Tips for Choosing the Right Mountain Biking Helmet

Let’s face it – One of the things that make mountain biking so thrilling, so invigorating is the amount of risk that is inherently involved in the sport. But taking unnecessary risks, such as not wearing the proper helmet, is not thrilling. It is plain foolish. Your bike helmet stands between you and injury or possibly even death. That is why the process of picking out the proper helmet for guided mountain biking in Colorado must be well thought out. Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing the right helmet.

Type

When it comes to types of mountain biking helmets there are two choices – open-face and full-face mountain bike helmets. In the category of open-face mountain bikes, there are two kinds: cross-country and skate style. Here it is important to know what kind of mountain biking you will be doing. Both types provide good protection for cross country, single track, and recreational mountain, but they are different in appearance. Cross country style helmets have a more streamlined, technical and classic bike helmet look. They are designed to provide ventilation for bikers who will be riding great distances. They also commonly have removable or rotating visors to provide protection for the eyes. Skate style helmets, on the other hand, generally have a bucket-shaped look to them and are usually heavier than cross country style helmets. They are not designed to be worn great distances. Finally, full-face helmets provide the maximum amount of head protection but are not as well ventilated as open-face helmets.Adventure Outdoor Living Climbing

Fit

Of course, the best designed and most expensive mountain biking helmet in the world is useless if it does not fit properly. A bike helmet should fit snugly but not be too tight. The front of the helmet should rest just above your eyebrows and allow enough room for eyeglasses or goggles. Also, you should be able to fit two fingers side by side between your chin and the strap. When it comes to sizing, remember to measure, then measure again. Riders may wish to use one of the several helpful sizing guides that are online. In short, your helmet should give good head coverage.

Mountain Bike Helmet Prices

Helmet prices can vary between $25 to upwards of $500. The price difference is based on the weight and complexity of design as well as the material used in the helmet. Riders should buy the best helmet they can afford. After all, they have a lot riding on their helmet. (Pun intended.) Choose wisely and we look forward to seeing you for rock climbing in Denver, CO.

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Best Post Climbing Recovery Foods

Even novices to climbing know that you need the proper sustenance in the form of food to fuel a successful climb. However, the post climbing period when the muscles are fatigued and practically screaming for the nutrients it needs to recover is equally important. Food consumed in this period should aid in repairing muscles, preventing cramps, minimizing pain and refueling your energy reserves. Here are some nutrients and specific foods that can aid in that all important recovery period.

 

  • Carbohydrates: Climbers should begin to consume “recovery foods” within an enriched_bread_flour_cornmeal_rice_and_pastahour after an intense workout. At the top of this list should be foods that are high in carbohydrates such as fruits, fruit juices, bread, pasta and baked goods. Complex carbs can be found in foods like brown rice, whole grain bread, lentils, peas, beans, and vegetables. Complex carbs in particular help you to sustain energy levels throughout the day as well as help to restore and repair damaged muscles.
  • Protein: Not quite as important as carbs is protein for recovery. Protein – in the form of amino acids – helps build muscles and strength. Foods that are high in protein include whole grains, animal products, nuts, beans, and legumes.
  • Fats: Too many of us are conditioned to believe that all fats are the same when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are several kinds of fat including saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, etc. However, Omega-3 and 6 are “good” fatty acids. Recommended post-climb foods include nuts, seeds, olives, and salmon.
  • Water: Yes, our old friend H2O was bound to appear in our list and for good reason. H20 is the elixir of life. Water is essential to the functioning of all our organs. Water also helps us to maintain focus, motor control, body temperature and it helps us fight off fatigue.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins like C and the B-complex and minerals such as zinc are essential nutrients which many people struggle to consume in the right amount. For active people – such as climbers – consuming enough of the right kinds of vitamins is a critical part of the repair process. Vitamin C – found in citrus fruits, kiwi, peppers and broccoli – helps maintain cartilage and bone tissues. Zinc – found in oysters, nuts, seeds, and chicken – promotes growth and helps heal injured tissue.

 

At the end of the day, it is all about helping your body recover in smart and efficient ways. Food is the body’s fuel and it is essential that we choose the right foods to aid in the process of recovery. Our Denver rock climbing experts can give more information about which foods are best to consume before, during and after a climb. Rock climbing in Denver Colorado is safer and more fun when climbers know the importance of a proper diet. Shorten your recovery period by eating like a champion so that you can get back to the sport you love.

