Some people grew up in families where playing outside in the rain was encouraged. Others had parents or grandparents who taught that going outdoors in rainy weather was just asking for a cold. As an adult, you may wonder who was right. Is going for a walk in the rain good or bad for your health?
The Complicated Truth About Rain and Cold Weather
First, being cold doesn’t directly cause you to catch a cold. Both colds and cases of flu are caused by viruses, not being outside in the rain. You’re just as likely to get sick if someone sneezes near you inside a warm building as when you’re out jogging in cool weather.
That said, cold weather may make you more likely to catch a virus. Cold air may also get in the way of mucus and nasal hairs, which are normally a strong line of defense against viruses. Rainy or snowy weather may weaken your immune system, making it more difficult for your immune cells to fight off potential invaders.
Ways To Support Your Immune System
Considering that cold weather can weaken your immune system, is there anything you can do to support it during wintertime or periods of cold, windy weather? Following some common-sense suggestions can help, though you still need to stay warm.
Get Plenty of Immune-Support Vitamins
Many vitamins and minerals support your immune system, including vitamin C from citrus fruits, and zinc, a mineral that helps your immune system defend against invaders” to “that helps maintain your immune system / functions. Immune support supplements may also help to support the normal functioning of your immune system. They contain mineral ingredients that may support the day-to-day tasks that your immune system needs to take care of.
You should always follow your doctor’s recommendations when it comes to diet, but in general, making sure you’re getting plenty of fruit and vegetables is a good thing. Maintaining recommended levels of all the nutrients your immune system requires is a good way to keep it working during winter or cold weather.
Wash Your Hands
Regular hand washing with soap and water is a good habit. It can help you clean viruses and bacteria off your hands. Washing your hands before eating, touching your face or preparing food can give your immune system an extra helping hand to keep invaders away.
Get Enough Sleep at Night
When cold weather approaches, grab your favorite warm blankets and snuggle up for a good night’s sleep. Sleeping provides the opportunity for your body and your immune system to recover. Setting aside time for rest isn’t a waste of time. It’s a smart investment for your overall health.
Make Time for Exercise
If you want to spend time outdoors to exercise, you may have the right idea. Going for a jog, riding your bike or performing other types of regular exercise — indoors or outdoors — can support immune health. It gets your blood flowing and stimulates your immune system.
Things To Avoid in Rainy Weather
If you love spending time outdoors when it’s cold or rainy, take steps to avoid getting too cold. Losing too much heat can increase the risk of hypothermia. Avoid the following situations:
- Getting completely drenched by rain or sweat
- Submerging yourself in cold water
- Facing wet and windy conditions at the same time
- Going outside in extreme weather or thunderstorms
If your body starts to feel cold, go somewhere warm right away. This is doubly important during winter weather with snow or freezing temperatures.
Ways To Enjoy the Rain
As long as your doctor says it’s OK for you to be outside in cool weather, there’s nothing wrong with going for a walk in the rain. You may enjoy some of the benefits of rainy weather, such as the relaxing sounds of raindrops, unique plant smells and fresh air.
At the same time, take steps to stay warm and dry. Put on your raincoat or grab an umbrella. Bundle up enough to feel comfortable. If you’re going jogging, use shoes that have a firm grip, and be careful around muddy trails.