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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A former educator and now working as a freelance writer. Simply living her own version of life’s passion – music, mobile photography, story telling, road trips and food trailing! 🙂