Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Important Question for My Vast Readership

Lately, I have been briskly walking the 5K route at my workplace with some friends. It is cold out, or at least what passes for cold in Tennessee. Let's say it's 40 F (roughly 5 C) or colder outside.

As I walk briskly, my hands get very hot. As my friends walk briskly, their hands remain cold. In fact, they have to wear gloves on the walk because their hands are so cold. When we get back to our office, my hands are extra warm and puffy, and theirs are cold. We are all sweating in our torso regions and breathing somewhat heavily from the exertion, so it's not like I'm the only one who has exerted him/herself. They think I'm a freak because my hands are so hot and swollen. I think they're freaks because their hands are so cold.

Question: What happens to your hands when you walk briskly on a cold day?

6 comments:

Tatanus said...

For a 5k walk in 40 degree weather of cooler, I would have to say that if anything happened, my hands (and feet) would start to get a bit cold. This would mostly be due to the lack of warm blood flowing into them as my body kicks into survival mode and attempts to keep as much warmth as possible near my internal organs.

If your hands do in fact get warm and start to swell, it may be a sign of poor blood circulation. The warmth would be coming from the blood and the swelling is most likely caused by the pooling of blood in your hands. When you walk, are your fingers pointing down most of the time (as happens if they are hanging or swinging by your side)? If so, try walking with your hands elevated to help with blood flow. This should actually help with the swelling.

rachel said...

My hands get warm and a little bit puffy (just so it's harder to take my ring off) on a HOT day. On a cold day, they don't, so much, but they're not bitterly cold either (especially if it's just 40 degrees! Geez! That's not cold!). But then, I'm your sister, so one would expect us to be similar. I believe poor circulation to the extremities runs in the family. Remember those stories about Grandma Bacon (or somebody like that) sticking her feet in the toilet on a hot day?

rachel said...

Data! 45 degrees, 3.4km briskly with the dog = hands warm, but not at all puffy.

ScienceGirl said...

My hands would be cold at first, then warm up in the second half. As for the swelling, try bending your hands like you would when you are running, and let us know if it helps!

FrauTech said...

I get kind of a bizarre half and half when I run in chilly weather. Sometimes one hand will be warm and the other cold, or sometimes most of my fingers warm but a few still freezing. Not sure if it's wonky circulation, or if I'm holding/using my hands in ways I'm not conscious of. But some people just have poor circulation, yours must either be really good or you kept your hands down the whole time to increase blood flow while your fellow walkers did not.

Jane said...

I'd probably be wearing light gloves, so my hands would get sweaty about halfway through the walk, but not swollen. (This is also true when I run.)