Many believe that a firm handshake makes a good impression. Now the science is telling us that grip strength might be a better indicator of longevity than blood pressure. Maybe it’s time we all get a grip and realize our healthy longevity is in our hands.
There are dozens of devices on the market to help people open jars, use scissors, and even button their clothes if they are lacking in hand strength. But those two things might be the least of their worries.
A recent study found that for both men and women, relatively feeble handgrip strength was present in those showing signs of accelerated aging.
Grip or grip strength refers to the force you can exert when you firmly place your hand around an object. Your grip involves the strength in your hands, wrists, and forearms. This grip is a big indicator of overall health, and, according to researchers, an “indispensable biomarker for older adults.”
While most people experience a decline in their hand strength starting around age 50, people who maintain grip strength tend to age more slowly. Their bodies are stronger, and they stay healthier longer.
While there are devices to measure grip strength which might be found at your local gym, and scientific measurements for characterizing weak grip strength, you are probably already aware if you are losing strength in your hands – and the rest of your body.
Maybe you’re having trouble walking or climbing stairs? That decreased ease with your mobility means you might be walking and exercising less, leading to even greater decreased muscle strength.
That decreased muscle leaves your body more vulnerable to viruses and infections. That poor grip is actually letting you know that your immune system is also weak.
That decreased mobility can also lead to less frequent socialization which can lead to isolation and loneliness.
As we all know, you can never be too strong or too healthy. If your hand strength is lacking or beginning to decline, there are things you can do that will impact your current and future health.
Start squeezing. Grab a squash ball or racquet and start squeezing. Squeeze as hard as you can, twice a day, for a minimum of 10 minutes per hand. Be careful here – squish balls or balls that are too big and hard like tennis balls might not do any good, or actually harm you. You want to start with something low resistance and work your way up over time.
While winning at arm wrestling might not have any appeal for you, it is interesting to note, however, that any type of resistance training will improve grip strength. So hit the gym and lift a few weights. Swim. Do yoga. If you are building body strength, you’re also improving your grip. No one said that getting a grip couldn’t be fun!
As always, remember that the best way to get a grip on your health and keep your body functioning at 100% for 100 years or more is to keep your spine and nervous system free from blockages. Find a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you today to keep you in the best possible shape for whatever lifestyle you choose.