In the rain

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Walk as often as you can, even in the rain!

 

“If we exclude bad weather conditions, with particularly violent phenomena that can create dangerous situations (strong thunderstorms with lightning, blizzards, storms) there is practically no weather that prevents you from being outdoors, as there is no season of the year that is not suitable for a barefoot walk. […] Living and doing activities outdoors as much as possible is very important for our vital energy. [...] ...as human beings we are an open system, and our nourishment takes place through a continuous exchange of energies with the cosmos” (from “La via del freddo alla felicità”, by Andrea Bianchi, Vallardi Editor).

 

Starting from these assumptions, even a walk in the rain can be a positive and deeply beneficial experience! Walking in the rain has many benefits for the health of the mind, body and soul.

 

The Dolomiti Natural Wellness paths are perfectly suited for this activity, being simple tracks, with no steep slopes and no difficult parts.

 

Appreciate the environment around you, explore it with all your senses: sight, to admire the colors of nature; hearing, to listen to birds singing or the sound of raindrops; smell, to enjoy the fragrance of the trees; touch, to caress the damp earth, the wet meadow, the rough bark.

Discover the benefits of this incredible experience:

 

  • Free from anxiety: the sound of the rain induces a sensation of diffused relaxation.
  • It is beneficial for those suffering from stress disorders: it gives peace and tranquility.
  • Walking or running in water helps to increase antibodies. 
  • The resulting moisture has a strong hydrating power for skin and hair.
  • It speeds up the metabolism and promotes weight loss.
  • It increases the physical efficiency and responsiveness of your body.
  • It allows you to be alone, minimising the chances of finding large crowds on the paths.
  • It puts you in a good mood: the smell of rain makes you happy!
  • It reduces the aggravation of allergies: rain washes pollen away.
  • It cleans the air: rain reduces air pollution.
  • Rain is a natural chromotherapy: it accentuates green and makes it more luxuriant.
  • It increases the sensation of refreshment.

 

And if you're lucky you can also enjoy incredible rainbows!

 

When to go? Walking in the rain is good, but be careful: try to avoid downpours or heavy thunderstorms, it is better to walk in a light and constant rain. Before leaving, check the weather forecast to avoid dangerous conditions and take the right equipment. Walk in complete safety, taking care not to walk on unmarked paths or in unknown places and avoid areas close to waterways, steep roads and particularly slippery areas.

Here are some useful tips for a safe experience:

 

  • Wear footwear suitable for the difficulty of the route, waterproof with a light upper to facilitate drying.
  • Do not use shoes with worn soles; they have less grip, and you risk slipping.
  • Use technical garments with waterproof rain pants and gaiters, if necessary.
  • Wear fleece or sweats and always bring a change in your backpack: an in-between state is essential in dealing with sudden changes in temperature.
  • Wear a windproof jacket or waterproof jacket or poncho. Protect your backpack with a backpack cover or cape.
  • Cover your head to hold in heat and to provide better visibility. Use a rain hat.

 

 

Did you know...?

The soil, when it comes into contact with the rain, releases a particular fragrance due essentially to the presence of bacteria, which produce geosmin. This bicyclic organic compound has the particularity of imparting, even in very low concentrations, a strong hint of an earthy aroma. It may be extremely interesting to know that the human olfactory system is particularly sensitive to geosmin and is able to detect it at concentrations lower than 5 parts per trillion. In less urbanized environments, such as the mountains, geosmin prevails over the presence of ozone in the air (which imparts the smell of clean air) and is therefore perceived more intensely.

 

For this reason in the mountains you immediately notice that particular smell of earth when the rain is coming. Geosmin is also used, in small quantities, in the formulation of perfumes, to provide that pleasant and exciting smell of earth. The power of this organic compound, through its fragrance, seems even to help guide animals to sources of water. About fifty years ago two Australian chemists, Isabel Bear and R. G. Thomas, in a study started to discover the causes of the scent of the rain, and created a particular term to identify it. It derives from the Greek petros (stone) and ichor (sap of the gods): Petrichor. Petrichor is a combination of two substances released into the air in the form of an aerosol. Leaving aside for a moment the more strictly scientific side, we could emphasize the close connection that exists between the sense of smell and our mind. Every day each of us comes into contact with hundreds of smells that activate our brain and trigger our emotions and sensations. Scientists believe this has something to do with our origins because our ancestors used their sense of smell a lot, like animals. Petrichor, connecting us with nature, allows us to get away from the daily chaos and causes us to experience feelings of joy and serenity.

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