To paraphrase the popular expression, into every workout plan, a little rain must fall. If you’re living in one of the areas that is experiencing near daily rainfall this early summer, you may become frustrated by your foiled workout plans. Aside from using the weather as an excuse to not work out – Ahh, it’s raining, you say. I guess I’ll just go back to bed! – you may be wondering how to get a good workout when the weather gets tough. You have two options, and both are better than simply pulling the covers up over your head after hitting the snooze button!
Option #1: Workout in the rain. As long as it’s not a torrential downpour, or there aren’t gale force winds, a rainy workout is actually a good thing. In fact, several studies point to many health benefits that you can experience from working out when it’s a little cold and rainy. Due to increased oxygen levels when working out in the cool, rainy weather, one study shows that exercisers who worked out in the rain actually burned more calories when compared to a group of exercisers who worked out in normal weather conditions. Another older study found that runners who did their workout when it was cold and wet actually had more fat loss.
Why are rainy workouts so good at delivering these health benefits? When you work out in cooler weather and rain, you can actually workout for a longer period of time and exert more effort than when you’re fighting the heat. Also, it can feel more comfortable in these conditions. Plus, running in dry heat is actually more dangerous for you because your body will have to put more effort into cooling you down, and you are more likely to experience heatstroke or other conditions.
If you do choose to workout when the rain is falling, make sure to take some safety precautions beforehand. If you’re running, hiking, or walking, make sure your shoes have a good, grippy tread to lessen your chance of slipping and falling. If you’re bike riding, check your tires. If they’re slick, you might want to wait for dry weather. Dress in layers so you can take off clothing items as your body heats up, and be sure to remove wet or damp clothing as soon as your workout has ended.
Option #2: If you’re not motivated to get out in the rain but still want to complete a good workout, you have plenty of options that don’t involve paying for a gym membership. There are several interval style workouts that you can complete right at home, and as an added bonus, interval training also helps boost your body’s natural Human Growth Hormone production. Examples of this type of workout include interval swimming training at a local pool, or a circuit training workout featuring simple yet effective moves like lunges, squats, push ups, and crunches done in intervals and that can be set up right in your living room. These would also be great days to hop on the treadmill or elliptical, or take a fun class like cycling or yoga for a fitness change of pace.
Rainy weather doesn’t have to ruin your fitness plans. Embrace the weather and head outdoors anyway, or change up your plan and get a great indoor workout. Either way, you’ll feel and look great no matter how gloomy it seems outside the window.