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When the weather turns rainy, we often use that as an excuse to stay indoors. I know I love catching up on reading and drinking a cup of hot tea while listening to the rumble of thunder and splatters of rain against the windows.
However, getting out into that rain, whether it’s a downpour or a light misting, brings a host of benefits.
For walk number 12, in 52 Ways to Walk, I enjoyed not one, not two but four consecutive days of experiencing those benefits. As an added bonus, I did so in the company of my grandson, Dayan, in a new to me city, Washington DC.
This is Walk in the Rain.
Why Walk in the Rain?
Walking in the rain is a physical experience that allows us to literally feel nature against our skin. The rain surrounds us, fills our senses and awakens us to a greater awareness of our bodies.
Check out these reasons to pull on your boots and head outside the next time it rains.
Health Boosting Compounds Released
The pounding rain and increased moisture in the air releases very specific compounds that mix with the air we breathe. Inhaling this compound rich oxygen creates a heightened sense of well being. That upward tick in mood helps to lower stress, shift perspective and clear the mind.
Awakens the Sense of Smell
Rain washing trees, flowers, shrubs and grasses releases their unique scents. Those intoxicating fragrances, says Scottish writer and walker Nan Shepherd, can leave us “as good as drunk”!
Have you ever walked right after a rain, and smelled the clean, loamy scent of the earth? That scent actually has a name, coined by two Australian mineralogists: petrichor.
The rain creates many fragrances as it disturbs molecules on all kinds of plants and other surfaces. In urban areas and cites, rain releases the stored scents in rock, stone, bricks and concrete.
Cleanses the Air
The air is always fresher after a rain. That’s because the falling drops wash away pollution. Each drop attracts hundreds of pollutants, including dust, dirt, soot and other particles, scrubbing the air clean.
During and after a cleansing rainfall, everything looks different. Tree trunks and branches glisten, flower petals look dewy, colors seem brighter, streets and sidewalks appear fresh. Observing these cleansing changes increases levels of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone.
Increases Negative Ion Count
Additionally, rain raises the negative ion count in the air. Scientists believe the higher negative ion count improves cognitive performance, longevity and overall health.
We also burn more calories when we walk in the rain. Why? Walking in cooler, rainy weather requires more exertion, which uses up fuel in the way of calories.
Tips for a Walk in the Rain
Purchase water proof or water resistant garments including a jacket with a hood and pants that are snug around the ankles. A rain poncho works well too.
Water proof shoes, boots or rubber galoshes help keep feet dry and comfortable. Make sure shoes or boots have traction on the soles to prevent slipping on rain slick surfaces.
And if desired, especially in heavier rainfall, grab an umbrella as you head out the door.
My Walk in the Rain
I flew into Washington DC on a Friday morning and left late Monday evening. Rain fell every day, sometimes lightly and sometimes with more force. Temperatures steadily dropped lower each day until the highs only reached the low 50s on my last day in the city.
And you know what? The rain did not stop my grandson and me from exploring the city every day. We sometimes ducked into a museum for an hour or two, to dry off. Primarily though, we walked in the rain, jackets zipped up and an umbrella tucked into my Mary Poppins style bag for when the showers became unrelenting.
I loved the whole experience. At night I fell asleep in my hotel room, listening to the low growl of thunder and raindrops dancing against the large window of my fifth floor hotel room. And during the day I got to know DC with Dayan as an excellent guide. Fortunately, daylight brought overcast skies and rain only. Lightning never forced us to take shelter.
Those four days of walking in the rain with my grandson, visiting monuments, historical sites and museums and trying new restaurants created memories I’ll cherish always. I left DC feeling truly refreshed and invigorated.
Pick Up Your Copy of 52 Ways to Walk
If walking provides an important form of exercise and relaxation for you, then this book is for you!
The activities are so varied and the information in each chapter is well presented and motivational.
I appreciate that the book contains a full year of weekly walks. You can read about my first walk from the book HERE. I intend to continue selecting different walks from the book.
Pick up your copy of 52 Ways to Walk by clicking this LINK. And watch for future posts. I’ll share occasional highlights of some of the walks.
Tell me in the comments below about a walk in the rain you enjoyed recently!
Rainy Day Finds from Amazon:
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