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Ever felt numb fingers after a morning run? Don’t worry, we’ve been there before. Once your hands start freezing, winter surely stops feeling like a wonderland.
If you want to skip the chills and get back to the thrill, here are the many ways to keep hands warm while running.
Why do your hands get cold while running?
When the outdoor temperatures are cold, your body focuses on warming your core, which includes your torso and vital organs. As a result, less blood travels to your extremities—leading to stiff arms, hands, and fingers!
(There are some instances of cold hands, however, which are attributed to Raynaud’s Syndrome, a more severe case of swelling, numbness, or pain. If you experience this frequently, be sure to get medical advice.)
Combines with the freezing winds outside, you’re bound to get colder as you go. But, good for you, there are many ways to resolve icy hands:
Tips to keep hands warm while running in cold weather
1. Get gloves for the weather
When you’re out in the open, you ought to find good protection—and luckily, gloves do just the trick!
For light insulation, synthetic running gloves are your go-to, especially for temperatures above 40°F.
However, at temperatures below 30°F, it’s best to use gloves with wind/waterproof features. OZERO’s Winter Thermal Gloves, for one, is a snug fit for chilly outdoor activities!
Ideally, you’d want your gloves to be light, breathable, and water/windproofed. Most often, you’ll find these two in the market:
- Full-Finger Gloves: The most common kind of glove, newer editions come equipped with anti-slip features and touchscreen capabilities.
- Fingerless Gloves: A lighter alternative for hotter days.
The colder the weather, the more layers you’ll need—and that’s where glove liners come in. These are thin, moisture-wicking apparel that can fill in larger gloves, keeping your fingers cozy at 32°F. (Take the Terramar Adult Thermasilk Glove Liner, for one.)
What’s great is that they pair well with mittens—working even at temperatures between 29-10°F! Just by mixing and matching layers, you can block-off winds and stay dry.
In extreme conditions below 10°F, mittens (partnered with glove liners) can keep your fingers warm and toasty!
If you’re one for functionality, Tough Outdoor’s Convertible Mitten Gloves possess the dexterity of full-finger gloves and the protection of a mitten wind sleeve. How cool is that?
2. Consider heated running gloves
Apart from the standard pair, heated running gloves are light, portable, and cost-effective alternatives for warding off the cold.
- Hand-Warmer Packets: For a quick fix, shake and rip one open—they’ll quickly heat up upon exposure to air! Just insert one pack in your mitten/glove pouch, and it’ll last for 8 hours.
- Electric/Battery-powered Gloves: A bit pricey, such are designed with adjustable heat settings for your convenience. Each pair contains imbedded wires and a removable battery pack.
- USB Hand-Warmers: These handy warmers also double as a phone charger! (Note: Don’t use these in wet/snowy weather.)
3. Avoid tight-fitting gloves
Because of the cold, your hands generally lack oxygenated blood, making them extra vulnerable.
That being said, avoid wearing too-tight clothing. Not only will close-fitting gloves and wristwatches impair your blood flow, but they’ll also restrict your mobility.
Should you want to bulk up, make sure that the outermost glove is thinner and more breathable, while the innermost isn’t too constricting. On average, having two layers is enough to warm your fingers, while still keeping them dextrous.
4. Get your hands warm before heading out
Running gloves usually contain neoprene, a heat-trapping material. To maximize this, it’s best to warm your hands before heading out.
You can use a heater, hold a hot drink, or simply rub your palms—believe me, after this, your gloves will work wonders!
5. Move your hands
Shake off the chills! Stationary hands are more prone to freezing, so you’ve got to get them moving.
By incorporating simple exercises, such as finger stretches, arm circles, or a simple wrist-wiggle into your running routine, you can keep your blood pumping, regardless of the weather!
6. Layer up your core
Since most of your blood flow is at your core, you must layer up. In effect, this will ease your body and resume circulation to your limbs.
Start with a base layer, and bulk-up with a thermal jacket or vest, ideally with cuffed sleeves for windproofing. You can also purchase a winter running hat to repel moisture.
7. Stay dry
Moisture-wicking fabrics are relatively standard for workout gear, although they don’t fare so well in colder climates. Built for evaporation, these usually bring moisture—like your sweat—to the surface, and give a nice, cooling effect.
Now, this is all good for the summer—but in the winter world, wet simply means cold! To avoid unwanted chills, make sure that you’ve got waterproof gloves on, as these prevent moisture from seeping in and out.
As mentioned, you can layer running gloves to stay warm, putting a light and slightly bulkier pair over a thinner one.
But if you think that’s too constricting, you can opt to wear light or midweight glove liners underneath waterproof shells instead. With this setup, you won’t have to worry about changing temperatures—simply remove the outer layer when hot, and put it back on when cold!
8. Get windproof gear
When running in the cold, it’s best to avoid the wind altogether. Surely, you don’t want any stray chills to sneak in!
Most often, waterproof gloves are already wind-resistant. But, if you’re using a pair made of fleece, just be sure to double-check on this.
Though windproofed gloves are a bit more costly, they’re worth getting for longer-lasting warmth.
Exercise is strenuous in itself, but paired with cold hands and numb fingers—let’s just say, you’ll be running into a lot of trouble!
Times like these require extra caution. So, just keep these eight tips in mind, and you’ll be all set for a jog outdoors.