This Is How Beneficial Rock Climbing Can Be For Your Health

There is a reason that rock climbing shows up in so many ads that want to evoke a sense of adventure and security all at once. Climbing rigs are secure while the act itself seems perilous, like you're taking a fight with gravity into your own hands. More than that, it's generally understood that climbers have to be physically fit in order to haul their body weight up the side of a climbing wall or, when climbing outside, a sheer rock face.

Climbers don't exactly have to start in peak condition, however. HuffPost points out that successful climbers have to train not only their upper body strength but their footwork, lower body strength, and their flexibility. In fact, flexibility is so important that many climbing gyms now offer yoga as an additional service so that beginners and experienced climbers alike can better work their joints and muscles.

The preparation doesn't stop once climbers hit the wall, though. Many climbers actually find that the climb itself is a unique kind of workout that is just as much mental as it is physical. Alex Johnson, a record-setting female climber and team member with The North Face, told HuffPost that climbing works your problem solving skills. And, far from being mindless, a climbing workout strengthens the connection between body and brain. That alone can benefit a person's health, but climbing has even more to offer.

It burns massive calories

Alex Jones isn't alone in feeling the effects of rock climbing on both mind and body. Climber News reports that the sport has a ton of benefits, including a better awareness of one's own body. And with that awareness, according to the site, comes better posture that is also fueled, in part, by a stronger back and toned shoulders. Climber News also points out that climbing strengthens a person's core, which can reduce a person's chance of injuring their back (via Cleveland Clinic).

For those more interested in burning calories than toning their muscles or tightening their posture, climbing is still an ideal sport. HuffPost reports that an hour of climbing can burn more than 700 calories. Running for an hour, by comparison, burns around 600 calories (via the Mayo Clinic). Climbing offers a massive calorie burn that adds in toned muscles and better flexibility as added bonuses. It's a whole-body workout that benefits both physical and mental health, which HuffPost highlights. The publication explains that exercise, especially outdoor exercise, can decrease the symptoms of depression and ADHD as well as improve a person's overall mood. Of course that's just one more layer over all the health benefits climbing has to offer.