If you live on the East coast, you are probably sick of the rain and itching for a nice day. What happened to that yellow-orange ball in the sky anyhow? Did it just up and move and forget about us? But since mother nature is planning to pound us even more for the next couple of days, it’s time to turn lemons into lemonade and go enjoy a walk outside!
There are actually some scientific benefits to walking in the rain:
- the air is cleaner (and with all this rainfall, it might just be the cleanest it’s ever been)
- the rain smells good to some people
- walking in rainy weather can actually help you burn more calories
I’ve always enjoyed walking in the rain (as long as it’s not too heavy). The sound of it and the lack of people make it a very meditative experience for me. Whenever I walk through misty woods, it feels like I’m in a magical place like Alice in Wonderland.
So I challenge you to harness your inner child, put on some clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting soaked, and head outside for a walk (or a jog). Just make sure your walk is not during a thunderstorm!
To maximize your walk for fitness purposes, practice the following tips:
- Set aside at least 30 minutes. If you have enough stamina and time, try to do an even longer one, up to 60 minutes or even more. This will also help you burn more calories!
- Wear walking shoes. Rainboots are not good footwear for exercising because they provide very little support.
- Start slowly with a 3-5 minute warm up. Gradually increase your pace until it becomes more challenging but still allows you to speak comfortably. If you are a runner, you can do a walking warm-up before turning it into a jog.
- Add intervals. Pick two landmarks with some distance between them and walk as fast as you can from one to the other. Depending on your current fitness level, you can jog or sprint between the two landmarks or increase the distance. Repeat intervals occasionally throughout your walk. Base the intensity and duration of your intervals off of your fitness level. Do less (or maybe even none) if you are sedentary and do more if you have been doing cardio for a while.
- Focus on your breathing. Since rain cleans the air, this is the perfect time to practice good breathing. Breathe slowly and deeply. To check if you are breathing optimally, put your hands on your stomach on the lower part of your rib cage and take a deep breath. Your hands should move away from each other as your rib cage expands when you inhale, and they should move back towards each other as you exhale.
- Stay present-minded. Don’t let your mind wander to stressful things like bills and jobs. Instead, just focus on your breathing and your walking form as you enjoy the peaceful sound of falling rain.
- Envision your ideal body. If you are looking to lose weight or tone up, this is a great opportunity to picture what your ideal body would look like. Envisioning what you want is a great way to get excited and stay focused on an exercise program to achieve your goals.
I hope you make time in your day to experience all the benefits of walking in the rain. I know I’m going to (and maybe even get my dogs to join me.)
If you’re looking for a personal trainer to travel to your home and you live in or around central Maryland or are interested in an online program, contact me here.
See ya next time!
**Photo by brazil topno from Pexels