Healthy Benefits of Walking in the Rain

Healthy benefits of walking in the rain

Photo: Hubert Kang

Get your umbrella and rainboots ready, Vancouver, we’re coming into rainy season. We don’t call it ‘Raincouver’ for nothing — but did you know a walk in the rain has healthy benefits? Here’s why you want to walk in the rain this fall.

Person walking in the rain on Dowtown Vancouver street

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

If you moved here fairly recently (pre-pandemic), you’ve probably noticed it rains a lot — we call it ‘Raincouver’ for a reason. But we live in a rainforest, and that’s what makes our city so green!

As a lifelong Vancouverite, I own a few pairs of waterproof shoes and several umbrellas. I’m a walker, so these are the essentials. If you’ve lived here over a year, you likely also own at least one of those essentials now, and you might have discovered the same joy I have of walking in the rain. (And not just from the just fiery colour palette of the season.)

A walk in the rain actually can have positive and healthy mental benefits. (And goodness knows we especially need to take care of our mental health in 2020.)

Strolling on a rainy day can help you relax.

When it rains, people tend to stay inside. This means you’ll likely have the sidewalk to yourself if you need to get away from your desk — a. k. a. your dining room table — to clear your head or shake off some stress. Walking in the rain can provide a welcome solitude and allow for a shift in perspective.

Walking in the rain healthy benefits

Photo: Yasmine Hardcastle

It’s a nice way to spend some quality time with someone. Or your dog.

A rainy walk on the Seawall with a bubble friend can lift your spirits and give you some quality catch-up time. And there’s something very romantic and Paris-like about sharing a big umbrella on a rainy walk with your partner. Trust me.

If you have a dog, your pup has been getting you outside this year and is thrilled you’ve been home more often. And if your pet loves jumping into a fountain, they probably also love being in the rain with you. (But maybe buy them a cute dog raincoat so there’s slightly less splatter when they shake it all off.)

If you’re looking for some autumn strolls in the city, check out some favourites here, and the best places to see autumn leaves here.

 

The sound of the rain is very soothing.

I’ve always found the sound of the rain to be incredibly soothing. It’s considered white noise, and there are popular apps dedicated to the sound of clouds pouring their hearts out. (So clearly others find it soothing, too.) But who needs an app when you can open your window or go outside to hear it in your own backyard?

Physical exercise in wet weather can speed up your metabolism.

Japanese scientists have presented research that shows the positive effects of rain on energy metabolism while running in cold weather. The results have shown that “energy demand increases when running in cold conditions.” Plain English? You burn more fat and calories when doing physical activity in a cold, wet environment than in a warm environment. So not only are you getting happy endorphins, you’re getting more physical results!

Walking the rain healthy benefits

Warming up after a walk in the rain will always produce a smile.

The saying says we need to focus on the journey, not the destination. But when you know you have a pumpkin spice latte or grilled cheese with tomato bisque waiting for you at your favourite cafe or eatery — or even that hot shower at home — it’s bound to make you smile.

The ‘petrichor effect’ is real.

You know that amazing earthy scent that tickles your nose before, during and after the rain? That aroma is called petrichor, if I could bottle it, I would. In simple terms, petrichor describes the smell that results from rain falling on dry soil. It was first scientifically documented in 1964 by Australian researchers, and when you breathe it in, you can’t help but smile and feel a little bit calmer.

It brings out the kid in you.

You can’t tell me you don’t feel even secretly delighted when you splash through or jump in a puddle. If you have a pair of aforementioned waterproof shoes, there’s something incredibly satisfying about knowing your feet aren’t getting wet.

Share your #VeryVancouver walk in the rain experiences with us by tagging @Inside_Vancouver on Instagram.

We know it's not always sunny in Vancouver, but it's a rainforest and we love it. ☔ Embrace the rain with us. #VeryVancouver

Posted by Inside Vancouver on Thursday, February 21, 2019

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