Climbing trees is something that most of us did at some point in our youth, but for today we'll have largely hung up our old tree climbing shoes for a more grounded existence. This is something of a shame however when tree climbing can offer so many benefits. At the very least it's something you should pass on to your children, but why not give it a go yourself again? Here we'll look at why you should and how to go about it.
Benefits of Tree Climbing
Tree climbing is one of those rare activities that you can enjoy outside and that you can have fun with without giving yourself eyestrain (in other words it doesn't involve a computer or a television). At the same time it's also very healthy in a number of other ways – the most obvious of course being that it can help with muscle development by training your dynamic strength and your 'strength to weight ratio'. When you pull yourself up a tree branch you're doing the equivalent of either a chin up or a pull up, whereas when you push up with your legs it's the equivalent of a lunge or a squat. Combine this with the grip strength and forearm training, and the core stability and you have a great all over workout that's particularly good for generally toning and giving you the kind of strength and agility that can translate to sports prowess.
On top of this tree climbing is just a lot of fun. Unlike spending time in the gym, it means you get to be outside and to enjoy a good view, and it's something you can do with your kids. You could even add a tree house for them.
How to Get Into Tree Climbing
Building a tree house then is one option if you want to encourage your kids to climb the trees or give yourself a good excuse too. At the same time though you also need to of course make sure that you grow some trees in your garden that will be tall enough and strong enough in the first place to hold your weight and to allow for your climbing and jumping around in them.
Another important thing is to make sure that you get the tree pruned and kept under control. This means cutting away stray branches that are growing into the fences and keeping them relatively short. By keeping the trees fairly short you can avoid letting your children climb too high and potentially putting themselves at danger (of course you should never let them climb without supervision) and by keeping the branches shorter and the tree healthy you can avoid branches breaking off which can be dangerous.
The easiest way to climb any tree is to get in close to it and to stand on the base of the branches to push yourself up. Branches are surprisingly strong, and even the thin ones that bend a lot are unlikely to snap if you stand right on the base where they connect to the trees.