I've noticed as I've gotten older that my hands tend to get colder faster when outdoors in the winter. This is especially annoying skiing in the winter where I feel I have to be even more mindful of preventing frostbite then I had to when I was younger. It seems that the general circulation to my extremities has diminished over time.

I'm wondering if there's any exercises or any dietary way I could improve the ability for my body to keep my hands and feet warm? Either long-term preventitive or something I could do right before I go outdoors?

I should add I'm 30, I run regularly (5km most days) and try to eat a fairly reasonable diet.

  • How long and/far do you run and what age are you?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Mar 24, 2011 at 16:38
  • @Ivo see updates
    – Doug T.
    Mar 24, 2011 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


If you are healthy, exercising, and especially doing cardiovascular exercises frequently, you should not have serious problems with circulation. However, there are several other reasons for poor circulation:

  • Stress - This is a big reason why you might have poor circulation. (Source)
  • Smoking - Smoking causes peripheral vascular disease, which inhibits blood circulation. (Source)
  • Plaque - Cholesterol and plaque are commonly known to clog your arteries and cause poor circulation.
  • Tight Clothing - You're saying that it's particularly bad in the winter, especially when skiing. Often in the winter we end up putting on so many layers of clothing trying to stay warm that we get them too tight and decrease our blood circulation.

There are loads of other reasons why one might have lowered circulation, and you should probably talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor might be able to identify some underlying cause and prevent something even more serious in the long run such as heart attack or stroke.

  • Good point about the clothing. I may be tightening the glove straps to tight around my wrist, then I tighten the straps for the coat up over the gloves to avoid any exposed skin.
    – Doug T.
    Mar 24, 2011 at 17:04
  • Yup... I've done the same thing riding my motorcycle in the winter, and I've been much colder for it. Mar 24, 2011 at 17:07

Having proper circulation is very important in that it helps the transferring of nutrients and oxygen to various parts of the body. Usually the main cause for poor circulation is a lack of movement or exercise. There are many ways to improve this both through exercise and dietary means. Simply by improving your cardiovascular system through running or cycling will greatly diminish poor circulation. Stretching will also help prevent poor circulation. As for dietary means, eating Cayenne ([1] [2]), Ginger or Garlic ([3] [4] [5]) are some of the best defenses against poor circulation. There are also many Herbal teas which will help increase your circulation, just ask you local vitamin store clerk for some advice.

  • thanks, I already exercise regularly. However the other tips are useful. Do you have a citation where I could go read more about the herbal/dietary means?
    – Doug T.
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:46
  • Yes...I did parse through Google in search of a article on the Herbal means to improve circulation. Although, I did not find anything of interest or use, specifically I recommend Hawthorn tea to improve your circulation.(umm.edu/altmed/articles/hawthorn-000256.htm)
    – Michael
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:54

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