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5 Reasons Why Climbers Should Meditate

5 Reasons Why Climbers Should Meditate

Meditation may not be the first activity that comes to mind when you think of a high intensity activity like rock or mountain climbing, but it’s a winning combination. On the face of it, the two activities seem to be at odds with each other, with one requiring you to remain still and calm, while the other gives you an adrenaline rush. Yet, these seemingly opposite activities have much more in common than you would think. While physical fitness and strength are often cited as crucial for rock climbing, we often forget the importance of a healthy mind.

Both your body and mind need to be in a healthy state before you begin climbing. Exercises can help you achieve the physical strength, but it is through meditation that you can acquire mental strength and balance. Although seemingly unconnected, meditation can be very beneficial to climbers.

Here are 5 ways in which meditation helps enhance your climbing fitness levels.



Better Breathing 


Most meditation techniques involve concentrating on your breath, thereby making you more aware of your breathing. With regular meditation, you can learn to breathe properly, so that it improves your blood circulation and keeps you healthy. This is highly beneficial, when climbing, especially at high altitudes.


Improved Thinking and Concentration 


There’s scarcely any activity as beneficial as meditation and yoga for climbers as it greatly enhances concentration levels. Naturally, rock climbing is a sport that requires immense concentration and focus, so as to avoid any accidents. Meditation also enhances your cognitive function and decision-making skills. This is critical for climbers, as they may have to take some quick, yet smart decisions, when maneuvering unexpected turns or unfamiliar situations.


Calm Under Stress 


Climbing is an intense activity, but it wouldn’t be half as thrilling if it didn’t have so many scares. Climbers are often presented with terrifying situations that can even unnerve experienced mountaineers, but the key to a successful climb is keeping calm. If you panic at every situation fraught with risk, climbing would be a stressful activity. With meditation, you are can battle your emotions and stress and more effectively. This is extremely helpful as it allows you to think clearly during crisis situations. It is for this reason that many seasoned climbers recommend meditation for climbing to high-risk or unknown terrains.


Improved Memory 


The aforementioned stress of climbing can often cloud your judgment or impair your memory. This can be dangerous while climbing as it can cause you to forget crucial instructions and make poor choices. The memory boosting effect is just one of the many other benefits of meditative yoga for climbers. This helps you easily recall the particular approach or action that is required in a difficult situation.

Injury Prevention and Recovery 


Another use of meditation for climbing is that helps to increase self-awareness, not just in terms of your mind, but also in terms of your physical abilities. This helps in avoiding injuries, as you are better aware of your limitations and are less likely to yourself too hard. On the other hand, in the event that you do suffer an injury or accident during a climb, meditation can help you battle depression and fear, improving your chances of survival.

Meditating regularly makes you confident and allows you to conquer your fears. So the next time you plan a climbing fitness routine, don’t forget to include meditation in your practice.

How to Pick the Perfect Climbing Shoe!

How to Pick the Perfect Climbing Shoe for the Winter!

 If you’ve decided to go climbing this winter, there are a lot of things that you will have to prepare for before you actually head out for climbing. One important decision will be to pick the right shoes. Your climbing shoes are the most important accessory for the climb and the wrong fit or style can limit your abilities while climbing. In the process of selecting the perfect shoe, it’s best to research well. Here’s a checklist to help you.

Know the Styles and Types of Climbing Shoes 


There are varieties of shoes available in the market and your choice should depend on the climbing types. The broad categories are as follows:


  • Beginner Climbing Shoes  


These are all-round shoes used for basic climbing, and are typically flat, stiff and roomy near the toes.


  • Bouldering and Sport Climbing Shoes 


These shoes are snug to slightly curled toe fit with soft sensitive midsoles and a thin rubber sole. They are less stiff.


  • Trad and Crack Climbing 


These shoes are flat-toed fit with a narrow toe profile and a durable upper and stiff midsole.  A good trad-climbing shoe is fairly stiff and does not cram the toes.

All shoes come with rubber stickiness. Choose one that is slightly harder as that is more durable, while a stickier rubber is softer and less durable. While choosing your winter climbing shoes, select the mode of tightening – laces, Velcro and slip-ons. Laces are the most adjustable and give you a customized fit. Velcro is easy to put on and off while slip-ons are usually the most sensitive and comfortable. Pick up your pair based on the performance you are expecting.

  • Don’t compromise on the fit

There is nothing more important than the fit while ok choosing the right climbing shoe. Always try them on, check different models and different companies. The size should be snug: not too tight, but with no room to wiggle your toes. While trying them on, ensure that there is no gap below the heel. Since you are going climbing in the winter, make sure your shoe allows you to wear a pair of thin socks. While trying on the shoes, walk around for at least five minutes; this will help you verify the comfort level. If at any point you think the fit is amiss, look for another option. Do not compromise on the fit.


