Walking is great for your mental and physical health and research shows that if you walk briskly for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week, you will live a longer healthier life. However, it’s now Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s been raining a LOT in the U.K but don’t let that stop you, instead join me and head out with your hood up and your wellies on -RAIN or SHINE.
I love the sounds of the rain – it’s like meditation to me
When I walk along the pavement and it’s raining I actually enjoy hearing the noise of the cars on the road as they whoosh by. Sometimes I see the occupants looking at me with an air of pity that they’re warm and dry in their cars and I’m out there getting wet but I have a little smile to myself as I genuinely experience a sense of contentment and wellbeing as I walk along. Another benefit of walking in the rain is that I’m virtually alone on the streets and I relish the feeling of solitude and peacefulness that brings.
At the Botanic gardens where I walk, there’s a small woodland area where I sometimes shelter when it’s raining. It’s super dense, full of dark green foliage and I stand under the trees and listen to the sound of the rain splish-splashing onto the leaves – it’s very meditative. I also love watching the droplets of water pinging back off the surface of the shiny evergreen leaves, it’s transfixing.
The creatures of the woodland
As I’ve walked in the rain more and more, I’ve witnessed how creatures such as birds simply take the rain in their strides. The other day I looked up to the tree tops and there was a wood pigeon all puffed up sitting there with the rain bouncing off its feathers. It was unmoved, stoic, just experiencing the rain as part of its day waiting for the shower to be over. I thought to myself – if the pigeon isn’t bothered by a bit of rain, why should I be?
After the rain – everything smells so fresh
If you’re a country or suburban rain-walker like me, you’ve probably taken a deep life affirming breath of the fresh woody smelling air after the rain and relished it. But, not only do woods and forests SMELL good, they actually physically DO good by emitting higher concentrations of chemicals called ‘ Terpenes’ after a rainfall. Terpenes have been found to have a beneficial effect on human health and enhance our immune system by boosting our killer cells.
Put the kettle on
The other reward for going for a walk in the rain is that when you get back home it feels so welcoming and cosy. Yes, you might have a few drops of water on your coat, yes your hair probably looks a bit frizzy or dank, and you might even be a bit chilly but when you take off your wet clothes and settle down with a cup of tea to re-heat and reflect, there’s no greater satisfaction than knowing that a bit of rain didn’t stop you from getting outside and enjoying your life.
Natasha’s Top Tips for Walking in the rain
- Invest in a really good pair of walking wellies which mean you can walk miles in comfort without your feet getting wet. I recently bought myself a pair of these from British Wellie brand Rockfish
- Buy a waterproof jacket with a hood. Don’t faff around with umbrellas – hoods are where it’s at when it comes to rain
- Don’t sit at home waiting for a rain shower to end -just bite the bullet and get out there and start walking
- Take time when you’re outdoors to really listen to the sounds of the rain. Never mind meditation apps, Nature provides her own sounds for you
- Take the time to really look at leaves after the rain and see how much they shine. It’s very life affirming to see that water really is the elixir of life and that every living organism depends on it for its survival
Stay well everyone and – get out walking – rain or shine!