How to Choose the Right Shoe for Climbing

Due to the variety of shoes available to climbers, the task of picking the right shoe can be a formidable task even for veterans of this exhilarating sport. After all, there is a lot riding on how a climber’s shoes perform. That alone distinguishes them from street shoes which can be purchased for mere aesthetic reasons. In order to help you make a wise selection of what is probably your most important piece of equipment as a rock climber, we at Apex Ex rock climbing in Denver Colorado would like to help you with these tips from the experts.learning-to-jug-footer-e1401774038676

 

  • Do your research: There are almost as many stores and sites selling climbing shoes as there are types of shoes to be sold. To help make the task easier, survey people you know who already climb or ask your instructor which store or shoes he/she recommends.
  • Know your size requirements: Above all else climbing shoes should fit snugly but not uncomfortably. Know the size of your street shoes and start there for a general guide but try on several types of shoes to get a sense of their fit. (You will in all likelihood have to size up or down from your street shoe size as climbing shoes are unique and have their own sizing system.)
  • Decide on what type of climbing you will be doing: Will you be boulder or sport climbing, traditional or crack climbing or will you restrict yourself to the local rock climbing facility? Generally speaking tougher, steeper grades require a down-turned, performance-type fit shoe. Determine your needs before you purchase a pair of climbing shoes.
  • Determine climbing shoe closures: There are basically three kinds of climbing shoe closures: lace-up, Velcro, and slipper. Each has its advantages. Lace up shoes, for example, are easier to adjust by simply cinching up or loosening the strings. On the other hand, Velcro and slipper shoes are easier to remove quickly if the need arises.

 

  • Consider shape in addition to size: Some of your choices here include flat, slightly down-turned and aggressively down-turned. Flat shoes are extremely versatile in the circumstances for which they can be used. Slightly down-turned shoes perform well in steep cracks and vertical face routes. Lastly, aggressively down-turned shoes perform best on sustained overhangs.

 

Yes, choosing the right shoe can be a daunting task but it is necessary in order to get the most out of this sport. Whether you are at a local gym or rock climbing near Denver, the right pair of shoes can mean the difference between achieving your goals or simply failing. They can also mean the difference between injury and a safe climb. Supplement your research by asking our instructors any questions you may have about shoes, backpacks, ropes or any other equipment you may need.

Rock-climbing Tips for Mature Climbers

As athletes we are told that we must always listen to our bodies. Despite this sound advice, some of us choose to unwisely ignore pain, etc. Well, for people who have reached middle-age, the body begins to speak so loudly that it cannot be ignored. Muscles become less dense, recovery takes longer, and love for the exhilarating sport of rock climbing must be tempered with common sense adjustments that account for the changes that come with age. ‘Mature climbers’ – climbers between the ages 30-55 years – should know that these changes often mean modifying not ending participation in the sport we all love so dearly. Here are our tips for mature climbers who wish to participate in our Colorado adventure trips.Rock Climbing Mountaineer Climber Mountaineering

 

Adjustments to Make Due to Aging

 

  • Check with your doctor: This is the single most important advice we can give to anyone undertaking rock climbing especially older participants. Have your lungs, joints, heart, etc., checked out before rock-climbing and heed the counsel of your doctor.
  • Work on your flexibility: Greater flexibility helps decrease injuries significantly. Moreover, stretching increases blood flow to the muscles and increases athletic performance in people of all ages. As we age, the tissues around our joints tend to get thicker. This decreases the range of motion of our joints. Additionally, our cartilage tends to decrease as well in old age. To compensate maintain a regimen of light stretches to help minimize these effects of aging.
  • Be smart about injuries: We started out this post saying how athletes should always listen to their bodies. This applies even more to older athletes. Don’t ignore pain. Also allow for extra time for recovery than would be needed for younger participants. Also, see a physician if you develop chronic pain.
  • Adjust your objectives: So you may no longer be able to speedily power through climbs/boulders. Use your time more wisely to develop your overall technique.

 

  • Join age specific groups: Although rock climbing has traditionally been dominated by younger people, there are groups forming all over the country that cater to older climbers.

 

Finally, there are many climbers who remain active into their 50s such as Stevie Haston (GB) and Fransisco Marin (ESP) who both climb in the 5.14 / 8b+ or harder range. This fact indicates that climbing is a lifelong sport unlike football, boxing, etc. Climbing into middle age and beyond simply takes common sense and a modification of your goals and training routine. You should also, as we said earlier, consult and follow the advice of your doctor before you begin rock climbing. If you are interested in rock climbing near Denver age is not necessarily a deterrent.

Dietary Suggestions for Rock Climbers

When rock climbers gather together in order to present themselves with their latest challenge they inspire each other. Each is there to meet or surpass some personal or physical goal and that requires dedication, the proper training and focus. But there is something else that helps rock climbers to achieve those goals. That thing is the fuel we put into our bodies. The proper diet will put you on the path to optimal performance and give you the edge you need. Here are a few suggestions you may wish to consider when fueling your internal engine.

Pre-Climb

Fluids (preferably water) and carbohydrates should be at the heart of any pre-climb meal. Carbohydrates are necessary because glucose is derived from it. Glucose is used and stored by the body for energy. Raise your pre-climb blood-glucose levels with the following foods: cereal, dried fruit, bananas, quick oats, rice milk and sweet potatoes. Slowly digested carbohydrates include: brown rice, quinoa or beans. Avoid consuming too much fat and time your meals according to when you will be climbing. Try to consume at least 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates within 30 minutes of your climb.

Mid-Climb

In order to avoid muscle fatigue and to keep energy levels up while climbing, consider consuming slowly digested carbohydrate sources such as mango, apricots, or apples, nut butter packets with honey or maple syrup, jerky, trail mix, and gels. These foods will provide you with the vitamins, nutrients and oxidants you need and can help not only in energy production but in recovery as well.

Post-Climb

Recovery is that time that starts the moment you stop climbing till the moment you begin again. Rock climbing causes muscle breakdown and glycogen depletion. You will have to eat the right foods in order to help your body repair the damage done to irock-climbing-924842_960_720t by prolonged intense physical activity. Within thirty minutes after your climb refuel with carbohydrates and protein. Try foods such as berries, buckwheat, wild rice, leafy greens, yams, legumes like lentils and beans, chicken breast, steel-cut oats, and honey or maple syrup as a sweetener.

The bottom line is that you should pay as much attention to your diet as you do other aspects of your training. A proper, balanced diet will serve as a generator giving your body the energy it needs to perform optimally and the nutrients it needs to recover once you are done climbing. Additionally, remember to stay properly hydrated with either water or a sports drink. Strive for 50% to 60% carbohydrates, 30% to 35% protein and 20% to 25% fat. Rock climbing in Denver Colorado can be challenging but it can be made easier when climbers diet wisely.

Tips for Novice Hikers and Backpackers

What is obvious to expert hikers and backpackers may not be obvious to novices – hiking is not the same as walking on a paved road or track. Hiking and backpacking along a rugged mountain trail for example involves more equipment, greater preparation and precautions that an ordinary walk does. They both provide an excellent cardiovascular workout but hiking and backpacking are more intense and involve greater knowledge of yourself, your equipment and your surroundings. Here are some tips for beginners who are interested in joining us on one of our Colorado adventure trips just as the crisp fall air settles in across the country.

Pack the essentials: These items include: Map & compass, sunglasses & sunscreen, extra clothing, a flashlight, first-aid supplies, waterproof matches, repair kit and tools, extra food and water and emergency shelter such as a tent. If you have questions about other supplies you will need when accompanying us on one of our adventure trips don’t hesitate to ask us.

Buy the correct clothing:  Invest in a sturdy, well-made pair of hiking shoes and socks. It is an absolute necessity that you find clothing that can protect your feet. When it comes to other types of clothing, don’t forget to dress in layers and to avoid wearing cotton. Cotton gets damp easily as you sweat and can lead to chafing.

Feed yourself:  You need food for energy and water for hydration when hiking. Without the proper nutrients you will not have enough energy to make it through your new hiking adventures.

Travel with qualified, experienced hikers: Our experts can instruct you on all you will need to make your hiking adventure safe, fun and memorable. Finding an experienced instructor is a necessity for novice hikers.

Choose an appropriate backpack: When choosing a backpack, consider the following factors: Capacity, size and adjustability.

Pace yourself: Conserve your energy on particularly long hikes. Follow your instructor’s advice on your pacing and the distance you are able to handle at first. No one expects a novice to be able to outlast his instructor and other more experienced hikers.

Respect the land: Keep our natural spaces pristine by not littering. Every outdoor enthusiast will respect you for your efforts.

