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Help -- Workouts Make My Hands Swell

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Why some workouts cause your hands to swell -- and what to do about it.
Question: "After walking on a treadmill for about 45 minutes, my fingers and hands swell. What's the deal?"

Answer: It's common for hands to balloon, especially during longer workouts, but it's nothing to worry about, says Carl "Chip" Lavie, MD, director of the Exercise Laboratories at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans.

Why? The puffiness is from blood pooling in your hands, which hang lower than your heart and are not engaged in muscular activity, says Dr. Lavie.

Try It: If the swelling bothers you, he suggests doing some basic arm movements without weights, like biceps curls and triceps presses, as you walk.

Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.


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