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6 Health Benefits Of Walking In The Rain

walking in rain

You might think that walking in the rain sounds like a crazy idea, but once you learn how taking a stroll on a rainy day can benefit you, you’ll gain a different perspective on this.

Is Walking In The Rain Good For You?

Many people find the sound of rain soothing and romantic and others find its distinctive smell pleasant. And if you’re anything like me, then you like the sense of peace and calm you feel when sitting by the window and watching the rain beat against it. And all of this is for a good reason: Walking in the rain can do wonders for your mental and physical health.

Does Walking In The Rain Have Health Benefits?

Absolutely yes. A walk in the rain can benefit your mental and physical health in the following ways:

6 Health Benefits Of Walking In The Rain

1. The Air Is Fresher And Cleaner After It Rains

Atmospheric chemists at MIT have found that the air is cleaner when and after it rains. The reason for this is that as a raindrop falls through the atmosphere, it can absorb tens to hundreds of aerosol particles before they hit the ground. In this way, pollutants, such as sulfates, soot, and organic particles are cleared from the air.

2. The Smell Of Rain Has A Soothing Effect

Many people like the distinct smell of rain. The pleasant scent of rain soothes your mind and body. It even has a name – Petrichor. The term petrichor was coined in the 1960s by two Australian scientists.  

The pleasant smell is a mixture of oils released from certain plants during dry periods, chemicals released from good soil-dwelling bacteria, and an ozone mix created when there’s lightning.

3. Rainwater Can Help You Exercise Longer And Faster

When you exercise, your body temperature rises, which may reduce your speed. So, in order to decrease your temperature, your body shifts the flow of blood from your working muscles to your skin, thereby decreasing your performance.

Rainwater can keep you from overheating when you do physical exercises, which will enable you to exercise longer and faster.

4. Doing Physical Exercises In Wet Weather Burns More Fat And Calories Than Exercising In Warm Weather

Japanese scientists have carried out research on the effects of rain on energy metabolism while running in cold weather.

They’ve found that “energy demand increases when running in cold conditions.” This means that when you do physical activity in a cold, wet environment, you burn more fat and calories than when you do the same activity in a warm environment.

However, it’s not recommended to spend more than 20 minutes in wet clothes. So, after you walk or exercise in the rain, take a bath and drink a hot cup of tea. This will make you feel more refreshed and relaxed.

5. Taking A Walk In The Rain Benefits Your Skin And Hair

High levels of humidity in the air keep your hair and skin moisturized. Being alkaline in nature, rainwater helps maintain your skin’s pH levels and makes your hair softer.

6. Taking A Stroll On A Rainy Day Helps You Relax Since Streets Are Less Crowded

You don’t see a lot of people in the streets when it rains, right? That’s the reason why rainy days are the best if you long for peace and quiet during your walks or need to clear your mind of stress.

When you walk in the rain, you’re able to concentrate on your thoughts, enjoy solitude, and reduce your stress levels much easier and faster than when there are plenty of people out taking a walk.

Walking In The Rain

It’s also believed that a rainy walk can benefit you in the following five ways as well:

  • It’s A Great Way To Spend Quality Time With Someone, Including Your Dog

Is there anything more romantic than sharing an umbrella with your bae on a rainy walk?

Additionally, going for a walk with a friend on a rainy day will allow you to spend some quality time together and improve your mood as well.

And if you have a pet, I believe it loves walking in the rain with you and jumping into puddles.

  • Walking In The Rain Helps With Acceptance

Going for a walk on rainy days regularly can help you learn to get out of the habit of controlling everything in your life and go about life regardless of what the weather or life throws your way.

  • Walking In The Rain Can Help You Adopt A Different Perspective On Things

When it rains, everything looks different. Whether it’s the grey clouds, the reflection of buildings and streetlights in puddles, the flowers’ closed petals, the gloomy atmosphere, or the steam evaporating from the ground, there’s something unique and special about rainy days. Some believe that this can help us adopt a different, more positive perspective on our challenges, problems, and other aspects of daily life.

  • Warming Up After Walking In The Rain Will Always Make You Feel Relaxed And Put A Smile On Your Face

If you’ve ever got soaked to the skin in the rain and then went home, took a bath, put on some warm clothes, and had a cup of hot chocolate or ate something sweet, then you know what I’m talking about. Warming up after walking in the rain always makes you feel relaxed and calm and undoubtedly, it makes you smile.

  • Last But Not Least, Rainy Days Offer You The Opportunity To Reflect On Yourself

This is just one more way rain can benefit you even if you decide not to go out and stay at home. Rainy days offer you a great opportunity to relax and enjoy some me time in the comfort of your home. Whether it’s reading books, writing, watching movies, listening to music, or you name it, you can enjoy these activities while listening to the raindrops hit against your window.

In addition, you can spend some time reflecting on your life and your goals and plans for the future, while the sound of the rain is helping you focus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rain Good For Your Mental Health?

Believe it or not, listening to rain fall can do wonders for your mental health. Many people suffering from anxiety and depression report that listening to rain fall calms their mind and make them feel less stressed.

Moreover, one study has found that negative air ions are effective in treating chronic depression (3). Negative ions are formed when factors such as moving water, radiation, and sunlight cause massive amounts of air molecules to break apart. So, rain storms, waterfalls, and ocean waves – all of them produce negative ions, which we can inhale.

Some people claim that when negative ions enter our bloodstream, they trigger bio-chemical reactions which reduce stress and anxiety and improve our mood.

Additionally, many people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) report feeling calmer after listening to rain fall. SAD is a mental health condition that causes depression symptoms in some individuals when seasons change. People with SAD usually feel these symptoms in the fall and winter months, which makes them feel moody and drains their energy. In some people, SAD can lead to depression in the spring or summer months too.

One reason why rain is so relaxing and has this calming, therapeutic effect on the mind and body could be that rain has a regular pattern that the brain processes as a relaxing, soothing noise. That’s the reason why the sound of rain is featured in plenty of meditation and relaxation videos.

Is Rainwater Good For The Skin?

Yes, it is. Rainwater is alkaline in nature, which helps maintain the moisture and natural elasticity of your skin. In addition, it has low mineral content, which means that it doesn’t strip your skin and hair, too, of their moisture and natural oils.

Why Do I Feel So Happy When It Rains?

If you’re anything like me, rainy weather doesn’t make you feel moody. On the contrary, it makes you feel calm and happy. And there’s a reason for that.

Namely, the sound rain produces is similar to white noise. In addition to being considered a pleasing sound by many, white noise can help promote deep relaxation and improve sleep quality for some people by creating a calmer and more peaceful sleeping atmosphere.

When the brain is exposed to white noise, it receives a tonic signal from it, which reduces its need for sensory input, thereby calming us down. On the other hand, the sun doesn’t reduce the brain’s need for sensory input and keeps our brains stimulated.

Rain is also considered an example of pink noise, which has various frequencies that engage our subconscious but don’t disturb or distract us. This type of noise is typically produced in nature, such as when it rains, when the wind goes through leaves in trees, or when ocean waves crash. When you’re exposed to pink noise, such as when you’re walking in the rain, this satisfies your brain’s need for sensory input. As a result, you feel calmer and less stressed, which can also make you feel delighted.

heavy rain

Does Listening To The Rain Fall Help You Sleep Better?

As we already said, the sound rain produces is similar to white noise, which is known to promote deep relaxation and improve sleep quality for some people as it creates a calmer sleeping atmosphere. So, this could explain why many people prefer to listen to relaxation videos featuring the sound of rain before going to sleep at night.

Why do I Feel Weird During Rainy Weather?

If by “weird” you mean discomfort or pain, then know there’s a good reason why you might be feeling that way on rainy days.

Namely, certain health conditions, such as headaches, allergies, arthritis, and asthma, can be affected by the weather.

1. Headaches

If you often suffer from headaches, you’ve probably noticed that you always have one when the weather changes or a storm approaches. Well, the reason for this is that headaches are commonly triggered by changes in the weather or atmospheric pressure, low or high humidity, or low or high temperature.

2. Allergies

If a couple of sunny days follow the rain, the pollen counts may increase as water promotes plant growth. So, this could explain why your symptoms get worse when it’s rainy if you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer.

Moreover, rainy weather can also affect you if you’re allergic to mold since molds thrive during humid weather and after rain.

3. Arthritis

If you’re suffering from arthritis, know that your arthritic pain can increase when it’s rainy due to the changes in atmospheric pressure, which can cause your muscles and tendons to expand and contract. When this happens, you feel more pain in your joints.

4. Asthma

The high winds blowing during thunderstorms carry pollen grains, which makes them easier to inhale. So, if pollen is what triggers your asthma, now you know why you feel symptoms like fast breathing, coughing, and chest tightness when it’s raining.

Do Rainy Days Make You Depressed?

If you tend to feel moody or sad on rainy days, know you’re not alone. Rain can make you feel down. However, when it comes to the question of whether rain can cause depression, the answer is no. Rain, in fact, can contribute to seasonal depression and lower your mood. Here’s why this is so:

1. Lack Of Sunlight

In order to regulate your serotonin levels, you need to keep your body exposed to sunlight regularly. Some of that hormone gets converted into melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, which promotes healthy sleep.

So, since there’s a lack of sunlight on rainy days, this can negatively affect the production of these two hormones in your body, which can, in turn, have a negative impact on your sleep schedule. And if you don’t get enough quality sleep, this can influence your mood and make you feel less energized throughout the day.

2. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

People typically experience seasonal depression in the fall and winter months, and some are less commonly affected by this condition during the spring and summer months.

People suffering from SAD are more likely to be in low mood due to weather, particularly when the seasons change. One study has found that a blend of meteorological ingredients influences depression symptoms through a decrease in serotonin levels. It’s also found that besides seasonal changes, weekly changes in weather can influence the health of people suffering from SAD as well (4).

It’s worth mentioning that you can feel fatigued and sad and experience a lack of motivation when it’s rainy even if you don’t have SAD.

3. Boredom

When rainy weather prevents you from going out and doing the activities you enjoy doing the most,  so you end up stuck indoors, it’s normal to feel disappointed, lethargic, or sad. Fortunately, these feelings don’t last long. 

walk in the rain

Is It Unhealthy To Walk In The Rain?

No, it isn’t. Walking in the rain is safe for you. Of course, you should take a shower after walking in the rain if you get wet. Your body temperature can drop if you’re out in rainy weather. So, taking a shower when you get home right away will help stabilize your body temperature. And to avoid catching a cold, either avoid spending a lot of time in the rain or wear a rain jacket and waterproof shoes and pants that will help keep you warm and dry.

What Do You Call A Person Who Fears Rain?

Someone who fears rain is called an ombrophobe. Ombrophobia is a common anxiety disorder that usually affects young children. However, it can affect adults too. An ombrophobe has an extreme fear of rain, be it a drizzle or a rainstorm. They might worry about germs in rainfall or that rain will cause problems, such as power cuts, landslides, floods, etc.

Ombrophobia may also be accompanied by other fears, such as Antlophobia (the fear of flooding) or Astraphobia (the fear of thunder and lightning).