The new year is only a couple of days old, so it’s still a little too early to break your resolutions.
Some of the more common resolutions include working out more, losing weight and getting fit. What people new to running and working out outside might not have thought of yet is what to do when it rains.
Rain and bad weather can discourage even the most active people from wanting to work out or run outside, said Carol Frazey, owner of The Fit School.
“It’s going to be rainy here, that’s what we tell people, so you can do it on a treadmill, but you feel so alive once you get outside,” she said in a phone interview.
There are a few things that can make the outdoor run in the rain more enjoyable, but an important factor is your attitude.
“I think having good gear is important, but even if you don’t just go out in it,” she said. “The mental part is just going out with the attitude that I’m going to enjoy this. Splash in puddles and get muddy, you’ll feel like a kid again.”
One way to get yourself going is to give yourself minimum amount of time you’re going to work out. Frazey set her minimum at five days each week for at least 20 minutes each time out. She may do more each week, but that minimum is what she needs to feel good, she said.
Having a workout partner or meeting someone to run is another good way to make sure you get your exercise regardless of the weather. It can make your workout social and help you stay accountable to your goals.
Even the professionals need a push to get out in the rain from time to time, Frazey noted.
“I have a running partner who lives on the other side of Whatcom Falls. We both leave at 6 a.m. and meet in the middle for a run,” Frazey said. “If she wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be out there. When it’s cold outside you just want to stay in bed or watch TV, but you know you’ll feel better and sometimes you just need that extra push. One of my neighbors is training for the Olympics and she even needs a partner, too.”
To keep healthy when you’re in the rain and cold, Frazey has some clothing recommendations. The main material to avoid is cotton, especially in your socks since it can cause blisters when wet. Here is a full list of Frazey’s rain running gear suggestions:
• Polypropylene or wool socks
• Comfortable undergarments (no cotton)
• Polypropylene shirts and tights (can be layered for warmth)
• Jacket and/or vest made of waterproof material like Gore-Tex
It may cost more at first, but good quality exercise gear can last a long time.
To avoid the possibility of chaffing, Frazey recommends petroleum jelly, BodyGlide or NipGuards for men. Duct tape can also be a cheap alternative to steer clear of painful or embarrassing bleeding, she added. These products and clothing can be found at local running stores like Fairhaven Runners & Walkers and Klicks Running & Walking.
“You’ll probably be 15 to 20 degrees hotter once you get warmed up, so always dress in layers,” she cautions.
Frazey’s final method for making yourself get out for a run in the rain is to not think about it. She sets her running clothes and shoes out so she doesn’t even have to think about the weather when she’s getting ready, she said.
However, if you are completely averse to running outside in the rain, Frazey has some ideas for how to keep cardio in your routine. She said ellipticals and treadmills are good for your knees when you need a break from running on a hard surface.
Even yoga or aerobics DVDs or online videos can be good.
“Anything where you are moving to fight the winter darkness,” Frazey said. “The more you move, the more you get going.”