5 Reasons Why You Should Give Rock Climbing A Try

Last week I was lucky to have been invited by the Regional Department of Tourism – Central Visayas to cover the rock-climbing summit dubbed as Lust for Lime XV. It is an annual gathering of local and foreign rock climbers at the world-class limestone crag in Barangay Cantabaco, Toledo City. Initially, I was ecstatic being that I used to be active in the outdoors years ago specifically mountain trekking but I never got to try rock climbing so that totally piqued my curiosity about the summit.

Toledo City Mayor Marjorie “Joy” Perales (in pink and white stripes) is flanked by Power Up Events Management, Chief Tourism Operations Officer of its Planning Division, Dr. Gelena N. Asis-Dimpas, Carmen Copper Corporation Senior Employee Relations, Compensation and Benefits and Recruitment Officer German Joy Desuyo, Mr. Tourism First Runner-Up Wilson Garcia, Jr. and Miss Tourism Cebu 2019 Glorynit Gail Blanco

The whole experience listening to the DOT reps, LGU, and the rock climbers brainstorm on their plans to involve adventure and sports in their tourism program was truly enriching and inspiring. I also got to interview climbers about how they got started into rock climbing and what do they get from the sport. Most of them said it was solely for fitness then eventually resulted to cultivating a community who is passionate about the ultimate high they get from climbing.

I’m grateful for DOT Central Visayas under the leadership of Regional Director Shahlimar Hofer Tamano for this meaningful activity and for these interesting people who had given me a lot of wisdom all in a day’s work.

Lust for Lime XV climbers

Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with mental control. The total body workout works both your upper and lower body muscles. It strengthens your back and arms when pulling yourself up, and you’ll be forced to engage the muscles of your core, quads, and calves to stabilize your body while climbing. Just make sure you take time to warm up and stretch appropriately before climbing to prevent potential injuries.

Here are more benefits that you will enjoy when you engage yourself in the exciting sport.

MAKES YOUR BODY FLEXIBLE

Unlike in other sports like running, rock climbing demands a whole lot of body movements such as moving your body up, down, and to the sides – all in one workout! Engaging in regular rock climbing can help you become more flexible. This sport also allows you to move effectively with increased strength while engaging in everyday activities such as doing household chores or even carrying groceries.

“The benefit I get from climbing is the community – climbing community. I’m not actually a competitive person. I seldom go outdoors but if there’s a chance, I try to grab it and be with the community.” – Pe Borja, a climber from Manila who started climbing since 1996. It started by joining a mountaineering club wherein they have the advance course when they have to do some rock climbing. Then they started to meet a lot of people in different organizations.

IMPROVES YOUR STRENGTH AND CARDIO IN ONE WORKOUT

Rock climbing allows you to do both simultaneously – the constant movement will elevate your heart rate which helps you burn more calories – even more, compared to going on a treadmill. And what’s also great about rock climbing is you get to tone all of your body muscles during a single climbing session even at the start of your training in the climbing gym. Talking about having the best of both worlds, right?

DOES WONDERS TO YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH

Not only does rock climbing provide physical benefits, such as building endurance, muscle, and flexibility, climbing can be beneficial to both the brain and mental health; rock climbing is known to reduce stress and have positive outcomes on mental strength. Rock climbing delves a lot of problem-solving and body awareness that can improve brain function. When you’re already moving up the crag, you need to choose the best time to shift your body weight to a new position or the best placement for your hands and feet to avoid falling. The decisions you have to make while you’re up there are a great way to improve your thought process capabilities in a snap. So, you have to be alert all the time and presence of mind is always vital.

“Rock climbing gives me peace. You have nothing else to think about except by being up there.” -Sunkyo Jin, a liaison officer from Korea in the international federation wherein he does ocular visits to different countries that offer good climbing spots for fellow rock-climbing enthusiasts in Korea. He’s responsible for bringing in more Koreans here in the Philippines.

MAKES YOU BOLD AND BRAVE

Fears are the stumbling blocks for a person to LIVE and experience something new and out of the ordinary. In rock climbing, it is a fantastic way to conquer one’s fear of heights or the mere falling from heights, the harness is instrumental in taking away that fear. It serves as a safety measure, preventing climbers from falling whenever they lose their balance or grip. With the security the harness gives, climbers can reach to greater heights at their own comfort level. And this empowers many climbers and helps build confidence and self-esteem.

“It’s fun to climb. You get to travel a lot to different climb spots. I used to be afraid of the heights but now it can be controlled.” – Jaime, a climber for 6 years who started with mountaineering then met some people who are also into outdoor activities and then he got influenced.

TAKES YOUR BREATH AWAY

The physical endeavor that entails in rock climbing can at times affect your breathing pattern literally but it also takes you to such euphoric feeling of conquering the peak and being on top of the world. Once you reach the summit, you get to view the vantage point of such an awe-inspiring view that simply takes your breath away. A mix of overwhelming emotions of happiness coupled with sheer excitement simply makes you feel triumphant that you’ve finally accomplished and reached the peak after putting in so much work.

“It only depends on what the person is seeking. With rock climbing, it’s simply straightforward. There are some climbers who would explore more to greater heights in different places.” – Joel, a climber for 6 years who started climbing for fitness until it became his passion.

So, if you need a little bit of excitement in your workout routine and wanted to work multiple muscles simultaneously, involving both your mind and your body, then give rock climbing a try. It might be a perfect addition to your current fitness routine.

However, it is still of utmost importance that you get basic training first on climbing principles, techniques, and safety precautions. Visit a local indoor climbing gym to get training from professional guides before conquering your first climb on the big rock wall.

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