3 reasons why bouldering makes me happy

Bouldering is climbing without the use of ropes or harnesses and limited in height to about 5 meters. The number of people making their way up colorful holds on climbing walls is steadily rising. Excersicing surely is good for your body. But why does bouldering cause happiness and which life lessons can you learn?

One year ago I signed up for a bouldering course and I’m addicted ever since. Although bouldering was invented outdoors in the woods of Fontainbleau/France, climbing gyms are the perfect starting point for beginners. Here are my 3 reasons why bouldering is more than a fun full-body workout:

Reason 1: Fast improvements and new self-confidence

All you need to get started is a bouldering wall, climbing shoes and a coach or friend who explains the basics. And up you climb your first route along the bright holds in one color. It takes a bit to get used to the movements (left foot, right arm) but after a few trainings the route that seemed impossible to climb suddenly is a piece of cake. 

A girl on a bouldering wall
colorful bouldering wall

Especially at the beginning you’ll improve your bouldering quickly. A better coordination, core and overall strenght are the reasons. And reaching a new level will make you happy. Experiencing success with your bouldering will also strenghten your general self-confidence (you can climb vertical walls!).

orange top bouldering holds
reaching for the top

Reason 2: Bouldering clears your mind and helps to relieve stress

Have you ever been plagued with distracting thoughts or do you have a hard time relaxing after a long day at work?

When you are climbing total concentration is required. It’s all about the wall, your fingers, toes and reaching that next hold. There is no room for stress or negative thoughts when you’re focused. Only the moment counts. Research shows that bouldering even helps to fight depression.

Reason 3: Bouldering is all about solving problems

The routes on the wall are called boulder problems for a reason. Solving them isn’t always easy because as opposed to climbing with a leash, bouldering is mainly about short but complex routes. Differences between climbing and bouldering are explained here.

Before starting, it’s wise to think the route through. Miming the movements with your hands in the air might looks funny but surely is helpful. Flashing a problem, that means solving a boulder problem at the first try, is often the goal. (Find more bouldering terms in this glossary). However, working through routes step by step can be the key for success. Endurance and creativity pay off, as they do in life.

And whenever a problem seems unsolvable just look around. There’s usually a climber already waiting to help you. Bouldering almost seems like a team sport. Yet another reason for giving it a shot.

a girl on a bouldering wall with another climber sitting on the mat
solving boulder problems together

Are you a boulderer? Or why does working out make you happy?

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