Use these tips and visit Apex Ex and we guarantee that as a beginner you will come to love this exhilarating activity as much as we do. Our lessons are fun and you will be among people who share your passion for the outdoors and who are learning right along with you. Hope to see you out on the trail this fall with one of our trained experts!apexex

How Yoga Can Make You a Better Rock Climber

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At first glance, there are probably no two activities that would seem to be further apart than yoga and rock climbiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAng.  However, for people who can put their preconceived notions about both activities aside there are actually many ways that the two complement each other.  For example, one thing that yoga shares with rock climbing is that practitioners of both strive to develop balance.

The other thing that yoga and rock climbing share is that practitioners of both seek to achieve clarity and concentration as they work to accomplish the goals each has set.  Others ways that rock climbers benefit from yoga include:

  • Increased core strength
  • Great body awareness:
  • Greater flexibility particularly in the hips, hamstrings and shoulders
  • Increased blood flow
  • More energy

Because many rock climbers have noticed how yoga helps benefits their performance, experts even recommended specific poses that are useful.  Here are just few and how each benefits climbers.

  • The Mountain: The most basic of yoga postures, this pose helps build overall strength and stillness.
  • The Eagle: Standing with knees bent, one leg wrapped around another in a crouching position, this pose helps build balance and stretches the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and deltoid muscles.
  • The Warrior I: This pose increases balance and strengthens many lower body muscle groups.
  • The Downward Dog: Dropping to the hands and knees and creating an arch with your posterior, this pose helps strength the lats and stretches the hamstrings.
  • Half Moon Pose: This pose helps strength the legs and promotes overall balance.
  • Seated Twist: The benefit to this pose is that it helps make twisting motions easier for climbers.
  • Standing Forward Bend: This exercise helps build flexibility and loosens the hamstrings.
  • Standing Splits: This pose helps build both leg and core strength which is crucial for rock climbers.

In short, yoga can help put you in the perfect condition for rock climbing.  Many of our visitors participate in activities outside of climbing that complement and improve their abilities.  This is because our Colorado adventure trips are a challenge to the whole body.  Climbing takes an overall body awareness that few other sports do.  Rock climbing near Denver is particularly inspiring as it is not only a whole body challenge but it also exposes our climbers to indescribably beautiful scenery.  Few other sports provide both an excellent workout and at the same time expose its participants to the majestic beauty of Denver, Colorado.

Tips for Avoiding Rock Climbing Injuries

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Few things cause rock climbers more frustration than being sidelined due to some injury sustained while enjoying this challenging sport.  Yet, as exasperating and painful as injuries are in this sport, tears, pulls and strains are all inevitable to a certain degree.  They can never be completely avoided.  The key to getting the most out of the sport is to make sure that recovery time never exceeds the time you spend climbing.  Knowing the best methods for reducing the chance of sustaining injuries while climbing is the best way to ensure that your climb will be fulfilling and pain-free.  Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of sustaining climbing injuries.

  • Warm up and stretch:  Beginnerplanks to rock climbing sometimes neglect to warm up before a climb.  However, stretching not only ensures that your muscles are ready for the activity you are about to undertake, it can also help aid in recovery from some kinds of injury.
  • Improve your balance:  Proper balance is critical in nearly every sport but nowhere is truer than it is for rock climbing.  Ways to increase balance include Yoga, standing on one leg for extended periods of time and plank push-ups.
  • Don’t over train:  Take time for your body to heal and rest after an injury in order to avoid making that injury worse.
  • Support your tendons by taping up:  Tendons are especially susceptible to injury while climbing.  Use strips of tape on your fingers and for climbing use sticky tape that doesn’t stretch.climbing-tape
  • Check your gear:  Climbers should diligently check ropes, harnesses, helmets, etc. before each and every climb.  Check your rope for fraying, your helmet for dents and your carabiners for signs of aging.
  • Quit if you feel pain:  The old saying ‘no pain; no gain’ does not apply to rock climbing (nor should it to any other sport).  Pain is a sign that you may have injured yourself or that injury is imminent.  If you feel pain while climbing then lower yourself immediately.  Do not try to go on or continue by using an easier route.

Finally, injury is sometimes a part of rock climbing.  However, people who excel in the sport and who gain the most enjoyment from it know that is as much about staying safe as it is about testing one’s limits.  At Apex Ex we offer Denver rock climbing classes that stress safety above all else.  We are who amateurs and professionals go to for rock climbing in Denver Colorado.

