Cool hands help people exercise longer


Cooling hand palms during exercise may help people feel more comfortable and work out for a longer period of time without disturbance, a fitness study suggests.

“Cooling will decrease the fatigue that goes with starting an exercise program and allow you to feel more comfortable when you get fit,” said Stacy T. Sims of Stanford University in California.

Sims and her colleagues assigned 24 middle-aged obese women to either use a cooling or a lukewarm device during exercise sessions for 12-weeks. None of the participants were engaged in long-term exercise sessions before the test.

The temperature of the cooling devices was 16 degrees centigrade while the lukewarm devices that the group kept in their hands were 37 degrees centigrade which is equal to the mean human body temperature.

The overall data showed that the cooling group not only tended to outlast their counterparts in the control group but also had less drop outs due to feeling uncomfortable during exercise.

Cooling device users on average had lower resting blood pressure, and had greater exercise heart rates.

They also shaved five minutes off the time it took them to walk 1.5 miles compared to those who kept lukewarm hand devices, researchers said during the 2012 American Heart Association (AHA) Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism meeting in San Diego.

Holding an ice-cold water bottle is a less expensive alternative to cooling devices, Sims suggested. “Freeze a bottle of water and take it with you so you have it in your hand as you exercise, and you can drink cold water as it is melting.”

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