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TOPIC: do your hands swell?

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March 27, 2012 7:59 AM
Does anyone know what could be causing my hands to swell when I am out doing my walking? Is there something I can do to help prevent it? They don't swell normally, and my feet don't really swell either, at least not noticeably like my hands. My rings are usually falling off, but for a little while after my walk they are stuck on.
March 27, 2012 8:00 AM
It could be water retention? I know my hands will swell up sometimes after I've had a lot of sodium (chinese or mexican food, usually)
March 27, 2012 8:01 AM
sometimes this happens to me too...was wondering the same thing
March 27, 2012 8:01 AM
Great questions... mine do too! Hopefully someone has a good answer :)
March 27, 2012 8:01 AM
I notice my swell also. But I think it has something to do with water retention.
March 27, 2012 8:01 AM
Mine do too! I can be walking for just five minutes, and my fingers look like little sausages! :) I'm interested to know if anyone knows what causes this ...
March 27, 2012 8:01 AM
my hands do the exact thing when I walk outside. I don't notice it as much when I walk on the treadmill, so I always thought it had something to do with the heat. But if anyone knows the real reason, I'd love to know as well.
March 27, 2012 8:02 AM
I have this same problem. Make sure when you are walking you keep your arms at a 90 degree angle to keep the fluid from gathering in the hands. It will help. Good luck:)
March 27, 2012 8:03 AM
Keep them elevated to your waist or above. It helps keep the blood circulating.
March 27, 2012 8:03 AM
Its water retention and also caused by your body heating up. Its very normal and I have found as I lost weight it wasnt as pronounced.
March 27, 2012 8:03 AM
It's just gravity, I believe.

Keep your arms bent at the elbow or occassionaly raise them over your head to get the blood from pooling again.
March 27, 2012 8:03 AM
Thank goodness I'm not alone! My hands have swelled up during walking for as long as I can remember but like everyone else I think it's water retention.
March 27, 2012 8:04 AM
When I first started exercising I noticed this as well, but it's completely stopped now that I've lost pretty much all the weight I had to lose (have 2.5kg to go). I make sure to keep my sodium intake low as well though so could be linked to that.
March 27, 2012 8:04 AM
Mine do this too. Funny thing is, when I run, they don't swell nearly as much (and I'm working much harder!). i think it has to do with holding your hands straight down at your side. I think someone above mentioned holding elbows at a right angle. I think this would help.
March 27, 2012 8:04 AM
Your hands are pointed to the ground and swinging like a pendulum causing fluids to get trapped. This is why hikers have walking poles ( helps with support also). Bend your elbows parallel to the ground and see if it makes a difference.
March 27, 2012 8:04 AM
Mine do the same thing but if I keep my hands above my waist it's fine.
March 27, 2012 8:04 AM
Article from from MSNBC :

What you are describing is common. It’s likely related to vasodilation, which means that blood vessels are opening up, leading to increased blood flow near the surface of the skin. Increased blood flow just under the skin makes the face pink or red and it may cause puffiness of the hands.

Contrary to popular belief, getting red in the face during exercise does not mean you are out of shape.

Vasodilation may occur as one of the body’s ways of regulating temperature. Releasing heat generated by exercise is important, as it allows the body to maintain normal temperature.

Even before working up a sweat (another means of releasing heat), the blood vessels near the skin tend to dilate. This allows more heat to be released from the blood as body temperature rises during exercise.

There may be other explanations for puffy hands during or after exercise:

An exaggerated, normal reflex. During exercise, blood flow to exercising muscles increases. In an effort to maintain circulation to other parts of the body (including the hands), blood vessels may dilate. In some people this reflex is more pronounced than others.
Trapped fluid. During exercise, there is increased circulation throughout the body. While the legs have large muscles that work hard during many exercises and that help “pump” this added blood flow through the veins, the arms have smaller muscles and they may not be working as hard during a workout (for example, while jogging). If the hands are held below the level of the heart, the added fluid must travel against gravity. Together, these factors make it harder for the fluid to return to the heart. The extra fluid that is “trapped” in the hands can cause puffiness.
Once you cool down and the circulation and blood vessels return to normal, your hands and the color of your face should return to normal. If your rings are tight after exercise, it’s probably a good idea to take them off before you start working out.

Your hand swelling and facial redness may be annoying but they are unlikely to be due to anything serious. Think of them as small prices to pay to stay in shape and avoid overheating.
March 27, 2012 8:05 AM
I noticed this happening when I ran my first 5K a few weeks ago. A friend told me that it was a sign that I wasn't drinking enough water. After the race, I drank a bottle of water, and the swelling went away. *shrug* Not sure if that's the actual reason, but figured I'd put my two (borrowed) cents in!
March 27, 2012 8:05 AM
Could be nothing or could be more serious.. You may be cutting circulation off to your hands while walking, so keep them moving above waist level. But also, your body may be trying to pull access fluid away from your heart and lungs, such as when you have CHF. I would speak to your DR about it because it may be nothing at all, but I've known many who suffer from CHF and that is a sign to them to "SLOW DOWN"..

Best of luck! flowerforyou
March 27, 2012 8:06 AM
Hmm.. That explains why one hand does it worse for me. I take the dog with me and usually hold my right arm at a 90 degree angle holding his leash, but the other just hangs by my side. Maybe I need to keep switching hands I hold the leash with.
March 27, 2012 8:08 AM
The same thing happens to me. I notice it goes hand in hand with dehyration (for me anyways). If I haven't been drinking enough fluids (or if it is an extermely hot day) before my workout then my fingers swell a little.

When it does happen after I drink my post workout water my fingers are back to normal.
March 27, 2012 8:10 AM
Basically, you have to much salt in your diet and or you are retaining water...

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March 27, 2012 8:16 AM
The first time my hands swelled up really badly was when I walked the strip in Vegas. I figured that it was just blood pooling downwards as my hands were down at my sides most of the time. It went away in a little while. It was a little uncomfortable and I felt like my fingers were turning into sausages. I think I was about 28 years old when that happened.

The next time I noticed my hands kinda swelling when I had a days worth of insanely salty foods and didn't drink nearly enough water. I don't know if there's a connection.
March 27, 2012 8:27 AM
This used to happen to me as well and I would blame it on poor diet and just being over weight. But to lose weight I have become a runner and have run 2 marathons now and it still happens to me. During my first marathon I was having a hard time getting through and met up with another runner. We got to talking and she explained to me that it is a sign of an electrolyte imbalance. And you are very dehydrated. During marathons they actually hand out salt packages for you to ingest. It help you retain the liquids you are sweating out.


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