With the New Year here and about its a time that many of us look for new and more innovative ways of keeping fit and getting ourselves back on track.

Although going to the gym is an appealing option for many people, for some its just an area of over-crowded athletes, and for some of us this means looking elsewhere to get a real challenge.

The great outdoors offers an almost unlimited amount of options for people who are looking to keep fit and get outdoors at the same time.

If you are looking to combine a little adventure with a bit of health and fitness, then chances are that rock climbing is one sporty activity that you could look to take up to help you along with this task.

How can I get involved with rock climbing?

Once youve made the decision that you want to get stuck into rock climbing then it can often be hard to know where to start.

Luckily there are a number of avenues that you can follow if you want to get involved in this way.

One of the best and easiest ways to start out is by joining a rock climbing club, as this will allow you to meet like-minded people who are looking to get involved in sports just like you and where you to plan trips together.

Joining a rock climbing club can also be a great way to learn about the rock climbing industry from insiders, who have been rock climbing indoors as well as outdoors for years and who can give you information and insider tips on where is great to climb, the equipment that you need and the best times to climb.

What do I need?

Rock climbing requires good sturdy equipment.

If you are looking to get started on the rock climbing circuit then investing in the correct equipment can go a long way to ensuring that you really get the most out of your experience.

Its never easy when you are starting out but by making sure that you have the appropriate safety harnesses, the right climbing equipment and have undertaken at least some sort of basic training before you hit the rock faces, will make your first experience at rock climbing not only safer but also more enjoyable.

After all, rock climbing is not only physically tough; it can also be mentally exhausting.

Is it really good for my fitness?

Rock climbing is an exercise which works the entire body and it can leave you feeling incredibly sore afterwards.

Rock climbing is designed to build both strength and stamina and it does each of these tasks quickly, giving you a complete body workout and leaving you feeling exhausted but good, after your exercise.

Guest post by Paul James, Images from Alex Messenger.

Check out our selection of greatclimbing holidays-from mountaineering expeditions, ice climbing, rock climbing and via ferrata.