Eleven hours of driving in one day may be tiring, but how about eleven hours of knitting? As I lay awake in my motel bed, I glanced lovingly at the sweater I had completed. But the satisfaction of a knitting job well done would not stop the horrible aching on my hands. I threw off the covers, grabbed the ice bucket, and staggered down the hall in my PJs. On my return I plunged one hand into the ice and then realized I did not have a key. How do I explain this one to my soundly sleeping husband?
All knitaholics make the mistake of knitting for too long and suffer the consequences. But you can minimize the side effects by taking breaks and by completing hand exercises. And while I can't promise that I refrained from knitting the second day of our road trip to Florida, I can promise I learned the stretches below by heart.
The 5-5-5- Workout:5 Exercises in 5 Minutes for 5 Fingers
Simple Exercises for Hands That Craft From the makers of Handeze® craft gloves and www.Berroco.com
These brief exercises that are meant to stretch muscles and tendons; they are not an aerobic workout for the hands. Please be gentle.
With the thumb of the left hand, massage the palm of the right hand. At the same time, wrap the fingers of the left hand round the outside of the right hand and massage. Massage for one minute. Repeat with opposite hand.
Clench and Fan
Clench your hand into a tight fist and hold for five seconds. Release smoothly, extending the thumb and fingers into a fully stretched position and hold for five seconds. Repeat five times for each hand.
With the left hand, gently pull the thumb of the right hand away from the thumb and down toward the forearm. Hold for five seconds. You should feel the stretch in the base of the thumb, palm side. Repeat for the left thumb. Five repetitions, alternate thumbs.
Hold the right hand in front of the body, palm facing out, fingertips up, fingers together. With the left hand, grasp the right hand's outstretched fingers and gently pull the fingers back toward the body. Hold for five seconds. You should feel the stretch in the wrist area. Repeat for the left wrist. Five repetitions, alternative wrists.
With hands in front of the body and elbows held at a comfortable angle, gently rotate the wrists. Five repetitions in each direction.