When you think of playgrounds, it invokes images of slides, swings and gaggles of children running back and forth shouting in delight. However, there is an activity that multi-level playgrounds offer that is hugely beneficial to children and even adults and shouldn’t be overlooked as an efficient source of exercise. Climbing.
Climbing offers a huge number of positives and even better, is an activity that most children don’t even realise they are doing during their play session. Whether it’s heading up a ladder to get to the top of the school slide or scaling rope-based playground equipment, like those featured here https://www.kompan.co.uk/playground. The next time you think your kids need to get active, consider these fantastic benefits of climbing at the playground or a dedicated rock-climbing wall.
It’s Very Physical
Climbing offers a full-body workout, exercising the arms, legs and core. Muscles get to stretch out as the climber reaches between holds and with a good grip, it’s easy to pause the climb and take a break. Climbing builds lean muscle structures and as they continue to climb regularly, these muscles continue to grow and develop.
Builds Endurance and Flexibility
If you work in an office and have been sitting at your desk for a few hours, you’ll recognise that awful stiff feeling that comes with standing up. Climbing provides the opportunity to improve muscle and joint flexibility, making the body healthier and less likely to lock up after being still for some time. Climbing is also perfect for building endurance levels as climbers can easily pause during a climb and wait to get their breath back before continuing. After regular practice, they won’t need to take a break and will climb previous structures with ease.
Teaches Great Co-Ordination Between Hands, Feet and Eyes
We all know someone that isn’t the most stable on their feet and is a bit clumsy, however, clumsiness is really a loss of coordination between our eyes and either our hands or feet. When climbing, climbers need to focus and concentrate on the best available route, estimating distances so as not to reach further than they are comfortable. This is a great way to build coordination and reduce clumsiness and encourage thought-processes too.
Improves Problem Solving Abilities
When climbing a route, even a simple ladder to the top of the slide, children need to think about where to place their hands and feet. When climbing something more complicated, they also need to consider moving across the structure, planning the easiest route for them to take. Beginners tend to rush the climb, not visualising a route and instead, taking each step as they go, which is why younger children often find themselves stuck. As the climber develops, they will soon start planning routes in their head and improve their problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Builds Confidence and Bravery
Do you remember standing at the bottom of the playground climbing frame for the first time and looking up as it towers over you? It was an exciting, exhilarating feeling yet also terrifying. Now think back to the first time you managed to get to the top of the climbing frame and the sheer sense of achievement you felt. Imagine you could provide your child with the chance to experience the feeling over and over? Climbing is the perfect way to do just this while building confidence in children as they tackle heights increasingly more difficult. This confidence will carry through to the rest of their lives, boosting their self-esteem and encouraging them to step out of their comfort-zone more easily in the future.
We all wish our children were a bit more active at times yet often worry about the impact of contact sports or your child might not be one for lots of running around. Climbing, either at a dedicated wall or down the local park, is a fantastic activity to take part in for the health benefits alone but does wonders for emotional and mental stress too. When climbing at a wall, it is also considered one of the safest sports and with Rock Wall Climbing coming to the 2020 Olympics, there is sure to be an increase in the number of climbers over the next few years.