Doctors have always understood that muscle strength plays a significant role in overall health. However, they’re beginning to wonder whether one particular group of muscles may play a larger role than the others. The muscles in the wrist and forearm control our hand grip and may be one of the most important ways to measure biological age.
Our bodies are constantly changing throughout our lives, and when we reach old age, there are a few key factors that come into play. Our relationships to medical conditions, physical fitness, and muscle strength all shift. However, these changes aren’t the same for everyone, and a person’s age in years can be different than their biological age.
Biological age is simply a sign of how well a body is functioning relative to its age in years. There’s no exact way to measure it, however, one of the key indicators is muscle strength. The reason is that muscle strength plays a large role in overall health. This includes how well we withstand diseases, even chronic conditions like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
As we age, muscle strength begins to decline, which is part of the reason why older adults are at greater risk for health problems. The good news is not all older adults need to suffer from loss of muscle strength.
According to a 2018 study, there’s an even more specific indicator for biological age. In a study including over 500,000 participants, low grip strength was found to have a direct relationship with a higher risk of negative health outcomes, including heart disease and several types of cancer.
The reverse is also true. Those who have higher grip strength were shown to have greater disease resistance and enjoy a higher quality of life. This applied to people across all age groups, meaning that older people with higher grip strength can have a greater resistance to disease than younger people with weaker grips.
So why does grip strength have such a dramatic impact on our health? Experts say that grip strength has an important role but is ultimately only a piece of the puzzle. Genetics also plays a part, as well as overall physical fitness.
One of the reasons why it has become such a hot topic recently is because the grip is a convenient way to measure body strength. Rather than asking older adults to lift heavy weights or go on long runs, they can use grip strength testers to get an idea of their overall physical fitness.
Training your grip can be an excellent way to get in some exercise, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to a longer life. Instead, it’s best to train our grip strength along with the rest of our body for balanced physical fitness.
Measuring your grip strength at home can be a great way to understand your biological age. A Personal Grip Strength Tester can give you an accurate reading in seconds. Simply adjust the handle for a comfortable fit, squeeze the grip, and check your results on a large, easy-to-read display.
For a general idea of the average grip strength for your gender and age group, take a look at this chart.
If your grip strength isn’t what it used to be, making the effort to give your hands a workout can be just what the doctor ordered. For comprehensive grip strength, try to take advantage of all these strategies:
There is a wide range of different gadgets that can help you train your grip, at home, at the office, or on the go. Take a look at some of these popular options and choose the one you like best:
If you want to make the most of your resistance training tools, planning your workout can make all the difference. While all of the above pieces of equipment are simple and easy to use, specific exercises can help you pace yourself and work specific muscles.
Find more exercises you can do on your own in our guide for the best strengthening exercises which includes video demonstrations from experienced physical therapists.
At the end of the day, grip strength is just one part of your overall body strength. Keeping the muscles in your wrist and forearm healthy is the same as any other part of your body. That means eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and stretching before and after your workout are all crucial.
While maintaining health into old age can be a challenge, grip strength can give us an idea of how well our body is aging. Even for those whose grip strength could use a little work, there are plenty of ways to improve or maintain the muscles in our wrists and forearms. In the end, a bit of persistent effort can go a long way toward improving our independence and quality of life.Shop Grip Strengtheners