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Hands and Feet Always Cold? 5 Tips to Improve Blood Circulation
If you’re always asking “why are my hands and feet cold?” come winter, follow these easy steps to warm up, while improving blood circulation along the way.
When winter rolls around and the mercury drops, you might feel like your hands and feet are always cold. This certainly isn’t unusual in cold weather, but it can raise questions about poor circulation in the hands and feet, and leave you wondering how to improve blood circulation so that you can finally feel warm and cozy again.
Let’s break down the answers to the question “why are my hands and feet cold?”: when it’s normal, when there may be other factors at play, and what you can do to remedy poor circulation in your hands and feet.
Why Are My Hands and Feet Cold?
Having your hands and feet always being cold is a matter of blood flow, but it doesn’t always mean you have poor circulation in your hands and feet for unusual reasons. In cold weather, blood flow to your vital organs naturally increases by constricting blood vessels in your hands and feet.
With that being said, there are medical conditions that can exacerbate the problem, contribute to your hands and feet always being cold:
- Raynaud’s Disease
- Obesity and high cholesterol
- Blood clots and varicose veins
If you find yourself asking “why are my hands and feet cold?” unusually often, or if you experience tingling, numbness, and pain in addition to cold extremities, you should consult with your doctor. For normal, everyday chilliness, however, there are several easy ways to help increase blood flow to the feet and hands, improve blood circulation overall, and ultimately alleviate hands and feet that are always cold:
5 Ways to Stop Wondering “Why Are My Hands and Feet Always Cold?”
(Simply click the list below, or scroll to view your favorites!)
- Cut Out the Caffeine
- Supplement Your Circulation With the Right Vitamins
- Find a Way to Get Moving
- Ramp Up Your Glove and Sock Game
- Make Improved Blood Circulation Feel Like a Spa Day
1. Cut Out the Caffeine
We now know that the reason it seems like our hands and feet are always cold when the weather’s cold is the constriction of blood vessels, causing poor circulation in the feet and hands, and ultimately robbing you of warmth.
A hot cup of coffee or tea may be the first thing you reach for to warm up, but the caffeine these types of beverage contain tends to be a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows those blood vessels even further.1 Feel free to indulge in something hot and comforting, but make sure it’s decaf to increase blood flow to the hands and feet.
If you smoke, questions like “why are my hands and feet cold?” are just one more item on the pile of reasons why you should quit. Nicotine is a big time vasodilator.
2. Supplement Your Circulation With the Right Vitamins
Another great way to improve your blood circulation and increase blood flow in the hands and feet is by making sure your daily vitamin regimen features the right vitamins:
- Vitamin B - Vitamin B-12, also known as niacin, has been shown to positively impact heart health and circulation in a variety of ways.2 Our latest supplement My Healthy Body is a great source of Vitamin B!
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids - DHA and EPA are both Omega-3’s commonly found in fish oil supplements, with one study finding that such supplements helped increase blood flow to the legs.3
- Capsaicin - Capsaicin is a naturally occurring compound that gives spicy foods their heat, while also offering potential health benefits like improved blood flow. If you like hot sauce or peppers, you’ve already got this one covered! Capsaicin can also be taken as a supplement, and may help to improve circulation due to its positive cardiovascular effects.4
Beyond just helping to fight poor circulation in the feet and hands, supplements like these can be a great boost to your overall wellness.
3. Find A Way to Get Moving
Exercise is so important to so many different areas of health and wellness, and this is no exception. Overcoming the temptation to wrap yourself up in a blanket to warm up hands and feet that are always cold will ultimately help keep you warmer in the long-run. If you want to improve blood circulation, not just for cold hands and feet but for your total health, getting active (even during winter!) is crucial.
Indoor workouts can be extremely effective, so long as they get your blood pumping. The folks at a little Massachusetts college called Harvard say that something as simple as laps around the house or high-knees in place are good options for getting an aerobic workout at home.5 That’s proof that you can ramp up that cold weather blood circulation without having to freeze!
4. Ramp Up Your Glove and Sock Game
Your first and best defense against your hands and feet always feeling cold is the socks and gloves you bundle up with. But, when’s the last time you’ve actually considered how warm and well-insulated your cozy clothing is? If some decades-old mittens and boots are contributing to your perpetual “why are my hands and feet cold?” problem, it might be time to upgrade.
The Raynaud’s Association has actually created lists for both gloves and footwear that they recommend people with Raynaud’s Disease wear to combat cold hands and feet, even with poor circulation. Considering the fact that people with Raynaud’s tend to experience cold extremities worse than anyone, you might find your own hands and feet enjoying some extra warmth with these recommendations.
5. Make Improved Blood Circulation Feel Like a Spa Day
After you’ve put in a good indoor workout, you’re going to be in the mood for a little rest and relaxation. For starters, a simple warm bath for your feet or a soothing heating pad for your hands could be a simple, enjoyable way to chill out and warm up at the same time. Plus, it helps increase blood flow to the hands and feet immediately.
If you’re lucky enough to have a willing companion, deep massages can help improve blood circulation, as well. If not, consider treating yourself to a professional massage, or simply give your cold hands and feet a rub yourself to increase that blood flowing again. Lastly, but not least in terms of luxury, a quick sit in a sauna will certainly warm you up, and can also open up blood vessels for improved circulation. You won’t be complaining about your hands and feet always being cold in the steam room.
If you combine quick, easy to enact ideas like getting better insulated gloves and socks with more long term solutions such as exercise and the right nutrients, you’ll be well on your way to turning “why are my hands and feet cold?” into a distant memory.
Remember, always check in with your doctor anytime you’re experiencing uncomfortable or unusual symptoms. Having a happy, toasty winter and having a happy, fulfilling life both have one thing in common - they start with a commitment to personal wellness.
- Publishing, Harvard Health. “By the Way, Doctor: How Can Caffeine Help Migraines?” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/how-can-caffeine-help-migraines.
- Ruparelia, Neil et al. “Effects of niacin on atherosclerosis and vascular function.” Current opinion in cardiology vol. 26,1 (2011): 66-70. doi:10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283410c16
- Pearson, Stephen J et al. “Fish oil supplementation, resting blood flow and markers of cellular metabolism during incremental exercise.” International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin- und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition vol. 84,1-2 (2014): 18-26. doi:10.1024/0300-9831/a000189
- Juturu, Vijaya. “Capsaicinoids Modulating Cardiometabolic Syndrome Risk Factors: Current Perspectives.” Journal of nutrition and metabolism vol. 2016 (2016): 4986937. doi:10.1155/2016/4986937
- Publishing, Harvard Health. “Living Room Workouts.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/living-room-workouts.
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease.