Get Out There

How to Enjoy Being Outdoors in the Rain

Our team has friends and family around the country. San Diego is a beautiful city that draws folks from all over the country. That means we know people all over the place. Recently it won’t stop raining here. But when we talk to our friends and family, it seems everyone has the same weather everywhere. From the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast to the Midwest to the South, it’s raining all around the country!

March and April are known for being rainy. But it can be disheartening when you don’t get a break in the weather. It can be tempting to stay indoors. You may be inclined to catch up on the latest TV when it’s gray and wet outdoors. But getting outside and getting moving is essential for staying healthy. So we have tips for enjoying rainy days.

Our first tip is to leave your home. If you really hate rain, that’s fine. Some people can’t stand it. Type “activities for rainy days” and your ZIP code into Google, and a list of indoor activities will pop up. There are many things to do besides hitting the mall! You can get out into the world and get some exercise without getting wet. One of our team members went to Costco with a friend the other day and spent over two hours walking around the warehouse while it poured rain outside. She left with a few essentials and a ton of fruit, having walked more than three miles.

Another option is to ignore the rain. Put on a rain jacket, hat and waterproof shoes and go for a walk or flat hike. Make sure it’s a flat hike where you won’t slip and suffer a fall. Treat it like a regular day, just with a couple of extra layers.

You can go a step beyond ignoring the rain and fully embrace it. Rain won’t make you melt. Let out your inner child and go jump in some puddles! Unlike when you were a kid, you should consider what clothes you don’t mind getting muddy. But, besides thinking about clothing, you’ll find it hasn’t changed since childhood: it’s still fun!

The smell of rain can make nature come alive. That wonderful scent has a name “petrichor.” Go for a walk and take a deep breath. Trails are likely to be quiet as many people skip walks and bike rides on rainy days so you can enjoy more space. But if you are going somewhere muddy, we recommend walking with company so you can judge if the ground is dangerous together and help one another in case of an accident.

We recommend bringing hand warmers if you plan to take a long walk. Many people consider them an accessory for winter activities, but warm pockets can make walking in the rain enjoyable! Plus, carry blister supplies. Your feet might not be calloused if you haven’t walked much over the winter, and wet feet get blisters more easily.

Camping can be pleasant in light rain. The noise of it hitting a waterproof tent can lull you into an amazing night’s sleep. And swimming in the rain can feel otherworldly and special if the water is warm. But, for both of these situations, it’s essential that there’s no lightning in the area making it dangerous.  

Some outdoor activities are actually better during a light rain. Mountain biking is easier when the dirt is tacky. It gives you more grip to ride faster and feel more comfortable. If the ground is muddy, it can be unsafe for you and the trail. But a light rain can actually be helpful!

Easing into your spring activities now, while the weather is a little rotten, might be better for your body. You won’t push yourself too hard or too quickly. That can be a big problem in the spring for many people!

Even if you partake in winter sports, it works muscle groups in different ways and our overall activity level is usually lower in winter,” said Stessie Zimmerman, a sports medicine physician. “Most injuries we see are from people going too hard and too fast right as the weather gets nicer, and their bodies can’t keep up.”

Bring snacks to enjoy and dress appropriately because a bad mood can make you resent the weather. Keep an eye on the sky and go home if the weather gets bad. You don’t want to be out in lightning, strong wind or pound rain. Take it easy but get out there. You can — and should — enjoy the great outdoors in any weather. Once you try it, you’ll be glad you did!

Banner image: Zach Reiner via Unsplash

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