  • Pick the correct upper material 

In terms of upper materials, synthetic leather and plastic are most commonly used. Since you are going climbing in the winter, choose the ones with the plastic upper as they tend to keep you warm, are waterproof and protect your foot from snowmelt.

Now that you know how to choose your climbing shoes, get out on the rock!

How to Prevent Climbing Injuries with Stretches

How to Prevent Climbing Injuries with Stretches

Rock climbing or mountain climbing are without a doubt some of the most fun-filled and exciting activities. Ignoring the risks can however, take all of the fun out of what should be a pleasurable experience. As is the case with any adventure sport, climbing does pose its fair share of risks. Very often, these injuries are caused due to a lack of flexibility in the body, which can occur as a result of muscle and ligament strain, while climbing.

As with most physical activities, exercise can be of much help in reducing the risk of such injuries. A quick warm up before you begin your climb can go a long way in stimulating blood flow to the muscles. This not only energizes you for the activity, it improves your agility, which is crucial in rock climbing. Stretches are usually recommended as an essential exercise in a climbing warm up routine.

Scientific View

Although it is generally believed that stretching exercises can significantly lower the risk of climbing injuries, scientific studies have produced mixed results. It was observed during much of the research that stretching before climbing does not benefit the body during the activity. Yet, one must note that the experiments aimed to study the immediate effects of the activity. It would be premature to dismiss stretching exercises as ineffective when it comes to avoiding climbing injuries however, as many other studies have shown positive results and to some extent the benefits will also be greater to an individual with higher fitness levels.

Enhance Flexibility with Stretching

Stretches as a part of your exercise routine or climbing warm up can greatly enhance the flexibility of body muscles over a period of time. So, although there are no immediate benefits, stretching is of much use in the long run. Rock climbing enthusiasts can participate in flexibility training programs that determine the imbalances or weaknesses in muscles and address them with stretching exercises.

Needless to say, a flexible and athletic body helps you perform better in activities like rock climbing. Your muscles and joints acquire increased mobility and you are able to climb with much greater ease.

Things to Consider

In order to gain the best results, it is important to establish a routine of rock climbing stretches that is best suited for your body. It is therefore crucial to assess specific muscles that may need stretching. It is equally important to choose the right type of stretches.

  • Begin by performing a stretch and hold it for a few seconds. If you experience tension or stiffness in certain muscles, those are the less flexible areas of your body. Focus your exercises on these parts to loosen them up.
  • While determining your rock climbing stretches it is important to focus on muscle areas that are strained during the activity. Opt for dynamic stretches that focus on the calves, thighs, lower back, and so on.
  • Be sure to exercise caution and seek professional aid or supervision. Determine your capabilities and do not exert yourself beyond these, as doing so can cause even more harm than good.

Include stretches in your exercise and climbing warm up routine to avoid injuries, so that you can truly enjoy this thrilling activity.

Climb this Winter

Climb this Winter – Climb Higher!

If you are one of those adrenalin junkies, you must already be having your climbing plans this winter, but even if you aren’t, you should definitely plan a cold adventure. Sub-zero temperature can be more fun than the summer heat.

Climbing is an activity that signifies freedom and space and helps us forget our daily worries to concentrate on surviving the climb. It helps sharpen our brain and is known to help in problem-solving. Besides, it is a very sociable activity. It doesn’t hurt to make some new friends while also maintaining your health now, does it?

So, if you are planning on taking a climbing trip with your friends this season, here are a few winter climbing tips you should be keeping in mind –

  • Research Well – A little research never hurts anyone. It will help you be prepared for the climb.
  • Understand the Weather – Winters differ from place to place. While you may have experienced it in a certain country, another country could be exactly the opposite.
  • Know your Gear – Make sure you know everything from your ATC to your crampons, as you will need all the expertise possible while actually climbing in winter.
  • Wear Gloves – While climbing during the winter, your hands are most susceptible to cold, so make sure you carry extra gloves.
  • Carry a Camera – After all the effort, make sure you capture your moment of glory.

While we are on Introduction to Rock Climbing, let’s also cover one very important thing about climbing during winter, that is, to keep yourself warm. While dressing for the cold is one thing, the clothes should allow you to be able to climb. Here’s how to keep yourself warm –

  1. Layer up – Layering creates a buffer between two items of clothing, makingit difficult for the cold to get to you.
  2. Manage layers andavoid sweating  Monitor yourself through the climb. Know when to take off your layers of clothes and when to put them on. It’s very important to be comfortable throughout the climb.
  3. Protect your feet– For a lot of people, cold passes the fastest through the feet. If your feet get numb, it can be pretty difficult to keep climbing. Buy a good pair of climbing boots as they will be one of your most important assets for winter climbing.

If you have these things ready, the snow-clad hills are calling you. Get going!