Winter's chill can be especially hard on the fingers and toes if you have arthritis or a condition such as Raynaud's disease that affects blood circulation. To maintain warmth and comfort:
- Encourage circulation — Wiggle or massage your fingers and toes. Move your arms in a windmill circle or shake your arms and legs.
- Choose mittens — Mittens offer more warmth than do gloves. Look for a pair that's insulated with wool or fleece.
- Double up — Wear two pairs of socks. For the layer closest to your skin, look for a moisturewicking fabric. On top, choose a wool or wool-blend sock.
- Carry hand and foot warmers — Small charcoal or chemical packs that generate a low level of heat can be placed in your mittens, socks or boots. Battery-powered options also are available. You can find warmers of all types in many sporting goods stores.
- Warm with water — Soak your hands or feet in warm — not hot — water or place cold hands under running warm water.
- Try specialty gloves — Therapeutic gloves designed for people with Raynaud's disease may help.
- Exercise regularly — Regular physical activity helps increase blood flow to the body's tissues.
- Don't smoke — Smoking narrows the blood vessels, which can restrict circulation.
If the cold is bothersome despite your efforts, talk to your doctor. Let...
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