If you are trying to find something interesting to pursue to spice up your life and stay active, consider rock climbing this year.
No, its not as daunting as one thinks, that requires an immense amount of strength and muscles.
In fact, having too much of muscles can actually be detrimental to the process of one’s climbing, as rock climbing and bouldering is in its pure form, actually a fluid mix of balance, flexibility and core strength. So..put on your muscle tee and find out what are the reasons to pick up rock climbing.
Why Rock Climbing as a new hobby or sport to pick up?
1. Great for toning arms and butt
Yes believe it or not girls, this sport beats many other sports cardio workouts you do hands down. Climbing is one of the fastest calorie burning hobbies and transporting your body up the rock wall helps define your arms and learning to use your legs more and pass your body weight from arms to lower body, helps train every part of your body.
2. Great mental challenge
Yes mind games, we hate them but have to have them.
Climbing is a mental challenge with yourself – you versus your mind.
Most of climbing is all about the level of willpower you have within you to get to the next step. Yes, indeed you need the basic fitness level to at least hold your bodyweight with your fingers/ palms. But if you find yourself trying harder routes and facing obstacles, you will come to realise the greatest obstacle is… self-doubt.
Doubting you have enough strength to go further.
Afraid of the fall when you let go of the wall.
Fear of heights when you look down and realise how high you are above the ground/ and that irrational thought that you will fall to the ground.
And these thoughts, my friend, are the paralyzers of making us get better. So as you learn to identify them and take a better hold of your fears and mental thoughts, you will find that climbing trains you to push yourself harder, to try again after giving up, and to be prepared for failure at a difficult attempt. If you ask me, climbing teaches many important lessons in life about perseverance, grit and determination.
Each climbing route is set to be a challenge and to test your ability an different types of climbs. Hence, you will see the grading chart or colour codes on climbing walls to determine how to progress along in your climbing growth.
Rock climbing is an awesome activity to start young. If you have children, it might be something awesome to consider?
3. Climbing has a superb community of like-minded people
Yes, this is one sport that bonds people. Unlike running or swimming or even gym-ing, rock climbing is a sport that has shared experiences and bonding moments. Unlike in a gym where it gets creepy when someone looks at you while you hail those weights, climbing is a sport where you share climbing tips and techniques with each other, and in the process watch each other to see how to improve your body positioning on the wall, footwork and shifting of centre of balance to achieve a better climb. So, picking up climbing gives you a license to look at other people work at it, and they don’t judge you for it..unless you start to look leering and pervy. In that case, I can’t help you.
4. Rock Climbing brings you places
Rock climbing is a sport that can be confined to the 4 walls in an indoor gym, but it can also break down boundaries.
If you love the rush of rock climbing in outdoor places, hearing the wind and waves with the sun beating down on you, then rock climbing outdoors is just going to get better in time.
For those who take this sport serious enough and start seeing improvements in their climbing, they will start looking for new hideouts or places to climb that can challenge themselves. And that’s when the idea of trying sport climbing in outdoor natural rock like Long Dong in Taiwan starts to sound enticing.
Outdoor natural rock climbing is not for everyone, especially for those who love the comfort of air conditioning and top rope. But if you, like me, would love to climb and see the world better from a vantage point, then outdoor sport climbing for views is the way to go. It even crosses boundaries and brings you to places in Asia around the world you would never have considered.
However, take note that safety precautions is necessary before every trip and you should also be experienced in lead climbing, multi-pitch and belaying someone with a proper belay device. Also, make sure you select the right type of climbing shoes for the usage – indoor climbing shoes or bouldering shoes might not be the most durable or comfortable in an outdoor hot environment for hours.
5. Rock Climbing keeps you young and alive
This is no joking matter, it is true.
People who climb more over time seem to fight the ageing process better. Perhaps coz you are always excited to push your body, or smile more from taking a big fall or reaching the top, climbing is a great stress reliever, body toner and mental health booster. Just a few hours of intensive climbing and you already feel so satisfied that you are working those lazy muscles and feeling fitter by the moment. However, never get too complacent as climbing needs constant practise and regularity. If you climb profusely for a few weeks and stop for a month after, you will find that your body loses its muscle memory and you would have to retrain from scratch again to get back to the climbing grade you use to be able to attain much more easily.
So, I hope you have a few more reasons to convince you and your fellow friends why rock climbing is a great hobby/ pastime and sport to pursue in this hectic stressful city life we are in. Give it a try and am sure you will have a great time!