Gloves! They’re hottt, especially a really cold ones

Seems like we’ve been talking a lot about gloves lately. Let’s see, there was the award-winning glove that translated sign language to speech. Then there was the rehabilitating glove that taught you how to play piano. And now... gloves that can make you stronger. About a decade ago, Stanford biologists H. Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn were researching how the body disperses heat. But, the Stanford news blog tells, a happy accident occurred:

by taking advantage of specialized heat-transfer veins in the palms of hands, [the gloves] can rapidly cool athletes' core temperatures – and dramatically improve exercise recovery and performance.

The team is getting ready to bring their discovery to the market. Simply called “the glove,” they describe its potential as “equal to or substantially better than steroids.” They originally developed and tested the gloves on patients whose bodies had chilled after having anesthetics administered for an operation. The gloves helped them recover in record time. Then one of their lab buddies, who had a penchant for working out and doing pull-ups, tried it.

The glove seemed to nearly erase his muscle fatigue; after multiple rounds, cooling allowed him to do just as many pull-ups as he did the first time around. So the researchers started cooling him after every other set of pull-ups.
"Then in the next six weeks he went from doing 180 pull-ups total to over 620," said Heller. "That was a rate of physical performance improvement that was just unprecedented."
The researchers applied the cooling method to other types of exercise – bench press, running, cycling. In every case, rates of gain in recovery were dramatic, without any evidence of the body being damaged by overwork...

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.
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