Feet in woolen socks, hands with wool gloves, on a blanket, If your hands and feet are cold all the time, it is a sign that the output from your heart (cardiac output) may be too low. When cardiac output is low, the body directs blood flow to the “more important” organs in the body and restricts blood flow to the “less important” regions (such as your hands and feet). Without the warm blood flow to these regions, the tissues cool down to the environmental temperature and can become uncomfortably cold, or even painful.

To make matters worse, the reduction in cardiac output leads to reduced metabolic activity in the tissues of your body, meaning there will be less heat production, and so less warmth for your blood to distribute around the body.

Staying warm, therefore, requires maintaining your cardiac output at normal levels. For individuals who are sedentary, for example, if your job requires sitting for most of the day, it is not uncommon for much of the fluid in the body to pool into the legs. This pooled fluid is not being returned to the heart, and so output from the heart drops. Getting this pooled fluid back into the circulatory system is the responsibility of the soleus muscles (secondary hearts) in the calf of the legs. If the soleus muscles are weak, there will not be sufficient fluid return back to the heart to maintain normal cardiac output.

Our soleus muscles are exercised when we squat, but while children often squat when they are playing, adults rarely squat – we tend to sit, in fact, about 13 hours a day on average. As a result of all of this sitting, soleus muscle insufficiency is quite common in adults. The HeartPartner was developed specifically to help you train your soleus muscle back up. Using the HeartPartner for a few hours each day, while you are sitting at work, or at home watching television, working on a computer, or speaking on the phone, will allow you to train up your soleus muscles up in a period of 2-3 months. This will result in decreased fluid pooling into the legs, improved cardiac return, increased metabolism, and warmer hands and feet.