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Healthy Hands for a Healthier You for this new year!

Our hands: What would we do without them? From eating to driving, using the computer and taking a shower, our hands help us get things done. So it just makes a whole lot of sense to take care of them like we do our teeth or face. Teeth can be replaced, but when it comes to our hands, we only get the left and the right.

Use Hand Creams

The biting cold and the brutal sun can wreck havoc on your skin, and your hands are no exception. Using hand creams that protect and provide an extra layer of moisture to your hands is always a good idea. Choose creams that moisturize and heal dry, cracked skin. The ones that come with sun protection is also recommended, and while not all hand creams are created equal, I always go for the non-greasy ones.

Wear Gloves

When working in your garden or doing house chores, don’t let your hands go commando! Slip on a pair of comfortable gloves to protect your hands from chemicals, cuts and blisters. Leather gloves are best for dealing with roses and other similar work, while cotton gloves are comfortable when dealing with most anything your garden or home can throw at you.

Rubber gloves are best when working with chemicals, wet surfaces and damp soil. For bathroom work, I always wear a pair of rubber gloves. Bleach and other forms of cleaners can irritate the skin on your hands and cause allergies and itchiness.

Hand Strengthening Exercises

Hands are often neglected when it comes to exercise. We workout our whole bodies, but we always seem to forget about our hands. Just like other parts of our bodies, hands get injured when out of shape and weak. Repetitive movement brings on debilitating injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and bursitis, which often need hand surgery to correct or help with the pain.

The best thing we can do for our hands is to regularly exercise them, just as we do with our other body parts. There are hand strengthening and stretching techniques that can make our hands stronger and more flexible. These exercises should be done daily, in the mornings when you wake up and at night when you’re about to sleep.

  •  Tennis Ball Squeeze

Grab a tennis ball and squeeze as hard as you can without pain. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. As your hand muscles grow stronger, you can increase the reps.

  •  Open and Close

Start by holding your hand up, like you’re about to take an oath, with your fingers together. Now, spread them as far as you can without pain. Hold it for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

  •  Thumb Opposition

Rest your hand on a flat surface. Begin by touching your thumb and index finger. Squeeze both fingers as hard as you can without pain for 5 seconds and move your thumb to the next finger until you reach your pinkie. Repeat 10 times.

  •  Prayer Stretch

Put your hands together like Buddha, or when you’re saying a prayer. Position your hands on your lower chest and squeeze as hard as you can without pain or discomfort. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

That’s it! Taking care of your hands should be as important as brushing your teeth. Remember that we only get two of these wonders, and it’s always good to have soft and supple hands, especially if you’re a girl!