Hands Holding Block of Ice

Cool Hands May Be the Secret to Better Workouts

Hands Holding Block of IceThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Improbable as it may seem, cool hands might enhance your workout, according to a new study. The research involving obese women found that those who exercised while holding a device that cooled their hands had a greater tolerance for exercise and attained improved cardiovascular fitness. Cooled palms may help alleviate typical unpleasant experiences associated with exercise, such as overheating and sweating, along with fatigue and rapid heart rate.

Investigator Stacy Sims recently presented the results at an American Heart Association meeting. She explains that overweight people tend to get too hot when exercising, so she endeavored to address this barrier and determine if cooled hands can reduce this effect and delay tiredness, U.S. News Health reports.

HuffPost Healthy Living records Sims’ rationale for the research. She states that the palms are a prime heat controller in the body. Since palm cooling has been shown to work well with elite athletes, she conducted the study to ascertain if it would also work for sedentary adults.

The study involved 24 healthy women who were obese and had a sedentary lifestyle. Sims divided the women into two groups, assigning one group exercise while holding a cool device in their hands, and the other group exercise while holding a lukewarm device. Both groups engaged in three workouts per week that included aerobic activity and strengthening exercises.

The following benefits were noted in the cooling group:

1. By the end of the study, their waistline had reduced by over two inches. This advantage is not only an asset for appearance, but also for health, as excess weight in your midsection is linked to heart disease.

2. They were able to walk 1.5 miles on a treadmill five minutes faster.

3. Their blood pressure reduced from 139/84 to 124/70.

4. They exhibited more consistency, as well as persistence in their workouts.

Interestingly, the control group experienced none of these improvements.

Carol Ewing Garber, a physiology expert at ColumbiaUniversityis intrigued by the findings, because they indicate palm cooling really can increase endurance and curtail fatigue, HuffPost Healthy Living notes.

Sims said she would like to do a similar study using a larger group of participants. In the meantime, she asserts it would not hurt to try palm cooling at home. She advises freezing a water bottle and carrying it in your hand while you exercise, WebMD notes.

Subscribe to the FREE Live in the Now newsletter here!