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why indoor climbing is fast becoming a fun fitness favourite

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While the digital age has brought about masses of benefits, it has also created generations of gadget addicts, desk jockeys and coach potatoes! Research suggests a link between the rise of technology and plunging levels of fitness, the impact of which costs the UK £7.4billion every year. This is backed up by statistics from Public Health England, showing that we are 20% less active than 50 years ago… fitness levels took a noticeable nosedive when the computer mouse and first games console arrived!

Clip ‘n Climb – the indoor climbing specialist – commissioned a survey earlier this year to find out way more about family exercise habits. Polling 500 parents across the country, including in Plymouth, they found that children occupy most of their free time playing on gadgets at home. Nearly three-quarters of parents polled said their children interact more with friends online than in person, and most children weren’t meeting the recommended amount of activity.

It’s not all bad news though; with so many fun and family-friendly new ways to get fit to choose from, there’s never been a better time to get up and get active. NHS guidelines recommend that children should exercise for at least one hour every day, choosing activities that contribute to stronger muscles and bones. This is also essential for teens too, with many getting plenty of screen time, but fewer than 10% of UK teens getting enough exercise.

The even better news? Technology and fitness don’t have to work against each other! Indoor centres, like Plymouth’s Clip ‘n Climb, use technology to encourage fitness, rather than detract from it. Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth boasts an array of interactive games and challenges designed to get the body moving and the heart pumping. From the world-famous interactive climbing line, ValoClimb, which uses augmented technology to put climber’s abilities to the test, to the centre’s epic 26ft climbing challenge, Ascendor.

“Climbing is not only a great activity for increasing levels of fitness and building strength, but it also builds confidence and social skills, develops coordination, improves concentration and learning and improves sleep and mood,” says Michelle Perrin, Manager, from Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth. “Our indoor climbing facilities allow our visitors to have a huge amount of fun and challenge themselves, in a safe and controlled environment.

Michelle continues, “This is an activity that is perfect for children and families – but it isn’t only for them! We’ve heard so many of our adult climbers refer to the centre as a fun alternative to the mundane and repetitive routines people find themselves in by going to the gym. We think this is the answer, to make fitness fun and social, with challenges that suit every age and ability so that families and friends have something they can do together.”

As one of the biggest Clip ‘n Climb centres in the UK, with a massive 44 different climbing lines, there really is something for everyone, featuring the UK’s tallest ‘Big cheese’ challenge and ‘Stairway to Heaven’. With a soft play area also available, toddlers (under 4 years old) can get in on the fun too. With the end of the summer fast approaching, parents are encouraged to keep themselves and their children active throughout the coming months. Michelle says, “As the weather cools down, it’s a great time to head indoors, try climbing, get the blood pumping, warm up and have a good time. It’s so important to stay active to maintain a healthy mind and body.”

And you’re about to see a whole lot more about climbing, with the sport making its debut in the 2020 Olympics. Last year’s figures from the Association of British Climbing Walls revealed that the number of wall visits was up 16% on the previous year's figures. Offering physical and mental stimulation for people of all ages, as well as providing loads of other benefits, indoor climbing is an activity on the incline. Now’s the time to get involved and try it for yourself!

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