After many years of drought, I’ve been excited about all the rain in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve been astounded to see streams I forgot existed. The sound of water flowing is a treat that makes any tough trail run worth it. In parks by the Bay, the marshlands are wet again and the vegetation rich and green.
One of the challenges when it is rainy, dark or cold is that it can be difficult to get out and exercise. Here are some tips on how to get the most of this rainy season and still stay fit, active and mentally healthy.
- Don’t be afraid of the rain. Remember when you were younger and actually enjoyed playing in the rain? Put on a windbreaker or light rain jacket, running hat and shorts and go run. Or better yet, if it’s not that cold, have minimal clothing on and enjoy the feeling of the rain on your skin. Keep a change of clothes in the car so when you are done you can put something warm and dry on. Remember your body will warm up on the run. It’s also fun to splash in the water, get muddy and gritty and enjoy the raindrops. You will feel tough and accomplished after going out when others are avoiding aren't. Remember even on a rainy day it usually doesn’t rain constantly. If you have a flexible schedule you can time your run so that you start when it’s not pouring, because once you are out in it, you usually realize it’s not that bad.
- If running is not your cup of tea, swimming is a great thing to do outdoors. You are already wet and if it’s cold outside, usually the pool feels warmer. For a post-swim treat, use the hot tub, sauna or steam room.
- If you really can’t get yourself to work-out in the rain, this is a good time to make use of your gym, fitness classes or any other indoor activities – indoor rock climbing, spinning classes, dance classes, yoga, indoor swimming pools and all the activities available to you. If the weather makes you feel depressed, it will help to be around other people. Remember that exercise improves your mood so even if you have to push to get out of the house, please do.
- Focus on reframing your mind-set and enjoying what you currently have. Enjoy the rain, the streams, lakes, green hills and the fact that we have more water available for our farms, food, animals and community. This may not last forever and the sun and drier weather will be back soon. We are lucky to have one of the best climates in the country year round.
- When you get back home reflect on what you loved about your run, wash the mud off your legs, and enjoy a hearty meal like the ones I’ve been enjoying from The Endurance Diet.
If you are having a difficult time staying active we offer individualized coaching for Endurance - A Sports & Psychology Center, Inc. clients and other individualized coaching.
Dr. Cory Nyamora is an endurance sports coach, a licensed clinical psychologist, and the founder of Endurance – A Sports & Psychology Center, Inc. He provides endurance coaching for beginner and experienced athletes, as well as psychotherapy services to children, adults, and families. Find out more at Run in Kenya and Endurance - A Sports and Psychology Center.