Rock Climbing: Lose Weight on the WallPosted: May 28, 2015 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
If your weight loss efforts have hit a wall, why not climb it? Rock climbing is becoming an increasingly popular activity, and for good reason: rock climbing is a challenge for both the body and the mind, an invigorating workout that can boost your metabolism, strengthen your muscles and, of course, be a lot of fun.
Your medical weight loss program is the perfect time to try new things, especially when it comes to exercise. Though you may think that rock climbing is beyond your reach, you may find that the weight you lose quickly makes you capable of handling it, and beginners can find plenty of guidance and reassurance from dedicated instructors at indoor climbing gyms that are now prevalent nationwide.
The Benefits of Climbing
Studies have proven the effectiveness of climbing as a full-body workout. Reaching and gripping those handholds will strengthen your fingers, arms, shoulders, core, back and calves, while it can also make you more agile and flexible. But climbing is also a very mental activity—planning how you’ll tackle a difficult route is a great exercise in problem solving and focus.
It’s no secret that rock climbing can be a challenge. As with any other strenuous activity, you should speak with your weight loss doctor before attempting rock climbing to make sure it will be a safe and healthy activity for you.
If your doctor has given you the go-ahead, start by finding a facility that offers training for beginners. At most indoor gyms, you can learn the fundamentals in a session that will last about 30 minutes, while beginning climbers are also typically supervised by an instructor until receiving certification. You’ll start by learning how to tie safety knots and handle the ropes, then move on to easy climbs on an indoor wall.
Before you head out for your first climb, it will help to learn about:
It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing that won’t get in the way when you reach for a hold. Your first time, you’ll likely want to wear athletic shoes, but if you find rock climbing becoming a hobby it may be wise to invest in a pair of climbing shoes, which have sticky soles for extra grip and are designed to fit your foot snugly.
Patience is important. Climbers tend to plan each move carefully. Instead of rushing through the climb, engage your mind as much as your body by thinking about the most effective route. If you find yourself a bit unnerved by your distance from the ground below, it helps to remember that there’s a sturdy rope holding you up, or to have a friend or instructor along for encouragement.
Rock climbing can be a great way to keep off the weight you lose with medical weight loss, but it can also be an invigorating hobby for your body and your mind. Have some fun and try something new today.