Winter Workout Tip
With winter in full swing here in the United States, there have been some cold days. We have been teetering around 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.7C). With low temperatures such as these, the humidity in the air drops to almost nothing leading to dry and cracked hands. If you have never experienced this before, consider yourself very fortunate as it can be painful and distracting for weight lifters.
The locations of the hand most susceptible to breaks are areas around the knuckles and the section of skin on the inside of the hand connecting the fingers to the palm. These parts are under great distress during weight lifting due to the firm grip required to perform most exercises. A strong grip stretches the skin which, if dry enough, can break and cause painful wounds which often bleed. Unfortunately this cold weather occurs at the height of flu season and it is much easier to get sick in public places where individuals touch things (dumbbells, barbells, machine grips, etc.) An open wound can be an easy point of entry for many kinds of bacteria or the flu virus.
To save yourself from a seemingly never healing wound in the winter, it is recommended to moisturize as often as possible (just don't do it right before a workout and grease up all the exercise equipment!). A great schedule to follow is to apply hand lotion after every meal and right before bed. If this is not sufficient and for some reason the skin does break, apply a fresh bandage before and after working out (wash your hands before and after applying the fresh bandage). Using a healing ointment in conjunction with the bandage can speed up the healing process.
If you prefer to not moisturize very often (guys should really do this even if they don’t think it is manly) there is another option: wearing weight lifting gloves can reduce the amount of friction caused by the weights on the palms lessening the chance for the skin to break.
Whatever solution you decide on, be sure to wash your hands before and after working out to control germ displacement. It does everyone a favor and it helps protect your health.