Cold Hands, Great Workout

Study finds women work out longer after icing their palms

by Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

You’re heading to the gym for a hard-core workout. Make sure you bring a towel, your iPod, a water bottle and ice packs for your hands.

Wait—what? We’re used to icing our backs and knees and even our shins, but our hands? NPR reports a new study finds cool hands during a workout can result in a better burn.

The researchers found that when they cooled the palms of obese women using treadmills, the subjects kept up the sweating longer than women whose hands were exposed to room-temperature water, according to the news organization.

“It works to reduce the sensation of being overly hot and sweaty,” the study’s lead author, Stacy Sims, tells NPR. “The idea is to allow those people to overcome the initial barriers that heat intolerance produces. It gives them positive affirmation to keep going.”

Now, overcoming intolerance from your fellow gym-goers when you dunk your hands in ice water mid–chest press? You’ll have to figure out that one on your own.

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First Published March 15, 2012

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