You’ll be amazed at how far your reach can extend when you’re grasping for new footholds or handholds.
Rock climbing is a natural fit for Greater Prescott’s renowned landscape, with the Dells, Granite Mountain, Watson Lake, Groom Creek, Wolf Creek, Thumb Butte, Mingus Mountain and so many other vertical surfaces beckoning on the horizon.
As winter melts away to expose those beautifully craggy surfaces, rock-jocks and newbie climbers alike are pulled to the challenge like magnets by the phenomenal views, climbers’ camaraderie and the benefits of the full body and mind workout they walk away with.
Rock climbing is one of those hard-to-find activities that requires every muscle to lift, stretch, hold and balance you. Upper-body strength is a must, but you need lower-body power to match if you’re going to scale the surface rising above you. And your grip will go off the charts.
Revs your heart
It’s one of the few exercises to qualify as both a cardio and strength activity. Your heart and lungs are constantly challenged by the constant motion of scrambling up and down a cliff or boulder, leading to lower resting heart rate and blood pressure and a host of other perks.
Climbers also must constantly stretch themselves to send their blood circulating to all of the muscles that are in constant use. Flexibility and balance are crucial to preventing falls, especially as we get older.
Research estimates climbers burn an average of 500 to 900 calories in a single session depending on gender, age and weight. That will definitely help you drop the pounds!
Logic and problem-solving
Bouldering has a word for nearly flat, vertical surfaces: Problems. Figuring out the solution takes a lot of brain power and focus to assess your ability to hoist yourself up or down, plan out your route and maintain your energy level. Reinforcing this kind of mental agility will help you in all areas of your life.
It can be hard to wrap your mind around the concept of putting yourself in such peril reducing your response to stress, but the concentration it takes to keep yourself moving safely up, down, back and forth trains you to stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand, which is the opposite of stress.
The exertion required makes sure those endorphins keep pumping through your body, just as with any other form of exercise (maybe even more so). It brings serotonin, dopamine and other hormones that make you happy or even elated, less perceptive of pain and more relaxed to the forefront and keeps you sailing into the next day.
The process of rock climbing is all about measuring your progress as you approach heights that were way out of reach when you first took up the hobby and conquer rocks that forced you to turn back the last time you were there. There’s no way you won’t end up more confident about your abilities in other areas.