Once you begin climbing, you will quickly realize that the sport can benefit you both mentally and physically. Physically, climbing may improve your strength and flexibility. Pushing yourself to new heights can build strong leg muscles, and reaching for the next hold is a way to give your arms, legs and core a good stretch.
Climbing may help keep you mentally fit, too. You will need to think on your feet as you decide which route to take and what to grab hold of on a climbing wall, boulder or slope. Once these obstacles are overcome, you may find you have built up a confidence that you can later apply to other challenges in your life [source: Pietri].
If you find that you enjoy rock climbing, a USA Climbing membership may be a good way for you to take your interest to the next level. Nonmembers who pay the day fee to compete in a USA Climbing event can receive a ranking for that particular competition, but only members can compete on the regional, divisional or national level and be included in a nation-wide ranking. Members also receive a discount to Urban Climber magazine and special offers from USA Climbing sponsors [source: USA Climbing].
A USA Climbing membership may also provide you with opportunities to meet other enthusiasts with whom you can climb. When you climb with a group, there's often a sense of community, and scaling a boulder or reaching the top of a slope can feel like a shared accomplishment [source: New England Bouldering].
Now that you are familiar with the benefits of rock climbing, you may be ready to give it a try. Joining an organization like USA Climbing can be a great way to get started. For more information on getting involved with climbing or other sports, visit the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Antaya, Dave. "Good Footwork: the Key." New England Bouldering. 2000 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.newenglandbouldering.com/bschool/b101/feet.html
- Cahall, Fitz. "Tech Tip - Technique - Heels of Steel." Climbing Magazine. 2009 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.climbing.com/print/techtips/tech_tip_-_technique_-_heels_of_steel/
- Eiselt, Julie. "Bouldering." REI. September 2009 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/bouldering.html
- New England Bouldering. "Jolie Matkowski: A Rising Star." 2002 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.newenglandbouldering.com/interviews/jolie.html
- Pietri, Gianpaolo. "Interview with Alpinist Adrian Ballinger." Climbing Magazine. 2009 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.climbing.com/community/perspective/interview_with_alpinist_adrian_ballinger/
- REI. "Sport Climbing Basics." (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/sport+climbing+basics.html
- Rock Climbing. "$80,000 Raised for Ovarian Cancer Research." September 28, 2009 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://www.rockclimbing.com/News/Press_Releases/_80_000_raised_for_Ovarian_Cancer_Research_1068.html
- USA Climbing. "USA Climbing is for Everyone." 2007 (Accessed 1/2/2010).http://usaclimbing.net/about_main.cfm