When the skies open, most people run for cover. But some run for fun. The benefits of exercising in the rain – whether you’re jogging, hiking or strength training – often outweigh the annoyances, experts say, if you’re strategic about both your workout and your mindset.
Learning to move through obstacles, both mental and physical, is key to athletic training, said Trisha Steidl, a running coach for Olympic hopefuls in Washington State and the president of the Seattle Running Club. “Being out in nasty conditions is a fantastic way to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Whether you’re intrigued by the challenge of a wet workout or simply hoping to stick to your outdoor training plan no matter the forecast, here’s why – and how – to exercise in the rain.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Experts advised ditching city streets for a park, if you can. “Trees are a natural umbrella,” Sestoso said.
Try to work out on paved surfaces, and avoid moving quickly on grass, mud or leaves, which can become slick. And consider the puddles as a natural obstacle course – moving around them can “increase your balance, increase your agility, and really work on some of those fast-twitch muscle fibers,” Dr Fung said.
DON’T FORGET TO DRINK FLUIDS
Even if you’re drenched, you still need to hydrate to make up for the fluid your body is losing, said N’Namdi Nelson, an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone’s Sports Performance Center.
“When it’s raining outside, it’s much harder to assess the amount of sweat you’re giving off,” Nelson said. Make sure to drink fluids before, during and after a workout, he said, as you would in dryer weather. (But don’t overdo it.)
KNOW WHEN TO HEAD INSIDE
“Stay indoors if there is a high risk of thunderstorms and lightning,” Sestoso said, or if there are high winds, which can down power lines and tree branches. She also recommended keeping a towel and dry change of clothes in your car, to warm up after your rainy adventure.
By Danielle Friedman © The New York Times Company
The article originally appeared in The New York Times.