Have you ever heard the phrase “you’ll catch your death out there”?
A well-used phrase meant to dissuade people from leaving the house when it’s particularly cold or raining out there.
But is it true?
Are the people who continue to go out on their runs even in tumultuous weather just putting themselves in danger of illnesses and viruses?
In this article, we will break down just what risks come with running in the rain, and whether it’s worth risking the weather.
Will You Get Sick?
Short answer? No.
Longer answer? Kind of.
You see, when you go out in the rain, you get cold. It’s the cold, not the rain that might end up leaving you more of an easy target for illnesses like the rhinovirus, which is also known as the common cold.
So it’s really more of the cold than the rain that could weaken your immune system, but admittedly they do typically come hand in hand.
That said, there’s also another factor that can have an effect on whether you’re tempting fate every time you go out for a jog in the rain. This is the fact that running can actually have a positive effect on your immune system.
Running Boosts Your Immune System
Building up your cardio will actually boost your immune system, whilst keeping your body moving will increase your temperature which will make you less susceptible to viruses.
That said, it can easily go the other way, as not allowing yourself to recover properly or overtraining your body can also have a detrimental effect on your immune system.
This is because your body might release too much of the stress hormone cortisol which provides a window for illnesses and viruses to make their home in your body.
It is honestly just a balancing act.
But What About Your Drippy Nose?
Sometimes even when you’re not ill you can suffer from a post-nasal drip.
Cold or damp air can have a weird effect on your respiratory system. Sometimes this can trigger your sinuses to go a little haywire.
This is why you might find yourself with a nose that’s running like a tap even when everything else about you is totally healthy.
If you do happen to notice that your nose is dripping, it’s probably nothing to worry about.
That said, cold air can also make it trickier to flush as the mucus in your nose thickens and nasal passages become congested.
So again, running in the rain, and the cold air doesn’t directly make you ill, but it can lead to you developing an illness if you’re not careful enough.
How Do You Catch The Common Cold
Unfortunately, certain cold viruses, like the Rhinovirus can spread more easily in the cold weather or winter months because they function better at lower temperatures.
Cold weather correlates with colds but rain cannot cause you to catch a cold.
If you want to limit your chances of coming down with something, make sure you keep your distance from anyone that happens to be ill and sterilize your hands.
If Running Boosts Your Immune System, What Else Does It Do?
There are a crazy amount of benefits and positives to running, not just a boost in your immune system.
Running is a great cardio exercise that engages basically every part of your body.
It’s great for your cardiovascular health and getting more blood rushing to more parts of your body, including your brain. So you might end up seeing an increase in your mental faculties.
Not only is running great for cardio, but it’s also a decent muscular building exercise. Your core, arms, and all the muscles in your legs are getting a workout with every run.
If you want to build more muscle in your legs/butt then you should try explosive training like going up hills or stairs. But if you just want an overall workout then you can focus on endurance and distance training.
If you’re wanting to build and tone your glutes (aka your butt), then stick to explosive training, endurance training can actually result in a bit of a deflated-looking butt if you’re not careful.
What Are The Alternatives?
If reading this, you’re suddenly worried about catching a cold or something worse when running in the rain, then you might want to look at an alternative method of getting your exercise in.
The most obvious would be to purchase a treadmill to put in your home so that when the rain starts pouring you can still work out without risking getting poorly from the cold.
But which treadmill is going to be best?
There are plenty of options to choose from, and it might be difficult to know what’s going to work best for you and be worth the money.
With that in mind, we thought that we would give you a push in the right direction.
Ever since it was founded in 1975, NordicTrack has been making a name for itself by creating at-home exercise equipment that sits ahead of its competitors, thanks to style and quality.
Their different lines of treadmills very often top “Best Of” lists and get stunning reviews, but why?
What makes a NordicTrack treadmill worth the asking price?
People flock to NordicTrack because they are constantly keeping up with the times, and keep the latest technology available on almost every product they create. They’ve been operating for nearly 50 years.
For a treadmill, this means a digital screen that allows you to track what you’re doing, watch YouTube or other videos, listen to music, or keep up with a workout video.
Although this does mean that for the majority of the time, you need to keep the machine connected to the internet.
These screens are touchscreen and highly responsive, and also have impressive graphics and QuickTouch buttons for speed and incline on the bezel.
The best benefit that you get out of a treadmill compared to running outside is the cushioning that the track can give you, significantly reducing the impact on your knees and ankles.
The cushioning found in NordicTrack treadmills will support you and allow you to run for longer stretches of time/more frequently without strain or injury to your joints.
For a more intense workout, you might want to start incorporating inclines into your runs.
NordicTrack treadmills make this very easy by including impressive incline and decline features in the majority of their products.
Their X32i model goes all the way up to a 40% incline for a truly killer workout. Then, when you’re done, you’ll be able to actively recover by reducing your pace to a 6% decline.
This brand practically owns the market in basically every different range of treadmills, meaning that regardless of your requirements, you’ll be able to find something that suits you.
Now, unfortunately, their products are generally more expensive. You can definitely find something cheaper, but you won’t find anything with such great quality.
The simple answer is that no, running in the rain does not magically inject the common cold or virus into your body.
Running whilst you’re cold however can weaken your immune system and leave you more susceptible to illness, whether it’s raining or not.
As well as this, not allowing yourself the proper time to recover can also leave you with a lower or weakened immune system, leaving you more likely to catch something if you come into contact with it.
That said, a decent routine of cardio exercise, like running, builds up and boosts your immune system, so a lot of it is a bit of a balancing act.
Basically, you want to ensure that you take care of your body.
This could be wearing appropriate thermal clothing when you know it’s going to be cold or wet outside, and also have a set routine for how you’re going to rest your body and warm it back up once you’re finished.
Alternatively, you could get a treadmill so that when it does start raining, you don’t need to leave the house in order to get your work outdone.
You also want to ensure that you sterilize your hands if you think you may have come into contact with someone that’s ill, cough into your elbow, and potentially even wear a mask when it’s appropriate.