Reporter scales new heights as she tries rock climbing at Romford YMCA
PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 July 2015
The summer is upon us and this is the time of year people want to make the most of the nice weather and get in shape.
A workout doesn’t have to be a chore or boring and the extra adrenaline from rock climbing really keeps you going.
Viki Bainsfair, the health and wellbeing manager at the YMCA in Rush Green Road, Romford, has been teaching people to use its climbing wall since it was installed in an old squash court five years ago.
“We wanted to do something different within our centre and we wanted to have something that gave our members an offer that was an alternative to conventional fitness,” she said.
“The kids clubs are brilliant as most children follow the routes of rugby, football, dancing or gymnastics but that’s not for everyone.
“This gives them a good foundation to meet other children outside of school and build trust.”
The YMCA also works with an exercise referral scheme for cancer patients.
Anyone living in Havering who has had a diagnosis in the past five years is able to go to the centre and have 12 weeks of free access to its facilities including the climbing wall.
“We get some ladies who come in after chemotherapy or surgery and don’t have the upper body strength they used to,” explained Viki.
“We take them into the climbing room, which is a nice and quiet environment, and work on it with them.
“It really helps build their confidence.”
There are several different types of rock climbing – top roping allows people to work in pairs to climb high up the walls with the help of a harness and belay; traversing and bouldering allows people to work across much smaller walls without any ropes or support; and lead climbing is similar to top ropingm however someone is able to do it alone and it is quite advanced.
The appeal of climbing is helped by the ability to always improve, right from beginner to expert. The workout is sharp and fast, leaving you feeling pumped and happily exhausted, and there are visible improvements in each climb.
If you would like to try rock climbing at the YMCA it costs £8 plus kit hire and there is an open club on Tuesdays from 4.30pm to 6pm. Call 01708 766211 for information and booking.
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