Are you one of those special people who enjoy the smell of rain hitting the earth, or are you someone who feels lighter when you walk in the rain?
Then we have some great news for you! There are some genuine benefits to being around rain, and we’re going to share them with you in this article.
First of all, the smell you enjoy when rain hits the earth, or dry soil, is called “petrichor.” The word is constructed from Greek petra, meaning “stone”, and icor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
One of the main causes of this distinctive smell is a blend of oils secreted by some plants during arid periods. When a rainstorm comes after a drought, compounds from the oils are mixed and released into the air. These airborne oils combine with other compounds to produce the smell. In moist, forested areas in particular, a common substance is geosmin, a chemical produced by a soil-dwelling bacteria.
Studies have revealed that the human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin in particular—some people can detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion.
But if we leave the chemical reasons behind, why do we truly enjoy the smell of rain?
“Anthropologist Diana Young of the University of Queensland in Australia, for example, who studied the culture of Western Australia’s Pitjantjatjara people, has observed that they associate the smell of rain with the color green, hinting at the deep-seated link between a season’s first rain and the expectation of growth and associated game animals, both crucial for their diet. She calls this “cultural synesthesia”—the blending of different sensory experiences on a society-wide scale due to evolutionary history,” writes journalist Joseph Stromberg for Smithsonian Magazine.
What are some benefits to walking in the rain?
1. You breathe more fresh air
An MIT study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics showed that the air is truly cleaner during and after heavy rainfall. Rain washes off the microbes and dust present in the air. Thus, walking in the rain helps us to inhale the fresh air.
2. The humidity is great for your skin
High levels of humidity in the air help keep your skin fresh, young and supple. This water is good for the skin and the hair. It is alkaline in nature which is great for the skin and scalp.
3. Walking in the rain helps to 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.
4. When you walk in the rain, you can change your perspective
Maybe it’s the way everything glistens, or the sounds of drops hitting puddles, but when you walk in the rain things seem a little different. This can allow you time to think things through and maybe take a different look at how you are perceiving things in your life.
5. It makes you feel free
When you go for a walk in the rain, it’s as if you’re a rebel with a cause. You have determination and willpower and nothing is going to stop you. You feel free, like you can do almost anything.
A walk in the rain sounds pretty good right about now, don’t you think?