The benefits of rain

Dark rain clouds over the ocean

Taking a walk on a rainy day comes with a heap of health benefits both physical and mental.

I have spoken before extensively about the benefits to be found by spending time in the sun. Spending time out in the rain, however, is something that is far less mentioned. As a resident of the UK, getting used to spending time in the rain is quite important; even if less so than the global impression would have you think. Although less obvious than the benefits to be found by sunlight exposure, the rain still has a lot to offer.

The following are just some reasons why it might be a good idea to don your raincoat and wellies and get out in the rain every so often.

Jumping barefoot in a puddle

The air is cleaner and fresher

A study by MIT published in the Journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics showed that the air is markedly cleaner during and after heavy rainfall. This is due to the raindrops catching particles of pollutants, such as soot, sulphates and bacteria on their way to the ground. Thus, proving that a breath of rainy air is really fresher.

The smell of rain has a calming effect

Rainfall has a very distinct scent, one that is loved by many. This smell was named Petrichor by Australian scientists in the 1960s. It exists due to a mixture of chemicals released by soil-dwelling bacteria, oils released by plants during dry spells and ozone; a gas that is created by lightning splitting oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

Humidity is good for your skin and overall health

High levels of humidity help keep skin fresh, supple and young. Some researchers have found that when humidity is at or above 45%, about three-quarters of airborne virus particles are left powerless.

Walking in the rain burns more calories

Research published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine by Japanese researchers showed that when a person does physical activity in cold, wet weather, they actually burn more calories and fat compared to doing the same activity in moderate weather.

Walking in the rain lets you see things from a different perspective

The darker, gloomy nature of a rainy day makes everything look a little different. This can help people view their life problems, decisions, or challenges in a different light. Providing important perspective against which to judge their actions and to help inform their choices.

Close up view of rain falling into a puddle

Those are just some reasons why you may want to get outside while it is raining. Making sure you are comfortable while out is important though, so if possible, prepare yourself ahead of time. Soggy, wet feet are no fun, so remember to wear waterproof shoes or boots. Make sure you take either an umbrella or a coat with a hood to prevent your head from getting wet; as most heat is lost from the tops of our heads and the bottom of our feet, protecting these areas from the rain will help shield you from illnesses such as the common cold. Finally, make sure that you thoroughly dry yourself after your rainy adventure; get yourself nice and warm while you bask in the benefits of your foray into the drizzly world.

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Written by Jonathan Buckeridge

I have been succeeding at this thing we call life for about 45 minutes now. There will be some errors throughout the journey, but I'm sure it will be fun all the same. I fell over once....that was annoying.

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