The pandemic has had a huge impact on all of our lives over the last couple of years or so. In particular, the exercise habits of many people have changed throughout the pandemic with various exercise facilities such as gyms closing or restricted hours. This has led people to find new ways to stay active, from outdoor activities to home workouts.
One of the ways I have been able to stay active throughout the pandemic is indoor climbing, both harnessed and unharnessed (bouldering). I was introduced to it by a few of my friends in the summer of 2020, and have since found it to be a great way to exercise without breathing too hard or dealing with warrants of provincial closures due to COVID-19.
1. It’s a mind and physical training
One of the best things about rock climbing is that it’s both a mental and a physical workout. Not only do you work on your strength, agility and balance, but your mind also has to work to figure out how to navigate the various marked routes.
2. It’s social!
It’s super fun to go to the climbing gym with your friends and chat between climbs, and everyone at the gym is really friendly too. Fellow climbers are always happy to cheer you on, give you tips and advice on how to complete routes, and just chat about climbing.
3. Many climbing gyms are still open during COVID
Even when regular gyms and other exercise facilities are closed due to COVID mandates, climbing gyms are often still allowed to be open. I have found it to be a great option for exercising in the cold winter months.
4. Directly on the UVic campus
Did you know that UVic has the tallest rock climbing wall of any Canadian university?
There’s a 55-foot climbing tower and 14-foot bouldering wall inside UVic’s CARSA center on campus, and UVic’s climbing club is a great way to meet other climbers. Click here for more information on UVic’s climbing facilities and here to learn more about the UVic Climbing Club.
5. Endless Opportunities!
The world of climbing truly is endless… from indoor climbing you can branch out to outdoor climbing in the summer months, mountaineering and other similar pursuits. The list of opportunities continues!
So what are you waiting for? Pick up some friends and try rock climbing as a way to stay active and social during the pandemic winter.
Photos: Sam Rae Harriss; Pictured: Kate Waddell at the CARSA Climbing Wall, UVic