8 Reasons to start Climbing this Summer
Looking for a new physical and mental challenge? We’ve got 8 bona fide reasons why you should give climbing a go!
The best thing about climbing? Age is no constraint!
So, don’t be misled by those stock photos of climbers dangling from a precipice. Everyone of all ages can give it a go, and you don’t have to be super-fit and brimming with muscles to enjoy it.
When you start learning how to climb, having a good technique will get you further than physical strength alone. Also, you’ll find the more you climb, the stronger you’ll become.
With plenty of balancing, reaching and stretching, climbing is a full workout on your core, legs, and arms.
From the first sessions, you’ll feel a strengthening of your muscles and improvement in your stamina and suppleness.
Also, you’ll be using (and feeling) muscle groups that you didn’t know existed – even down to your fingertips!
This is the big one.
If you do have a fear of heights, climbing can be a daunting prospect. But people who are OK with heights and even experienced climbers can feel anxious that they will fall and get hurt. It’s completely natural. An important part of climbing is learning to respect the environment around you and learning about your own body.
Over time you’ll become more confident in your ability and the fear is something you’ll learn to manage.
A good way to start is to find local indoor climbing centres with top rope climbing. Here someone will be holding a rope below you or you may be on an automatic belay. This will give you the added security of knowing that if you do have a slip, the rope will secure you and prevent you from falling.
Unfortunately, fear of injury is the main reason preventing people from even trying climbing.
And although injuries can happen, climbing (and in particular indoor climbing) is considered to be a low-risk activity.
Did you know that you’re more likely to hurt yourself playing rugby, surfing, skiing, or even going for a run?
You do have a lot of control over how much risk you take. And with some common-sense rules you can make sure that you’re safe and injury-free:
- Know your body.
We all have good days and bad days and how much we can do varies! Be sure to notice pain and fatigue and to schedule suitable rest days between sessions. Don’t push yourself to climb higher than you feel comfortable with.
- Know your environment.
Be alert to people and objects that are nearby that could injure you or that you could damage should you slip.
- Know your safety checks
There are safety processes that need to be followed every time you tie into a rope or begin climbing. These checks are very important, from putting on a harness and tying the knots to preparing the belay system and checking communication with your climbing partner. Most of all, the checks ensure you are in a secure system – no short-cuts are allowed.
Have you ever seen climbers staring at a wall before they start to climb? Or pointing and discussing the route with their climbing partners?
That’s because they’re visualizing their climb and figuring out how to make their ascent. Climbers work out a solution for any tricky bits of the climb before even putting a hand on the wall!
Climbing is a great activity for developing your problem-solving skills, and you’ll see yourself improve from just getting-up-any-old-how to developing more strategic methods for acing that climb every time!
No need to rush out shopping just yet – as long as you have comfortable clothes that allow you to stretch, then you’re good to go.
Most climbing clubs will allow you to hire any other equipment you need.
If you do go climbing regularly, you’ll find it’s usually more cost effective to buy your own climbing shoes (and there are loads to choose from) rather than hire them out every time.
It’s an extremely social sport!
When you start you’ll soon meet other new climbers. And the best thing about going to a club regularly is that you’ll run into the same people time and again.
As a climber, you’ll quickly become a part of a huge community of the friendliest people – all sharing their passion for fun and adventure! Climbers are very supportive and they’ll be more than willing to share their techniques and tips to help you scale that wall.
And unlike a lot of sports, climbing is an activity where there’s actually quite a lot of opportunity to sit around and chat!
It’s THE feel-good sport.
As a community, climbers are so supportive. You’ll be learning this new sport in a friendly and non-judgmental environment.
From the first couple of sessions, you’ll be able to feel and see the changes in your body strength and stamina. It really is so easy to see the improvements you’re making. You’ll be happily climbing up routes that you were struggling with the week before.
In addition, the sense of accomplishment is instant. When you complete each climbing challenge, it boosts your confidence immediately.
Over time, you’ll find that climbing helps to develop self-control and the ability to successfully deal with each new challenge that life throws at you – both on and off the wall.
So, what are you waiting for? Find a wall near you today!