Our hands can really feel the effects of aging, and they’re one of the first places to show it. Over time, they lose their muscle density and flexibility. Therefore, they may start to look aged with more visible veins and thinner skin. That’s why it’s important for us to keep them as nimble as possible and to maintain good blood circulation.
Bright Side is giving you some quick and simple methods to keep your hands healthy without having to use any equipment.
1. Finger lifts
This helps to improve your range of motion and flexibility. Start by putting your hand on a table, palm down, and lift each finger starting with the index. Try to keep your other fingers down on the table. You should feel a stretch in your fingers and tendons. Repeat this 8-12 times on each hand.
2. Thumb flexion/extension
This helps to reduce stiffness in your hands by keeping them supple. Begin with your thumb pointed outward. Move your thumb into your palm and back out to the opening position. Repeat the movement a few times on each hand.
3. Hand/finger tendon glide
This exercise is good for stretching your tendons and improving finger mobility. Start with the fingers extended straight out. First, bring them down into a hook and return to a straight hand. Next, make a hook fist with your fingers bent at the joint before returning to a straight hand. Now make a full fist with your thumb outside your fingers, and return back to a straight hand. Finish with a straight fist.
4. Finger bends
Doing this exercise can strengthen your fingers and help them stay flexible. Hold your hand out in front of you with a vertical palm and your thumb pointing up. Bend your little finger for a couple of seconds, trying to keep your other fingers straight. Straighten your little finger before bending your ring finger for a couple of seconds. Repeat the exercise on each finger on each hand.
5. Finger stretch
This can help to keep your fingers flexible and strong. With your hand in front of you, firmly but gently pull each finger back toward you, one at a time. You will feel a pull throughout your finger to your lower arm. Swap hands and stretch your fingers on the other hand.
6. Wrist to finger massage
This will help the blood flow to your hands. Use your thumb to firmly massage your hand, starting from the wrist. Glide your thumb up your palm to the tip of your baby finger. Starting again at the wrist, massage up your palm but stop at the base of your fingers as you invigorate your hand. Continue massaging from the wrist up to your fingers and thumb, sometimes going up the fingers.
7. Finger web massage
Grab the area between your thumb and your index finger and massage the area using your thumb and fingers. It may be a bit sore as you start, so be gentle. Continue for a few minutes before switching hands and repeating the same thing on the other side. Repeat a few times. Over time, you may notice it becoming less sore.
8. Finger to thumb touches
This helps to keep your fingers nimble and strong, which is important for keeping them young. Hold your hands up with your fingers comfortably spaced apart. Touch your thumb and little finger together and lightly press them. Open your hand again to the starting position and repeat with the next finger and thumb until you’ve touched all the fingers to your thumb. Repeat on the other hand.
9. Wrist ulnar/radial deviation
This exercise will help you to stretch out your wrist and keep the muscles strong. Place your forearm on the edge of a table, supported by a rolled-up towel. Keeping your thumb upright, slowly move your wrist up and down as far as it can go off the side of the table. You will feel some tension in your wrist as you stretch it, so be gentle. Repeat a few times on each hand.
10. Fist clench
This exercise can help you to increase the range of motion in your hands. Make a fist with each hand, with your thumbs over your fingers. Hold the fist for 1 minute before opening your hand and spreading your fingers as wide as they can go. Repeat up to 5 times a day on each hand.
What routines do you have for looking after your hands? Which exercises have you tried?