Exercise! - Swelling in hands when walking

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09-02-2008, 09:04 PM
I am on about week 3 of doing daily (5x/week) 55 min walks that I can make about 3.35 miles during that time.

I have noticed that about 15-20 min into my walking, I can feel my hands/fingers are swelling. I assume that this is water retention, but not sure why this happens. Does anyone else experience this? I am not sure if it has to do with weather conditions as well....I am in the Northeast, and the temps have been running around 80, and tonight it feels a bit muggy out as well. The swelling does seem to go down within about an hour of my stopping the walk.

Is there anything I should be doing to prevent this?

Any suggestions welcome.


09-02-2008, 09:07 PM
I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it. My hands always do this. I remember as a kid having my hands swell when I would go roller skating (funny thing to remember). I googled it and found this on the Mayo Clinic web site:

Hand swelling during exercise is a fairly common problem. Unfortunately, the cause usually isn't clear.

During exercise, your heart may redirect blood from your hands to the exercising muscles. This cools your hands. In turn, the blood vessels in your hands may overreact — which could lead to more blood flow in your hands and possible hand swelling. Hand swelling during exercise is unlikely to be caused by an electrolyte imbalance, weather conditions or drinking excess water.

There's no proven way to prevent or reduce hand swelling during exercise. Before you exercise, you may want to remove your rings and loosen your watchband. During exercise, it may help to do occasional forward and backward arm circles. You might also stretch your fingers and then make fists several times during exercise.

09-02-2008, 09:15 PM
I've found that elevating my hands while exercising helps. Keep your elbows bent and generally keep your hands above your elbows. YMMV but hopefully it will help.

Apple Cheeks
09-02-2008, 09:31 PM
I get this when walking for a long time, or hiking.

When I notice it, I will start clenching/unclenching my hands for as long as it takes for the feeling to go away. Usually a minute or two.

Also, I will then try to keep my hands at waist level, sort of in a jogging position.

Doing those two things together keeps the swelling away. :)

09-02-2008, 09:48 PM
Mine have done this my whole life. I always thought it was hormone related. Interesting to see the mayo clinic blurb.

I carry something small in each hand which seems to prevent it/or on the worst days at least help it. Something about having my fingers curled around an object seems to lessen the effect.

Currently its a heart rate monitor watch in one hand and a bunch of kleenex in the other. Over the years I've used tiny foam balls, a small canister of mace in one hand and lipbalm in the other, even small sticks about a half inch to inch in diameter seem to help for me.

About 10 years ago I noticed that whenever I held the dog leash in one hand the fingers on that hand would not swell, so I tried holding something in both and it worked!

09-03-2008, 12:34 AM
I've had that a lot too. Not so much anymore. Don't know if that is related to weight loss or not.

09-03-2008, 08:37 AM
Thanks for the responses. I tried a few of these suggestions this morning and it worked great. :carrot: