In chilly weather, keeping your fingers functioning is no easy task
There was one winter morning I genuinely thought my hands were about to fall off. No exaggeration!
Well, maybe a slight exaggeration. But the chill well and truly set in.
It was back in the freezing cold winter of 2010. I woke up at 6am as usual and drew back the curtains to find a thick, white blanket of snow across every blade of grass, hedgerow and inch of our yard.
How lovely, you might think. A lazy day with the children building a snowman. Sledging down the hill on an old bin lid. Lobbing snow balls at one another as the dog leaves little zig zag footprints across the untouched ground.
If it was a weekend then yes. Or even a day off. But it was a Monday morning and I was due in work in under two hours.
Grab the de-icer, boil the kettle (not too hot as to crack the windscreens), find a snow scraper. Welly boots on, woolly hat, big jacket, shovel from the shed…where’s my gloves?
Cold hands aren’t just a problem when outside raking snow or trying to fix a flat tyre in the biting wind. Numb fingertips make it difficult to even type on your laptop or smartphone.
So, how can you keep your hands warm?
There are a number of ways. From the intricate methods to a quick fix. Got pockets in your coat or trousers? Push your hands inside of them.
Cup them together and blow deeply to release that lovely hot air. Rub them vigorously together to increase blood flow. If you’re really brave then put them under your clothes on to your warm skin.
Some top tips to keep your hands warm
Hot Water Bottle – Use an extra-long hot water bottle. Follow the instructions, clean it well and fill it with hot water.
Be sure to fill in some cold or room temperature water first before pouring in the steaming hot water from the kettle. Some people wrap it in a towel.
I must admit, I’ve never tried using a towel. We use the case provided. In fact with most of our bottles there are two cases provided.
Keep this bottle next to you as you work or watch your favorite shows. You can hold the bottle for a while or even rest your cold hands on it.
Not to mention the one with a loop and tie string. Connect it under your jumper and carry it with you everywhere you go. Slide your freezing digits underneath for a quick warm-up and and say goodbye to those uncomfortable cold hands!
Warmer – Install a hand warmer in your home to use as and when required. Tap a tune on the radiator under the curtains.
If you are at work, use the hand dryer in the toilet to bring back the sensation into your fingertips. If you’re feeling really daring, and it has a flexible nozzle, flick it up and blast the warm air into your face. Oh yeah!
Gloves – It can be difficult to type or cook wearing a pair of gloves but always have them on you. Wear them whenever possible, especially if you are stepping out into the cold.
Fingertips get cold very easily. It takes a lot of time to bring back senses into those tips.
Even more tips to keep your hands warm
Gloves with detachable fingers – If your work involves typing, you can use gloves where the fingers can be detached. This way, the palms are kept warm, and you can slide back the fingertips as and when you want to use them.
Vintage readers will remember the old TV comedy show Steptoe and Son. The dad used to wear a pair all the time. If it’s good enough for Albert Steptoe then it’s good enough for us.
Reduce The Gap – Pull your sleeves closer to your wrists. Reduce the gap between the sleeve and the gloves as much as possible. When there is no room for cold air to enter, your hands will stay warmer for longer.
Wiggle Them – Keep wiggling and rubbing your fingertips to keep them active and warm. However, do not let them sit idle for long as they can get numb.
Massage – Massage your palms and fingers when you are sitting at your desk. Take a break and massage your hands to get the blood flowing. Better blood flow will help keep the hands warm.
Remember those little gel warmers that people used a few years ago? They were sold in chemists and pharmacies. You pressed a little button and it heated up.
I looked them up and they are still a thing. Very popular in the outdoor space apparently. Which leads us back briefly to hot water bottles…
When blogger and explorer Jeff Podmayer trekked the Appalachian Trail he was met with weather of all conditions.
Luckily Jeff had an idea. Fill water bottles with hot water to create his own hot water bottles! If only he’d thought to take one with him he could’ve saved the DIY hassle.
As Jeff was trekking in the wild he had to make do with fresh stream water. None of the conveniences of our final tip were available on an outdoor trail.
Tap Water – If you are out or have no access to a fire or heater, use the tap water. Most public places, including office toilets, will have hot running water.
Now please be careful here. Make sure your hands are sufficiently thawed out first and use warm water at first. Placing ice cold paws straight under the tap is a recipe for disaster. You’ll end up with chilblains.
Better blood flow will help keep the hands warm.Cuddly Comforts
Grab a hot water bottle and get on with life
Cold hands can be painful and uncomfortable. Especially when they prevent you from completing a basic task.
A good quality hot water bottle stays warm for hours. So fill it up and safely tuck it up while outdoors. Nobody wants freezing cold hands.