The Best Exercise That Doesn’t Feel Like You’re Working Out



One day over the summer, a close friend of mine from high school called me and asked me to go rock climbing with him. At first I was unsure; I mean it’s a workout, and I only workout when I’m swimming. After he finally convinced me, we headed to a rock climbing place close to where we live. We got our gear and began climbing. My friend has been climbing for a few years, so he taught me some of his tips and then sent me up a wall. I was absolutely terrified; between a fear of falling and a fear of heights, climbing up a wall with no ropes was not how I pictured enjoying my night.

Photo by Jonathan J. Castellon on Unsplash

After an hour of climbing I had fallen in love with it. It didn’t feel like exercise, it just felt like a fun thing to do. The first time I went I woke up the next day sore, confused as to why my body felt like it had done an intense, full body workout when all I had done was go climbing. Then it hit me; climbing was something that really worked my body out but didn’t make me feel miserable. After that first trip, I couldn’t stop. We went again the next day and multiple times over the next few weeks, and I even brought friends with me to show them this magical world of exercise I found.


Photo by bady qb on Unsplash

Not only was climbing a great workout, it helped me conquer some fears. The first two trips my friend and I took to climb, he got onto me for giving up when I could’ve continued because of my fears of falling. As I continued, though, I began to get more confident and feared falling less; I completed harder courses and pushed myself to finish even when I was afraid or felt as though I couldn’t continue. In the end, it made me feel both mentally and physically better. I was working out 4 times a week, which I hadn’t done consistently since swim season had ended. I felt more confident, both on the wall and off the wall. I would come out having finished a few routes, and it gave me a sense of accomplishment and improved my mood. It’s not for everyone, but for me, rock climbing has been pretty great, and I recommend you try it.