Help Your Child Soar with Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is a great way to work your mind and body, but it’s not just for grown-ups. It’s actually a great activity for kids to get into—especially since they can do it all year long. That means goodbye cabin fever! Most kids are natural climbers (you may have noticed them scrambling up playground equipment or spending hours in the trees) and this is a safe way to let them go higher and higher. On top of that, rock climbing offers lots of physical and mental benefits to kids. These include:
- Strength and flexibility: Climbing is a full-body workout that targets lots of different muscle groups. Your child will need core strength to stay balanced, upper body strength to hold on and leg strength to propel themselves up the wall. It also requires flexibility, since they’ll need to get into some pretty wild positions to reach the top.
- Problem solving: Rock climbing isn’t a race to the finish line—your child will need to learn how to be patient and figure out how to navigate a giant vertical puzzle. With practice, they will learn how to think ahead and make quick decisions to successfully complete the route.
- Overcoming fear: It’s normal to be a little uncomfortable with heights, and climbing encourages your kids to fight those fears and trust their abilities. It also encourages them to seek out greater challenges, since there’s always a more difficult route to try.
- Persistence: Your kids aren’t going to go through life getting everything correct the first time. Rock climbing shows them that it’s okay to make mistakes and how to learn from them. As your child progresses to longer routes up the wall, they will develop mental toughness and self-motivation to keep going when they get tired.
Ready to let your kid give it a try? Many local rock climbing gyms offer kid classes. For example, Planet Rock in Ann Arbor and Madison Heights has climbing classes for kids as young as five. Your child will be able to learn and practice skills as well as understand basic climbing safety. Bouldering (climbing with no harness on smaller walls) may be a good way to introduce your child to indoor rock climbing. It’s less intimidating (there’s no gear and the walls are a lot shorter) and you’re right there to help them if they fall on the soft padding.
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