How to Exercise Outdoors When It's Raining

Man cooling off after running race

Exercising in the rain can be a refreshing change, especially in the summer. The rain can tamp down allergens, making it easier for people with allergies to exercise outside. Safety is a key factor whether you're running, walking, swimming or cycling while it's raining. Wearing the proper clothing can make the exercise more comfortable, allowing you to enjoy the novelty of the rain while pushing your body to stay healthy.

Apply anti-chafing solutions such as petroleum jelly to areas that tend to experience friction, such as under your arms and your inner thighs. The rain can exacerbate this problem as your clothing gets wet, so protect yourself before you get dressed.

Don the proper clothing to keep you comfortable in the rain. A hat, such as a baseball cap, can help deflect water from your face. Putting on a water-resistant, lightweight jacket can keep the rain off your skin, but it can also trap heat as you begin to sweat. Instead, wear workout clothes that are designed to wick water away from your skin to allow your skin to breath as you run without the clothing holding moisture from the rain.

Wear old shoes that still provide good traction. Although not necessary if you're swimming, other exercise causes your shoes to get wet and often muddy, so don't wear shoes you plan to use for the next couple of days to give them time to dry. Traction is key, however, so make sure the shoes can grip the ground as you exercise and keep you from slipping.

Stick to wooded areas when possible, such as a public park trail, to allow the trees to catch much of the rain. Avoid high-traffic roads where the cars can splash you with water as you run or bike beside them.

Wear something reflective, such as a shirt or vest, if you're running in the morning or evening when it can be hard for cars to see you if you exercise along a road. Some athletic shoes have reflective stripes to help cars see you.

Watch for hazards such as large puddles, rocks that have washed into your path or slick, muddy areas. Reduce your speed as necessary to navigate around the hazards safely.

Place your electronic devices, such as an MP3 player or cell phone, in a plastic zip-top bag or waterproof case to help keep them from getting damaged by the rain.


Exercise outdoors when it's raining only if there is no thunder and lightning, including when you're swimming.