Indoor rock climbing is city's new fitness activity

Indoor rock climbing is city's new fitness activity

With concrete jungles taking over the green spaces in the city, the avenues for adventure sports are decreasing day-by-day. But this has not stopped urban adventure enthusiasts from getting their dose of adrenaline within the city limits, thanks to sports like indoor rock climbing.

There are a few indoor bouldering gyms in Bengaluru that have now become favourite haunts of youngsters.

Mahanya Sreedhar, partner of Equilibrium Climbing Station says, "Indoor rock climbing is becoming immensely popular among professionals, expatriates and regular adventure enthusiasts who are looking at rock climbing as a means of fitness."

Bengaluru has been a hub for rock climbers for a long time but the popularity of the sport is now increasing by word of mouth.

"It is a new thing to do rather than regular sports like cricket, football or badminton. Climbing brings with it various health benefits which is one of the reasons for it's growing demand. It engages one's entire body and mind and helps in improving balance and coordination.
For kids, it helps develop their fine motor skills," adds Mahanya.

Lokesh Rajanchandra (19), takes part in climbing competitions. He started when he was 10.

"I train for three hours when I'm preparing for competitions and for two hours otherwise. Climbing has many benefits - physical, social and mental."

Chandrasekhar Mani, director operations and co-founder of Urban Climbers says, "It has been five years since we came into the market and in the last three years, there is a definite increase in participation and awareness about indoor bouldering. For most people, it is a sport and fitness activity. At present, we cater to four locations - Shobha clubhouse in Bellandur, Springfield Apartments, Oakridge International School and Aurinko Academy."

Chandrasekhar says that outdoor rock climbing might need a lot of investment in terms of equipment and travel. People might not want to spend the whole day for an hour-long activity. Which is why they get attracted to indoor rock climbing.

"It is a non-seasonal activity. There are many places that provide bouldering experiences like Phoenix MarketCity, Play Arena, Jail Road and Sree Kanteerava Stadium," he says.

Most of these bouldering gyms work on a membership model.

EQUILIBRIUM CLIMBING STATION MEMBERSHIPS
Monthly - Rs 3,500 + taxes
Quarterly - Rs 7,000 + taxes
Half-yearly - Rs 12,000 + taxes
Annual - Rs 18,000 + taxes

URBAN CLIMBERS MEMBERSHIP
Monthly - Rs 2,000, three days training/week

SAFETY MEASURES
Ensure that the harness and buckles are in place. Harnesses need to be fitted and buckles have to be securely double based or locked off.
The floor has to be well-padded to minimise injury, in case of a fall.
Be aware of who is around you when you are climbing.
Ropes, harness, helmets, chains and anchors should be inspected regularly and replaced if required.
Safe and effective belaying is important.

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