No matter the weather, I like to walk (30-60 minutes) to the sweet sound of Toronto “silence,” old albums, new albums, or a podcast. It’s healthy for the body, pleasant for the mind, and the benefits compound as we walk further and faster.
I can’t overstate the benefits of walking in the sun, but walking through rain and snow is a better workout – your only equipment: the clothes on your back and a pocket full of tissue. Research shows that we burn more fat exercising in cold, wet environments than at room temperature. Your body does more work per step.
Walking in the snow is the perfect amount of challenge no matter who you are. Depending on how much snow there is, each step is a full-body motion. That’s good cardio, resistance, and it’s easy on the joints. But I save these walks for fresh snow – powder and slush are vastly different experiences.
Then we get psychological benefits from the endorphin (happy chemicals) rush. And in some people, falling rain and crunchy snow trigger Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR, a low-grade euphoria).
As we continue on our merry ways, walking becomes meditative. Repetitive motion clears the mind and connects us to our bodies. There’s nothing in mind except the next step – our sense of time falls apart, and we experience each moment as it comes.