Are you an avid hiker looking for something a bit more intense? Are you trying to lose weight, but can’t stand the sweat, heavy breathing and monotonous repetition of traditional workouts? Maybe you’re in the mood for adventure, but don’t know where to start looking?
Whichever group you fall into, rock climbing has it all! Not only will you get a full-body workout, but you’ll also experience the adrenaline rush of an adventure and be able to spice up your tried-and-true hiking routes. Here are three reasons you should practice rock climbing.
1. The Intensity
Rock climbing is understandably lauded as an extreme sport. After all, the goal is to scale perilous, rocky vistas, relying on your strength and cunning to reach the summit. However, unlike other sports in the category, rock climbing is reasonably safe — assuming proper use of all safety equipment and precautions. Harnesses, carabiners (heavy-duty climbing clips) and ropes all ensure you remain safe while having a blast.
Of course, none of these features detract from the adrenaline rush experienced when climbing. Climbing hundreds of feet in the air can add spice to a regular hike. If you enjoy the view of a mountain from a trail, why not get up close and personal with it? Climbers can attest there’s something special about finishing a climb and looking down on the rest of the world.
2. The Workout
Under normal circumstances, full-body workouts are tough. They require various machines, hours in the gym and a tremendous amount of willpower and sweat. Rock climbing — though certainly not easy — is a different beast entirely. For one, it feels like your life depends on you reaching the end of the climb. This isn’t the case, given the safety features we talked about earlier, but your body and mind still believe it in some fundamental way.
Unlike the repetition of traditional workouts, each minute of rock climbing is different from the next. The climb engages your brain and keeps you moving through tricky footing situations.
The workout aspect can also make hiking easier. Any experienced hiker knows the trails aren’t always straight and flat — they often include elements of rock climbing and agility, as well. So, for those hikers who want to get even better at their activity, doing occasional climbing exercises can work wonders.
3. The Adventure
Once you graduate from the climbing walls and feel confident going outdoors, nothing can stop you! In fact, this sense of adventure is the spirit that initially inspired rock climbing. It’s in our nature to see a mountain, a cliff, a sheer rock face and wonder what’s at the top of it. Grab your gear, get out there and find out for yourself!
Beyond all this, rock climbing is a tremendous opportunity for personal growth. It’s straightforward to chart your progress — such as by how high you go, how many times you fall and the difficulty of the terrain. You’ll surely notice improvements after each climb.
On top of that, you can look forward to a full body workout, a powerful adrenaline rush and a newfound sense of adventure. So, what are you waiting for? The world of rock climbing is waiting for you.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington