Exercise is such a vital tool in the development of children. With the abundance of video games and cartoons it is sometimes difficult to kick the kids out of the house to pursue activities that challenge their bodies instead of their fingers. A great activity for kids is Rock Climbing. I realize that seems a little extreme, but climbing is an ideal activity for children. Climbing provides many underlying benefits that help in physical and mental development, but the best part is: kids think it's fun! Climbing helps build coordination, flexibility, muscle strength,endurance, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

If you think about it, kids are built to climb. I am sure that some of you reading this right now have a difficult time keeping your kids from climbing up the kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator. Kids' low strength to weight ratio combined with small hands and feet make climbing come quite easily. As a climbing instructor, I focus on teaching adults to climb using their minds and proper technique. For children it just comes naturally. I find that younger children pick up on climbing much faster than most adults. I have witnessed a wide spectrum of climbers starting at age 2 to age 80. Anyone who has the desire to climb can do it if you just try.

The final problem is, "where do we go?" Being that we are in a vertically challenged city without beautiful mountains surrounding us, we have to be creative. The best place is through an indoor climbing facility. In almost every major city one can find a climbing gym that offers climbing for all ages. Many offer programs geared towards children such as birthday parties and camps.

Next time you are looking for some activity to challenge your child mentally and physically, think about climbing. Your kids will have so much fun that they won't even realize they are exercising!

Article submitted by:
Chris Fairbank
IBEX Climbing Gym