Benefits of Climbing Up A Wall

Intense rock climbing burns 700 calories an hour, and the people who do it several times a week claim it tones every muscle in your body.

What you can't see, however, is how well it exercises your mind too.

Challenges in the courtroom aren't enough for Attorney Chris Lenn. He faces many more every time he searches for the right footing.

Rock climbing started out as something fun to do with his son. Now, it's somewhat of an obsession.

Chris exclaims, "I'm 50 years old, and it works all my body. It starts with your fingers and toes, moves in toward your core, and finally starts working the central or core part of your body. So I see improvement even now."

And that's just the physical part; it takes complete focus as well.

"It's a real challenge to assess the risk and compare that to your ability and your fear level," he says.

At Evansville's Vertical Excape, you can do "top roping," climbing up the wall, or you can climb around the room in what's called traversing. Either way, Manager Barb Byers promises your heart rate will go up and your muscles will get a work out. She says it helped her lose 40 pounds.

Barb explains, "It worked every part of my body, and that's why I'm saying this traversing really stretches you. So you stretch areas of your body that you don't expect. You build muscles in areas. It is a full body workout."

But is it scary?

Just ask 3-year-old Keaton Holmes, the owner's son. With the right safety equipment and supervision, he can scale the wall with no problem.

Vertical Excape owner, Nate Holmes, assures, "As he's going up, I'm basically just pulling the slack up through this device each step that he takes. So anytime that he were to fall, he's just going to hang right where he's at."

He can hang with the best of them.

Accident victims use rock climbing as a means of rehabilitation. Those with brain injuries especially benefit from the coordination training.

The Evansville Association for the Blind brings some of its clients down there too. Although it may seem like a visual sport, it's actually more of a tactile one.