Cool Off and Recovery by Jennifer Bateman

Helping Your Body Cool Off and Recover after Rock Climbing

As with most forms of exercise it is important that you give your body and muscles time to cool down after you have been rock climbing. This allows your body to stay as healthy as possible with a very small chance of any injuries occurring as your body will have received ample cooling down time. Pairing these exercises for cooling down with some key nutrition choices can leave you feeling great after a rock climbing session, sometimes with even more energy than you initially started with. Learning some of these exercises and nutrition tips can really help you to stay at your best before, during and after a rock climbing session.


Cooling Off Properly After Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a very intensive pastime; it is a great way to get some exercise, and also a brilliant way to get an adrenaline rush at the top of a rock climbing wall or similar. After your session of rock climbing is over you should always do some relatively simple exercises to cool your body down. Finding effective exercises can be difficult but luckily there are a number of different ways that you can allow your body to get some much needed cool down time;

  • Light aerobics – Climbing sessions can produce a lot of lactic acid and toxins which can build up in your body, causing your muscles to have a severely hindered recovery time. Getting the blood flowing is a great way to flush out any built up lactic acid or toxins; this can be done with a brisk walk or another similar form of light aerobics. Ensure this exercise is very easy as you are attempting to let the muscles relax with this exercise, not to stress them any further.
  • Stretching – This may seem like something you would do prior to rock climbing, however it can actually be done before and after a climb. One of the main focuses when stretching is ensuring the hands, wrists and arms are fully stretched so as they do not become stiff or painful on your next climb. There are a number exercises that can help with this such as the forearm flexors, a stretch where you pull back gently on all four fingers until you feel them being stretched, then you hold this for the count of five breaths – this stretch can be done before and during a climb, as well as after. Leg stretches are also important, lying on your back with your legs resting straight up against a wall can be an excellent way to relax and restore your body, holding for ten breaths for the full effect. Other stretches can be tried here – different things will work more effectively for different people.

Nutrition Tips Post-Exercise

What you choose to eat and drink after a session of rock climbing can drastically affect the way your body is feeling, specifically the amount of aching you experience and the energy you have remaining for the rest of the day. Choosing your snacks and drinks wisely can give you a much needed energy boost, but make sure you really spend some time deciding on your chosen items rather than just grabbing a coffee and cake from a local café as these will do nothing for you in the long run. During climbing you should be drinking approximately one liter of water per hour which most rock climbers do not reach – this level of intake should be continued for a few hours even after the climbing is over to minimize fatigue. If you want something that gives you a noticeable energy boost you may wish to try a specially formulated energy drink that will give you that desired boost, as well as improved stamina, endurance and even faster muscle recovery and significantly less fatigue. Having a drink such as this and a banana shortly after finishing your climb can make a massive difference to your ongoing energy levels for the rest of the day. Taking the right items with you when you intend climbing can really make the difference to the way you feel once you are finished.

Cooling down after a climb, no matter how significant or insignificant the climb may have felt, can allow your body to properly relax and begin repairing the muscles, making them stronger for your next climb. This paired with the proper attention to what you are eating and drinking after a climb can allow you to really excel and show your full potential, boosting not only your energy, but also your mood and the way you feel about yourself.

- Jennifer Bateman

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