This was going to be your evening. You were going to take your workout outdoors – maybe you had plans for a mind-clearing run or a rejuvenating bike ride. Either way, you’d been looking forward to it all day, and now, it’s raining.
What should you do if rain is in the forecast during the time you’d planned for an outdoor workout? Unless you’re threatened by hail, lightning or another form of severe weather, the answer is usually just to get out there and do it. Science even confirms it – a run in adverse conditions makes you work harder, helping you burn additional calories, studies have shown.
Follow these tips to stay safe in rainy conditions:
* Make sure your clothes are in order – Dim conditions make it harder for drivers or cyclists to see you. Wear bright gear during the day, and make sure to wear clothing with reflective elements at night.
* Have the right shoes, too – Your favorite but well-worn shoes might be running low on tread. In slick conditions, you want as much traction as possible, so go for a pair that has some bite remaining.
* Find the right workout – Not all workouts are the same. A trail run with frequent twists and turns provides more opportunities for slipping and falling than does a run of the same distance moving straight ahead on asphalt. Likewise, a rainstorm isn’t the best time to attempt a new land-speed record. The acceleration in that kind of workout increases your likelihood of falling.
* Beware of chafing – Wet clothing can exacerbate chafing, which happens when your gear rubs repeatedly over the same spot on your skin. Wearing gear made of wicking material is a good start, as is coating chafe-prone areas such as your inner thighs, toes, armpits and nipples with petroleum jelly or anti-chafing balm.
*Pack for before and after – In addition to having rain-friendly gear for the workout itself, pack a towel and a change of clothes and shoes so you can start drying off immediately after you finish. It’s no fun sitting in your car soaking wet on your drive home.