Keeping your hand warm is essential as temperatures drop through winter and the colder months. When your hands are cold, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints, don’t move as easily as when they’re warm. Arthritic joints can become stiff because joint fluid isn’t moving as freely. Joint fluid reacts to cold like the oil in our cars: As it gets chillier, the fluid becomes thicker and doesn’t move as easily.

 

Simple tips to prevent pain and discomfort and keep hands warm during the colder months

 

Eating & drinking advice for keeping hands warm

 

Healthy eating is important for your circulation as it boosts your heart health, and better-flowing blood ultimately means you’re kept warmer. Fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, fruits, vegetables and more are all fantastic for improving your blood flow during winter. Ginger is an excellent thermogenic food, producing heat when your body metabolises it. A hot cup of ginger tea could help warm your entire body, including your hands, and holding the warm cup is also a comfort.

Don’t drink alcohol. While alcohol may make your skin feel warmer, it lowers body temperature. Alcohol causes the blood vessels in your skin to dilate, diverting blood from your vital organs and toward your extremities.

Stay away from cigarettes and caffeine. Although this is a more long-term approach to warming your hands, both smoking and caffeine cause your blood vessels to constrict or narrow, and if there isn’t enough blood flow to your hands, they will get cold. Try tea instead of coffee in cold months to get your mornings going.

 

Warm hand exercises

 

Exercise is the most effective way to warm your hands to get the blood pumping to your muscles and skin. Pick up the pace a little if your hands get cold when you are out walking, gently wiggling your fingers, circling your wrists, clenching and releasing your hands.

Massage your hands and arms. Another way to get the blood flowing, especially in the winter months when your skin gets dry, is to spend some time massaging oil or cream into the skin of your arms, wrists, and hands, not forgetting your fingers.

Use your own body heat. No matter how cold it is outside, some areas of our bodies are almost always warm, such as under our armpits and between and under our thighs. Place your bare hands directly on the skin in a warm area of your body and leave them there until they warm up.

 

Clothing choices to help warm hands

 

Mittens are often better than gloves as your fingers are together, keeping each other warm. Be sure to get gloves covering your wrists, as much heat can be lost here. If you don’t have gloves, put your hands in your pockets, or stick them inside your jacket to keep them out of the breeze.

Keep your entire body warm. Because your body reacts to cold by sending warm blood to your internal organs, you can help prevent your hands from getting cold and help warm them up by keeping your core warm and protected. If your body doesn’t think your organs are in danger, it won’t take warming blood away from your hands. In cooler weather, layer your clothing. Wear a base, insulating, and outer layer that protects from wind and rain.

Wearing loose clothing can be effective. Tight clothes, socks, and even underwear can constrict your blood vessels, meaning blood is more challenging to circulate, leaving your hands chilly. To combat this, wear comfortable loose clothes that provide freedom of movement. If you are wearing tight clothes and your hands get cold, change into looser clothes as soon as possible.

 

General tips

 

Hand warmers are a fantastic option for activating when you feel cold. Be careful not to heat your hands too quickly or use extreme heat sources, for instance, placing hands directly on a radiator, as these can cause painful chilblains

Blow on your hands and rub them together. The hot air from your lungs will help heat your hands. Cup your hands to help keep the heat in as long as possible, and then rub your hands together quickly to spread the warmth to the back of your hands.

Have a warm bath. The warm water will heat your hands and entire body, and it’s also a relaxing way to recover after time spent out in the cold. A safe bath temperature should never exceed 110 F / 43 C, which could cause burns, dizziness, low blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting. Alternatively, you can run your hands under warm water or fill a bowl with warm water and soak your hands and wrists.

 

If your hands are not performing as they should, or you’re encountering pain or discomfort, the negative effect on your life can be significant. Whether you’ve sustained an injury from tripping or falling or experiencing problems relating to a medical condition, our team is here to help. Manchester Hand Surgeons – trust the hands of experience. Book your initial consultation with Manchester Hand Surgeons today.

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