Boomers Can (and do) Rock Climb!

Boomers ages 70+ to 50+

If you're over 50, nearing retirement or already there, your focus on health and quality of life will probably intensify. Indoor sport climbing is a great way to get fit and it's an ideal exercise for Boomers. 

Having fun while extending your ability to remain healthy and independent makes all kinds of sense. Significant improvement in balance, agility and strength makes indoor climbing a highly effective fall prevention activity. It’s also a very social activity that promotes happy, active and successful aging.    

This website provides clear information regarding the value of indoor climbing for the over-50 crowd, plus its favorable injury rate stats to understand risks vs. benefits

I know - you're probably not fond of heights. Me too! Indoor climbing was the last activity I ever imagined that I would try. However, after foolishly daring my granddaughters I had my first experience. 

Later, I overcame my fear with actual injury rate facts (see the Fear vs. Reality page) and decided to take a class. Nine years have passed (I'm now 72), and my quality of life, functional strength and health continue to reap enormous benefits from this remarkable activity. 

We know the greatest risk to human health is human behavior. Regular exercise is proven to improve health and quality of life, so let's examine indoor rock climbing. Climbing is an inherently dangerous activity. However, indoor top-rope rock climbing has an extraordinarily low injury rate. In fact, it’s less than one percent of other activities like tennis, basketball, bicycling or even treadmill exercising. 

Indoor climbing has significant advantages over other forms of exercise. It’s mentally challenging, exciting and exhilarating. Climbing exercises the entire body and matches all fitness recommendations set forth by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Mayo Clinic staff: flexibility, stretching, core exercise, strength building and aerobic fitness. 

Ideal exercises for older adults include a big emphasis on balance. One reason older adults are less active is that losing your balance in most activities means falling and a potential injury. Indoor rock climbing’s robust fall prevention system (rope and harness) enables constant balance practice and improvement - a perfect exercise environment for older adults.

Climbing requires no quick, jerky movements so it's easy on the joints. At the same time, cognitive function is improved because climbing routes are replaced with new ones at regular intervals. This makes it a wonderfully non-repetitive, puzzle-solving blend of mental and physical exercise.

Climbing is a great blend of problem-solving, socializing, strength-building, gadgets, exercise and exhilaration. It seemed highly unlikely, but indoor climbing is an excellent path to lifetime fitness and health for older adults. 

Climbing makes wellness cool; there's a reason inspirational posters so often feature rock climbers. 

Please enjoy this music video. The lyrics ask questions that resonated with me as I approached retirement. In spite of the inspirational pictures of outdoor rock climbing however, I recommend the security of indoor rock climbing's controlled environment for Boomers/Seniors.

How this site is organized: 

  • The 'Gadgets and Classes' page describes some of the knots and climbing gear you'll use on your first climb and links to video demonstrations and to a sign-up page for the Boomer Climbers' Movement Class at Climb Iowa.
  • The last section has links to more information about rock climbing and a 'Contact Us' page where you can ask questions or let us know how climbing has improved your life and health.