The beginning of a new year means many ambitious resolutions, including goals to bring positive changes in the year to come. But even the best intentions of meeting new people, dropping a few pounds, learning a new skill, or simply exercising more can fail without the right outlet or level of accountability.
To avoid joining the 80 percent who reportedly fail to keep their resolutions by February, Crux Climbing Center shares five ways rock climbing can help you achieve — and exceed — your New Year's goals:
1. Challenge your body with dynamic movements
Rock climbing mixes cardio and strength training with mental stamina and a touch of adrenaline-pumping adventure. Imagine getting your cardio workout in by scaling 30-foot walls, not running a million miles. Or gaining muscle by traversing steep routes, not over-exerting your body with monotonous weight lifting.
Unlike more unilateral workouts such as rowing or cycling, climbing utilizes the entire body (including muscles never used before — hello, lats!) to burn calories while increasing flexibility. As one of the most physically intense activities, climbing also works small and large muscle groups in parallel to produce visual results quickly.
"I love adding bouldering/climbing to my normal gym routine because I don't always feel like going to a 'workout'," says Sydney Torabi, co-owner of Restart CBD and blogger at Spin Syddy. "I go to the gym or group class five to six days out of the week. Although I love the routine and functionality of my day-to-day workouts, sometimes what my body (and mind) needs is a change of pace. Crux gives me the ability to switch things up in a fun way that challenges my muscles (including the itty bitty hidden ones) without the stress of actually lifting weights or sprinting on a treadmill. It's social, it's fresh, and a way for me to build a new skill. I'm competitive at heart and love the thought of getting better each time I go."
2. Reduce stress and reach new heights
Rock climbing increases your body's norepinephrine output — or, in layman's terms, it helps reduce stress. Whether indoors or out, climbers experience a natural sense of euphoria upon reaching the top of a route. Multiply that feeling across an hour's worth of climbing and your heart will be pounding from exertion and a pure sense of accomplishment.
3. Improve your balance and problem-solving skills
Finding your balance is key to becoming a strong, graceful rock climber. Climbing encourages you to maintain equilibrium within your core while building grip strength to prevent fatigue and propel you toward more advanced routes. Additionally, climbing is just as much a mental sport as it is physical. Conquering routes requires critical thinking and reactive problem solving.
"While rock climbing will certainly help you tone up and gain muscle, I've never really viewed the sport as solely a weight-losing activity," says Kevin Goradia, founder and owner of Crux Climbing Center. "At the end of a climbing session, my muscles are tired, sure, but I'm filled with content and pride for what I just accomplished."
4. Get fit with the whole family
Climbing is one of the first physical movements your body learns as an infant. Imagine your kiddo using the coffee table to stand up, scaling their crib, or learning to lift themselves from a pool. Each of these movements translates into natural climbing skills, making indoor and outdoor rock climbing an engaging activity for all ages. The experts at Crux Climbing Center ensure climbers learn the ropes safely while honing in on fundamental climbing techniques.
5. Find a new community
Recreational rock climbing is not a competitive sport. You'll frequently find climbers offering advice to newcomers, collaborating on how to conquer routes, and encouraging each other to try new moves. Climbing builds trust and gives athletes a chance to celebrate successes together.
When Goradia founded Crux in 2016, he combined dynamic bouldering areas, rope climbing, and state-of-the-art fitness spaces with a comfortable place for members to commune and socialize. Today, Crux is a premier hub where Austin climbers, both novice and expert, can not only perfect their craft but gather as a community to learn from and teach one another.
Interested in learning the ropes? Visit www.cruxclimbingcenter.com to learn more about Crux's rates, member benefits, upcoming events, and more.