Rock Climbing: Your Family’s Next Great Activity

July 28, 2016

Are you looking for a new activity that the whole family will love? Rock climbing is a rewarding sport that will benefit your child’s health and promote overall well-being.

Build Confidenceclimbing-519198_1280

There’s nothing that helps build confidence better than reaching a goal with a supportive team. Learning how to navigate a rock wall efficiently and building their overall physical and mental strength will increase confidence in your child.

With improved confidence, your child will also overcome fear and learn how to take healthy risks. For some children, heights can be scary and rock climbing can help them gradually overcome that fear. Having a supportive team will also help encourage confidence and reduce fear—especially if it’s a team they can trust.

Build Teamwork

When kids work with a climbing partner, they learn valuable teamwork skills like cooperation and trust. When rock climbing, each member of the team needs to know that they can trust their partner to help them navigate the wall. And should they fall, kids should trust that their belayer, the person controlling their safety rope, will keep them safe.

Encourage Problem Solving

In rock climbing, it’s very important for the climber to know where to place their hands and feet in order to reach the next step. Kids will learn problem solving skills by working out how to reach their goal and where to place their hands and feet. If a route they’re taking doesn’t get them to where they need to go, kids will need to figure out an alternate route.

Work Out the Whole Body

Rock climbing is a great activity for your child’s health not only mentally, but physically. Because rock climbing is such an intensive sport, kids get a full-body workout including:

  • Physical strength and endurance: Climbing is hard work and pulling themselves up will work out their core and overall body strength.
  • Flexibility: Rock climbing demands that climbers be flexible to get into a position that will reduce the load on their arms and hands, making the climb less tiring and more efficient.
  • Hand-eye coordination: Figuring out how far away the next handle if they will be able to reach it.

Guidelines for Rock Climbing with the Family

Children can start learning how to climb at an early age—the YMCA has rock climbing programs that begin for children three years old. But before you enroll your child into a class regardless of age, make sure that they show an interest—otherwise the activity won’t be fun for anyone.

Outdoor & Indoor Safety

Regardless of exercising inside or outside, make sure your family is wearing the proper gear for optimal safety and comfort:

  • Tennis shoes
  • Fitted, stretchy clothing
  • Helmet

Rock climbing programs will have instructors that will make sure everyone is properly fitted and paired with a wall that matches their skill level. In fact, indoor rock climbing is very safe for kids since it’s in a controlled environment. Outdoors, on the other hand, requires more skill as the weather can be unpredictable. So always check the weather and stay safe by staying hydrated and making sure your kids can safely climb the outdoor course.

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