We all know how important it is to exercise to keep our heart, lungs, and muscles in shape. But if you use your hands a lot, such as if you type or do transcription, it’s also important to take good care of your hands. In this post I’ll discuss some general ways you can take care of your hands, and also some stretches you can do so your hands to hurt too much after they’ve been pounding away on the keyboard all day.
General Hand Care
- Wash your hands every day – This may sound obvious, but if you wash your hands every day, you’ll reduce the likelihood of getting sick. Even when you work from home, if there are others in your home who use your computer, you never know who may have been using it.
- Moisturize your hands – Its very important to moisturize your hands, especially during the winter months. Hand moisturizers hold the water in your outer layer of skin, which makes your hands smoother and softer. They also help your outer layer of skin act as a protective shield.
- Wear gloves when cleaning – Cleaners can be harsh on your skin, so it’s important to protect your hands from them when you’re cleaning, washing dishes, or when you know your hands may come in contact with something that could irritate them.
- Treat yourself to a mini manicure every day – Salon-quality manicures are a great treat for your hands once in a while, but if you work from home you won’t have the time or money to get one every day. You can give yourself a mini-manicure every day though by doing the following:
- Don’t bite your fingernails
- Use moisturizer on your fingernails as well as on your skin – one thing you can do is warm some essential oil at night and let your fingernails soak in it.
- Don’t cut your cuticles, push them back too far or use chemicals on them.
- Push your cuticles back gently with a soft cloth when they’re soft and moist.
- Buff your nails with a soft cloth to keep them smooth and shiny.
- Stop using polish for a while if your nails become discolored.
- Use nail polish remover sparingly, because the acetone can damage your nails.
- Keep your nails clean.
- Before you cut your nails or cuticles, cut a lemon in half, stick your fingernails inside and twist them around to clean them.
- Use a fine-textured nail file to shape your nails and remove any snags.
- File nails so they’re round to keep them strong.
- Take care of your whole body – If you want to take care of any part of your body, including your hands, it’s important that you take care of your whole body. Make sure you eat a diet that’s high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat and carbohydrates – this can help skin look younger. And drinking plenty of water can help your skin stay moist.
Finger and Wrist Stretch – In addition to doing things to keep your hands healthy, if you use your hands a lot to type, you also need to make sure you stretch them out. This stretch loosens stiff fingers, hands and wrists. If you do it every day for a few months, your hands will become more flexible.
- Starting with the right hand, gently extend the fingers back one by one.
- Then take them all back at the same time to stretch out your palm.
- Take your thumb back towards your wrist, then bring it forward, stretching gently and firmly – don’t force it. Finish by making a fist and slowly opening it – stretch your fingers and thumb as far out as you can.
- Put your palms together with your fingers pointing up as though you were praying. Stretch your fingers and press your palms together strongly. Keep the base of your palms pressing together, as you gradually lower your hands until your lower arms are horizontal.
- Take your hands down still further, with your fingers and upper palms together. You should feel a stretch in the insides of your fingers and wrists. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat.
I hope this blog post has provided you with some good tips for how to take care of your hands. If you have any other tips you use, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to comment below.