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Is Playing in the Rain Good for Us?

Is Playing in the Rain Good for Us?Thank you, GRANDmom, Kathy Palmer,  of Lake Mary FL for sharing this poignant short film with us.

Thank you, GRANDmom, Kathy Palmer,  of Lake Mary FL for sharing this poignant short film with us.

We all need a little kick in the pants to help us remember what’s really important.

If you have a special inspiration to share, please send to editor@grandmagazine.com.

Hope you enjoy!


8 Healthy Reasons To Walk In The Rain

Walking in the rain might sound crazy, but these healthy reasons to take a stroll during a rain shower will change the way you view a walk on a drizzly day.

Many musicians like The Ronettes and Johnnie Ray have crooned about walking in the rain, and for good reason: Taking a stroll on rainy days has a host of health benefits that soothe the mind, body and soul. If you think taking a walk in the rain sounds like a crazy idea, then check out these convincing reasons why walking in the rain is actually healthy and something you should try on the next drizzly day.

8 Reasons Why You Should Take A Walk In The Rain

 There are typically less people: Most people run for cover when it starts to rain, meaning it’s only the brave souls who continue strolling during a storm. If you crave peace and quiet during your walks, rainy days are the best. You’re left alone with your thoughts and are able to destress much quicker and easier than when there are hundreds of other people out taking strolls.
  1. The air is scientifically proven to be cleaner and fresher: An MIT study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics showed that the air is truly cleaner during and after heavy rainfall. The reason is that as raindrops fall through the atmosphere, they have the ability to attract hundreds of particles of pollutants like dander, soot, sulfates and bacteria before hitting the ground. Proof that invigorating breaths of rainy air actually are better!
  2. The smell of rain has a calming effect: You’re not the only one who loves the scent of the air during rainfall. In fact, the distinct smell even has a name: Petrichor, which was coined by two Australian scientists in the 1960s. The scent, according to Live Science, is a mixture of chemicals released by soil-dwelling bacteria, oils released from plants during dry spells and ozone that is created when lightning splits oxygen and nitrogen molecules that then turn into nitric oxide.
  3. The humidity is good for your skin and health: High levels of humidity in the air help keep your skin fresh, young and supple. And some researchers believe that when humidity levels are 43% and higher, nearly 3/4 of airborne virus particles are left powerless.
  4. Rainy walks help with acceptance: Taking a walk in the rain often makes a person feel powerless. But taking rainy day walks on a regular basis help train your mind to give up control and go about life, no matter what the weather — or anything else — throws your way. Additionally, the temporary nature of rain can help some deal with personal loss and bad moments. Just like with a rain shower, everything has its moment and will eventually pass.
  5. Walks in rainy weather burn more calories: Believe it or not, Japanese researchers published a piece in the International Journal of Sports Medicine that proved when a person does physical activity in cold, rainy weather, he or she actually burns more calories and fat than doing the same activity in moderate weather.
  6. Walks in the rain help you see things with a different perspective: Whether it’s the darker lighting, the gloomy mood, or the reflection of streetlights in puddles, almost everything looks different on rainy days. This can perhaps help some people to view their life problems, challenges and other daily aspects in a different light.
  7. It feels rebellious: Sometimes you just want to break the rules, and taking a walk in the rain is a safe and healthy way to do so. Just be sure to wear proper temperature regulating gear and thoroughly dry off once you’re home so you don’t risk getting sick.

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For the more scientific among us…

By SHERRY DINEEN for Motivation Alliance

Play In The Rain For Better Health

When people talk about health, you may hear them refer to negative and positive ions floating around us and consider it a bunch of woo-woo oddness with no basis in science or reason.

Panorama of Tropical waterfall Phnom Kulen, Cambodia
Panorama of Tropical waterfall Phnom Kulen, Cambodia

Not a bunch of hooey, negative ions are a naturally occurring phenomenon. In fact, waterfalls are natural negative ion generators.

Let’s take a trip back to basic fifth grade science class. Atoms are made up of protons, neutron and electrons. Electrons are those little particles that energetically swirl around the nucleus of protons and neutrons.

Diagram of an atom by Buzzle.com
Diagram of an atom by Buzzle.com

When the number of electrons on the outside is greater than the number of protons in the middle, the atom becomes a negatively charged ion (anion). If the protons outnumber the electrons, the atom becomes a positively charged ion (cation).

Negative ions are generated in large quantities as air molecules break apart from moving water like rain showers, rivers, crashing waves and even fountains. Plants, air movement, sunlight and the radioactive decay of noble gases also naturally create them.

Because ions are charged, they are mobile. Negative ions are smaller and lighter and are more likely to become airborne while positive ions are heavier and tend to fall to the ground. Thus the concentration of negative ions is greater in the atmosphere near moving water. Rainstorms, waterfalls, and beaches are natural negative ion generators.

Yay science!

OK, so maybe science makes your eyes glaze over and I lost you at “fifth-grade science class” but there is a reason for the lesson: studies show exposure to negative ions has a direct impact on our mood and well-being.

In this study, both bright light and negative air ion exposure were shown to alleviate chronic non-seasonal depression as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Theories suggest that negative ions increase serotonin levels to boost our mood and energy, alleviate depression and provide stress-relief. In this study, exercise (in the form of

There may be benefits to exercising outside.
There may be benefits to exercising outside.

Tai Chi in this instance) paired with negative ion exposure produced better health effects than exercise alone. Yes, it would appear, the environment in which you exercise may play a role in its effectiveness.

Speaking of environments, companies are now selling negative ion generators for people to use in their homes and workspaces. Do these generators work? Of course, the companies selling them would respond with a hearty “yes!” but the jury is still out. Research has yet to prove the benefits of artificially created negative ion sources.

That’s okay though. If you would like to increase the number of negative ions in your home or workplace, consider live plants or (if your seasonal allergies allow it) simply open the windows and let in some fresh air. Who knows what the breeze from the trees will carry your way. At home, showers count as moving water too. Have you ever marveled at how good you feel after a nice shower? You were creating your own negative ions.

Get outside to reap the benefits of negative ion exposure.
Get outside to reap the benefits of negative ion exposure.

Since negative ion concentrations are greatest outside, the best option for increasing your exposure is to spend time in nature. Go for a hike near a babbling brook, follow a trail to a hidden waterfall or find a beach and dally near (or in!) the waves. Thunderstorm outside? Perfect! Wait for the lightning to pass and take a walk outside to be surrounded by negative ions. Breathe deep and lift your spirits.

Time spent outside in natural light and negative ion concentrations is worth the time and effort. Play in the rain. Your mind and body will thank you!

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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