Your hands are exposed to the world more than any other part of your skin except your face. With sun damage, water damage, wind damage, dryness and cuts from handling paper, painful hangnails, reduced collagen due to age, and reduced flexibility due to lack of exercise, your hands can take a beating every day.
If you spend much of the day typing, crafting, or giving massages, be sure to take several breaks throughout the day to rest and rejuvenate your overworked hands!
While the 18th-century method of sleeping with your hands tied above your head might not be practical (unless you’re acting out a scene from Fifty Shades of Grey), you can still take some time every day to focus on keeping your hands nurtured.
A short daily “workout” and massage will increase circulation to your hands, while strengthening them and improving flexibility.
Stuff to Know:
- Painful fingers, palms, joints, blisters, and other hand problems can be the result of underlying health issues. If you have concerns about the health of your hands and fingers, please see a podiatrist or other foot care professional.
How to exercise and massage your hands:
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Raise your arms above your head. Stiffen your hands and keep them stiff as you swing your arms in large, windmill circles forward 20 times, then backward 20 times.
- Extend your arms so they are parallel with your shoulders. Let your hands dangle loosely as you shake them for 30 seconds.
- Sit or stand comfortably with your elbows resting on a table and your forearms vertical.
- Clench your fists. Then, open your hands, fan your fingers, and reach your fingertips backward as far as possible. Repeat 7 times.
- Slather on a generous coating of lotion or oil.
- Clasp your left hand with your right. Place your right thumb in the palm of your left hand, with the fingers of your right hand against the back of your left hand.
- Using deep but gentle circular motions, massage your left palm, knuckles, and each finger.
- Apply more lotion, then change hands and repeat.
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Questions for readers:
Do you treat your hands gently, or are you often rough on them?