13+ Ways to Keep Your Aging Hands Precious, Hardworking, and Flexible
Before an infant receives her first toy, she already enjoys playing with a pair of magical and entertaining things attached to her wrists. Those are her hands.
As infants we can easily put our hands in our mouth, move them wildly for personal entertainment, clap them, and use them to grab at all kinds of items from food to toys to a loved one’s hair. Ouch!
Then we grow and learn how to hold a spoon or a pencil. These days, hands are often used to tap on electronic devices.
As we age, we begin to think about our hands from a different perspective. Do our hands show age spots, callouses, and maybe a bulge of arthritis or a feeling of stiffness?
Caring for our hands, both the outside and the inside, is a practice we must embrace if we want them to look and feel healthy and strong.
I believe that the three pillars of well-being are Movement, Nourishment, and Attitude. Let me show you how those pillars relate to our hands. I also have a few tips that I have studied and which have brought me successful results.
There are many movements that strengthen our hands and fingers, give us extra circulation in our hands, and provide higher flexibility. Try a few of these throughout your day:
- Shake your hands vigorously back and forth, side-to-side, and in a circle.
- Make a tent with each hand and press your fingertips together for 20 pulses.
- Make fists, then quickly open wide, outstretched hands expanding the space between your fingers. Move from fist to hand as quickly as you can for a minute or more.
- Flex one hand down at the wrist and press its rear side with the other palm. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch hands.
- Press your palms together and lift the fingers away from each other.
- Gently twist and pull each finger.
- Rub your hands together to create some heat.
Here are some tips to nourish your hands from the outside in:
If you use lemons during the day, (I have a cup of warm lemon water every morning) take the leftover rind and scrub your fingers to get them really clean.
Then rub the lemon rind all over the backs of your hands. I’m convinced that this practice can diminish and prevent skin discoloration due to sun exposure (also known as liver spots).
Soak your hands in an Epsom salt bath. In water, epsom breaks down into magnesium and sulfate, which can then, in theory, get absorbed into your body through your skin. That hasn’t been proven, but just soaking in warm water can help relax your muscles and loosen any stiff joints.
Take a teaspoon of any kind of oil, such as coconut, olive, or sesame. Place it in your palm and add ½ teaspoon of salt or sugar, and maybe a drop of your favorite essential oil.
Massage your hands all over, leave on for few minutes, then rinse and apply just the oil or an organic hand cream or serum.
Your hands, along with your face, are most exposed to sun damage. Wear sunscreen to protect your hands from the sun.
As a part of your daily routine, keep your nails and cuticles clean, trimmed, and moisturized with cream or oil. Wear gloves for gardening, dishes, cleaning, and whenever they are exposed to harsh elements, such as in winter time.
Are you well hydrated? Your hands can tell you. Pinch the skin between your thumb and forefinger just in the fold with no bone or muscle. If the skin bounces back, you are hydrated – good job! If the pinch stays indented, get out a bottle of water and start drinking.
Attitude and Meditation
Being still and focused can bring heat and flexibility to your hands. Follow these steps for best results:
- Sit comfortably and place your hands palms down to create a sense of calmness. This is great in any challenging situation.
- Now, when you are feeling calm, turn your palms up to receive. Allow the calm and loving energy you have created to be abundantly received.
- With your hands folded in your lap, left hand on top, let your hands ‘hold’ your thoughts and your breath.
- Sitting quietly, focus on your hands and how you bring them energy. Thank your hands with deep gratitude for all they do for you.
Give your hands the tender loving care they deserve at every age.
How do you care for your hands? What harsh conditions do you expose them to? Is there a practice or routine you follow to protect your hands every day? Please share with our community!