Picking the Right Climbing Shoe

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Starting out on a firm foundation is everything when it comes to all sports and for rock climbing this means having the proper training, conditioning and equipment to aid in the ascent to the top. rock climbing At Apex Colorado Adventure Trips we offer rock climbing classes in Denver that will help you develop a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, balance and mental control.  However, no climber can successfully challenge any mountain or wall without first possessing the proper equipment.  Here, shoes are one of the most important things a climber can have for they are more than simple attire.  Having the right type of shoe is essential to the sport.  Here are some tips to help you make the right selection when it comes to choosing shoes.

When choosing the right climbing shoe there are three primary considerations:  Shoe type, shoe features and fit.  The type of shoe you choose depends very much on the types of surface you will be climbing.  Shoe features – such as linings, straps, etc. – can also play a significant part in your overall performance.  Finally, shoe fit affects performance as well.  There are several basic things to remember when choosing just the type of climbing shoes to buy.  The first is that they come in several different materials including leather, lined leather, synthetic and rubber types.  In general, leather shoes breathe easier than lined leather shoes while synthetic shoes are the least breathable type.  Finally, rubber shoes are stickier and softer than other shoe materials.

Next, there are several features to consider when buying climbing shoes – laces, straps and linings.  Lace-up shoes are useful in that they can be quickly removed or adjusted if the climber’s feet get to hot or uncomfortable.  Straps offer the same convenience that laced shoes offer except that are even easier to remove or adjust.  Finally, slip-on shoes don’t have laces or straps but are excellent for training and can help your feet grow stronger due to their sensitivity.

Lastly, the most import feature to consider is fit.  climbing shoeThis can mean the difference between tiring out early due to painful, ill-fitting shoes and being able to go those extra few miles.  Tips to remember when choosing a correct fit are 1) Don’t rigidly use your street shoe size, 2) Avoid shoes that have extra space in front of the toe. 3) Most climbing use European shoe sizes.  Find a conversion table online to make the most of your selection.

In short, we want to make sure that you get the most out of rock climbing in Denver Co when you visit Apex Colorado Adventure Trips.  This means providing you with the expert training needed to develop the special skill set that rock climbing requires.  This requires you to have the proper equipment needed in order to excel and to keep other climbers and yourself safe.

 

Tips for Improving Forearm and Hand Strength

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Golfers, tennis players, gymnasts and marital artists all share one thing in common – peak performance in their respective sports would not be possible without superior forearm and hand strength.  These athletes cannot afford to ignore this area of fitness training as many other people do.  Yet, as criticaColorado adventure tripsl as hand and forearm conditioning is for athletes in these sports, nowhere is grip strength more important than in rock climbing.  A strong grip is at the foundation of nearly every move a climber makes as he or she ascends, descends, stabilizes him or herself, etc.  Of course, more powerful forearms and hands come in time from actually participating in rock climbing; there are also ways to prepare before and during climbs to help.  Here are some ways to develop greater tendon and muscle strength for the next time you go rock climbing near Denver.

  • Hanging:  Try holding on to a chin up bar for an extended period of time and in different positions.  As your time improves, try making the exercise more difficult by widening and changing the spacing of your arms.
  • Kettlebell swinging:  This exercise not only works to improve grip but it also has cardiovascular benefits.  As swinging the kettlebell becomes easier try widening your grip by placing a towel between the handles and your hands as you swing.
  • Forearm curls:  In a seated position, Pick up a dumbbell and hold with your fist.  Let the bar roll down to your finger tips then roll it back up into your palms again.
  • Plate curls:  Instead of using a kettlebell or dumbbell, grab the ends of a plate.  Try to perform 5-6 sets of 4-8 reps with increasing weight.  This exercise strengthens the forearms and fingers.
  • Hand grips:  Use hand grips whenever possible.  The great thing about these is that you can easily carry them anyplace you go.
  • Fingertip pushups:  These utilize both opening and closing grip muscles and are for more advanced workouts but the benefits derived from them can be enormous.

Yes, superior forearm and hand strength is an asset in a variety of activities.  They are even helpful in the performance of non-sports related activities such as carrying groceries, walking a dog etc.  At Apex Ex we believe that every sport can be made more enjoyable and safer if one prepares for that sport.  Our Colorado adventure trips routinely pose challenges even for people who are in peak physical condition.  Stop by this season and put the training that you have done all year long to the test.