Cold Hands after Running

by Kate
(Cincinnati, OH)

I am a 39-year-old woman who is coming back to running after 15 years. I am in week 1 of a run/walk program with the goal of running a 5k in three months' time. After my "runs", I always take a warm / hot shower. After this I have noticed my hands are cold for much of the day.

Is this normal?

Should I be doing something different?

My body feels good, but my hands are cold.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your question about having cold hands after running. I get this quite a lot as well, especially in the winter months, and especially after longer workouts. I get it mostly in the fingers on which I have some light arthritis symptoms, I think for me it is related to blood flow in those fingers.

I will provide you with:

1. Reasons why you may have cold hands after running
2. What you can try to do to prevent cold hands after running

Reasons Why You May Have Cold Hands After Running

cold hands after running
Here are some possible reasons why you hands and fingers can get cold after exercise like running:

Reduced Blood Flow: During exercise, blood flow increases to the working muscles to deliver oxygen and nutrients. However, this increased blood flow may not reach the extremities like the hands and fingers as much as other parts of the body. As a result, blood flow to the hands and fingers can be reduced, making them feel cold.

Sweat Evaporation: When you sweat during exercise, the sweat on your skin evaporates, which helps to cool your body down. However, this can also cause your hands and fingers to feel cold, especially if the air temperature is cool.

Hyperventilation: During intense exercise, you may breathe more quickly and deeply than usual, which can cause you to hyperventilate. This can lead to a decrease in carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which can cause blood vessels to constrict and reduce blood flow to the hands and fingers, making them feel cold.

Poor Circulation: If you have poor circulation in your hands and fingers, they may be more prone to feeling cold after exercise. Poor circulation can be caused by a number of factors, including underlying medical conditions or simply genetics.

Cold Weather: Clearly, if you are exercising in cold weather, the cold air can cause your hands and fingers to feel cold, even if blood flow is normal. In this case, wearing gloves or mittens can help to keep your hands warm.

What you can try to do to prevent cold hands after running

cold hands after running
Cold hands after outside exercise can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Here are some tips to help you avoid cold hands:

Dress appropriately: Make sure to wear warm clothing, especially gloves or mittens, that can trap heat and prevent your hands from getting cold.

Stay active: Keep your body moving and your blood flowing by doing some light exercises or stretches before and after your outdoor activity.

Stay hydrated: Drinking water can help regulate your body temperature and prevent your hands from getting too cold.

Try hand warmers: You can use disposable hand warmers or reusable ones that you can microwave or boil to keep your hands warm.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol: These can cause your blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to your hands and making them feel colder.

Massage your hands: Massaging your hands can increase blood flow and warm them up.

I usually find that a hot shower after exercise helps a lot, especially running the hot water over my hands for a couple of minutes. Even then, sometimes my hands are still cold. What I do then is to exercise my hands (moving my fingers vigorously for a couple of minutes or rub my hands quite strongly) and / or wearing some gloves for a while.

For me, it's definitely an issue of poor circulation caused by light arthritis and getting my fingers to move and warming them up does the trick.

If you experience persistent cold hands or have other symptoms such as numbness or tingling, as always, it's best to consult a healthcare professional.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Running Injury Helpline.

Like this page:

Share this page:

Like this site:

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!


  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

What's New?

  1. Heart Rate Monitor Training - The Zoladz Method

    Every running pace has its own heart rate zone. The heart rate monitor training zones according to Zoladz are explained in this section.

    Read more

  2. Yasso 800 :: The Marathon Pace Workout with a Twist

    The Yasso 800 is supposed to be a predictor of marathon performance. It is a marathon pace workout with a twist. Learn more about the Yasso 800 on this page.

    Read more

  3. Running for Weight Loss - Injured...

    I started a run-walk program 3 weeks ago to help me lose 80 lbs. I was up to running 3 min / walk 3 min 3 days a week on my treadmill. Last week after

    Read more

  4. What Can I Do To Improve My Half Marathon Time?

    I am a 53 yo male 5'11, 165lbs. I have been running for about 8 years. I have run 7 marathons and have never broken the 4hr mark even though all my

    Read more

  5. Daniels Running Formula Book Review - The Running Training Book You Have Got to Have

    If I had to recommend you to get one running book only, then it would have to be Daniels Running Formula by running coach Jack Daniels.

    Read more