You’re really only cool if you boulder. Bouldering gyms are popping up all over the place and the free form of rock climbing is gaining popularity. A test in strength and stamina, bouldering is made up of shorter routes on shorter walls and done without any ropes or harnesses. Without being able to rely on a partner or a rope (unless you’re truly savage and you sport climb or self-bele), a boulderer has to rely on their strength and technique to get through the bouldering routes. Like top rope, traditional rock climbing, bouldering has different levels ranging from easy to actual lizard. As the levels go up the “holds” or “rocks” get more challenging, the need for strength gets increased, and the technique it takes to successfully make it through the route gets more advanced. Bouldering is popular for people of all ages because it is a fun exercise that doesn’t require a huge commitment to gear, though be warned, it’s easy to get into shoes. Rock climbing of any kind is a great sport because it quickly builds muscle memory. Many believe rock climbing and bouldering is strictly upper body strength. While it does require a lot of upper body, it also requires using just about every other muscle in your body, which is why you are astonishingly sore after a good day of climbing.
Bouldering is also a very spiritual act. There is a lot of spirituality and psychology which comes into rock climbing, like facing fears, overcoming obstacles, and learning to trust. One has to face their fears of heights, overcome the problems presented to them in the routes, and learn to trust that the route will give them everything they need to complete it. Bouldering includes a lot of mindfulness as well. It is very difficult, and even dangerous, to climb with a muddled mind. It takes focus, breathing, problem solving, and absolute awareness to make each move. Apparently, all that brain work is good for depression and anxiety, according to a new study.
Presented at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, the research found that participants in a study who had to boulder three times a week for eight weeks. Some participants started immediately and some had to wait to begin. On the Beck’s Depression scale, the participants who started bouldering sooner saw over a six point improvement in their depression whereas the participants who had to wait saw only less than one and a half point improvement.
Located in the rocky hillsides of Southern California, Lakehouse Recovery Center connects clients to nature through regular hiking, rock climbing, and bouldering expeditions. In addition to clinical therapy and holistic healing, our residential treatment programs show clients how to enjoy living again without drugs or alcohol. For information, call us today at 877.762.3707/