climbers and helps build confidence and self-esteem.
  • Challenge yourself: As their confidence and self-reliance increase, climbers find themselves standing on the edge of their comfort zones. Climbing provides many with the opportunity to tap into the mind and body’s limitless potential, enabling them to challenge themselves further in completing increasingly complex routes. Even when a route is completed, climbers will continue to tackle more challenges with even greater difficulties.

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  1. […] Rock climbing has proven to be beneficial to one’s physical and mental health. Though it is a difficult sport, the physical effort it requires can help a person gain strength in the arms, shoulders, thigh muscles, back, neck, and forearms. Rock climbing exercises nearly every muscle group in the body, resulting in improvements to each group’s strength, endurance, and speed. Just one hour of climbing can burn over 700 calories, making it a great exercise for both weight loss and muscle building. […]

  2. […] Bouldern ist sozusagen das Training zum Sportklettern. Die Sportart ist eine körperliche und mentale Herausforderung, und genau deshalb gibt es auch so viele Erfolgserlebnisse. Die Stärke, Ausdauer Beweglichkeit und Balance sind von mutigen Kletterern gefragt. Die Kombination aus Cardio- und Kraftübungen wird hier zu einem großen Workout-Paket zusammengeschnürt und unterzieht dem Körper eine ganze Reihe von Tests. Der Oberkörper und die Arme werden durch das Hinaufziehen seines eigenen Körpergewichts trainiert, während die Beine daran arbeiten, das Gleichgewicht zu halten. […]

  3. I’m a climbing guide for Sylvan Rocks Climbing School and Guide Service and lot of people come out for their first day on the rocks with us. Many are over whelmed by how much fun it is and excited to learn that they can enjoy such an adventure at their own level. We are not all going to make the cover of Climbing Magazine, but most of us can enjoy the view from the top!

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