How Rock Climbing Does Your Mind — And Body — Good

A Scripted Freelance Writer Writing Sample

Ascending a cliff, boulder or even an indoor rock wall requires a large amount of physical strength and endurance. Some conquer climbs through nutritious meals and campus board pull-ups. Meanwhile, for some diehard climbers, that endurance was historically powered by canned beans and a wide variety of snacks from the Tioga Gas Mart outside of Yosemite. But with or without the gas station nibbles, there's no doubt that climbers know a thing or two about a healthy lifestyle. Here's how rock climbing helps you lead a happier, healthier life. Rock climbing builds muscle and endurance. Contrary to what many beginners may believe, climbing requires much more than upper-body strength. The success of sending — or completing — a route relies heavily on a long list of physical factors, including intricate footwork, lower body strength and lean muscle mass. Although not often thought of as a common form of cardio, ascending walls is a sure way to get your heart pumping, similar to the way climbing stairs or jogging does. A one-hour climb session can burn well over 700 calories. Plus, tricky maneuvers and lengthy reaches often require developing flexibility that wasn't there before. To increase bendability, more and more rock gyms are incorporating yoga studios into their facilities....

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Abigail W

New York, New York, United States •

Abigail is a senior editor at REI's Mountain Project, Trail Run Project, MTB Project, Hiking Project, and Powder Project. She also works as a reported features contributor at Romper (Bustle's baby) and is the founder of Sticks & Stones, a newsletter about the outdoors for women, by women. Previously, Abigail was the engagement editor at Outside Magazine, an associate editor at Real Simple, and a part of the Healthy Living team at The Huffington Post, where she started the Go Rogue series. Publications such as Reader's Digest, Time, and PopSci have also featured her work. She once wrote a biography about a farmer-turned-CEO and hopes to write more books in the future. Abigail holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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