Have you ever been indoor rock climbing? If not, I suggest you add it to your Winter 2016 bucket list (I know you have one!). I don’t like to create unnecessary urgency, however I do believe that winter is the perfect season to check out your local indoor rock gym. What I love about climbing is that it is a full-body workout that can be enjoyed with friends and is something you can approach at your own pace. Even if you are in the best of shape you may find yourself burning out quickly – the key here is to not get frustrated, take frequent breaks and to stretch as much as you need to afterwards.
If you live in the Boston-area and want to check out climbing for yourself you are in luck(!) – there are some awesome spots to get your climb on like Rock Spot Climbing in Southie, Metro Rock in Everett and Brooklyn Boulders.
You will become stronger
When climbing you will be working a multitude of muscle groups. The more you climb, the stronger your arms, shoulders, back and legs will become. Strong arms will keep you stable as you climb and strong legs will allow you lift you body from hold to hold with greater ease. Warning: You will feel sore after climbing! Don’t be alarmed, likely you are working muscles (like your forearm muscles) that aren’t easily worked in other fitness activities.
You’ll get in a cardio (low impact) workout
Climbing may not be on par with running or cycling as a cardio exercise, but it sure does get your heart pumping and burn some serious calories! Short bursts of activity followed by rest (either in between climbs or while taking a break mid-climb) will serve as an unsuspecting interval workout.
It is healthy/fun way to socialize
My best friend, Tristan, frequently jokes about how enjoys the chit chat in between climbs more than the actual climbing itself. Realistically, it is likely a 50/50 split between enjoying the workout and enjoying the opportunity to catch up with a friend(s)! One of the advantages of an indoor climbing outing with friends is that the climbing gym is the perfect venue for actually talking with your friends while getting in a workout – something you can’t do while attending group workout classes like cycling or yoga.
It is the perfect cold-weather activity
Like many, I prefer to spend my time exercising or socializing outdoors. The one, BIG exception to this is during the colder months (unless I am on a ski mountain). Indoor climbing gyms offer up the perfect escape from the cold outdoors during winter months. Not only do most climbing gyms boast an abundance of space, but they have an atmosphere that is far more laid-back and relaxing than traditional gyms (where else can you take a nice lil’ snack break in the middle of your workout without anyone judging you?).