What your grip strength says about your overall health

February 11, 2020 | by Sindhu Pazhampally
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

A firm handshake is often associated with higher confidence. Research has shown that a powerful grip also correlates to longevity.

Researchers say grip strength can predict your overall strength and health, as well as your risk of cardiovascular disease. As you age, the stronger your grip, the more likely you are to survive diseases like cancer.

Maintaining muscle mass (and, as part of that, grip strength) is important for mobility and strength. If you don’t work your muscles, they lose mass.

This is especially true after age 40, when muscles tend to lose their mass as part of aging. A strong grip at an older age is an indicator of longevity.

In a 2015 study, researchers collected 142,000 grip strength measurements in 17 countries to test ongoing disease and discovered significant results. The study suggests that, for each 11-pound decrease in grip strength, there is a 16 percent higher risk of death from any cause.

Grip strength can be measured with a dynamometer, a tool that measures strength in kilograms by squeezing it.

There are ways to specifically strengthen your grip, though experts suggest focusing instead on overall muscle strength to improve fitness and health. If you strength train regularly, your grip will be stronger.

As we age, it’s especially important to focus on building and maintaining muscle mass. This helps reduce the risk of many diseases as well as physical injury. A structured strength-training program can help you improve overall muscle strength and physical fitness.

Related blogs:

Can you change your fitness age?

How to develop the right mindset for fitness results

Test your grip strength at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness! Schedule a fitness assessment. 

Learn more from Healthy Driven Chicago:

Six ways exercise benefits your health

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