One of the best ways to assess your muscle strength, overall fitness, and general longevity is easier than you’d think. It’s not how much you can weight you can bench or squat. Turns out, grip strength is a key health indicator. Here’s why.
Grip Strength as a Health Indicator
The stronger your grip, the stronger your muscles. It’s really as simple as that. And since muscle strength is associated with better cardiovascular health, it’s a part of your overall fitness worth prioritizing. Studies also show a correlation between grip strength and overall longevity.
Experts have long advised maintaining muscle mass, and grip strength by association, as we age. That’s because muscle loss becomes more likely as the years pass. And that’s where the benefits of consistent strength training come in. Here at Framework Personal Training in Reno, our certified personal trainers work with seniors to maintain and improve muscle strength for better health, independence, balance, flexibility, confidence, and the list goes on.
Interestingly, it isn’t just weight training that affects grip strength. Research shows that people are more likely to have higher grip strength if they maintain an active lifestyle, don’t smoke, and have a smaller waist circumference. Nutrition may also be a factor. One study found that adults over age 60 who get greater amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and omega 3’s in their diet are more likely to have higher grip strength. Another observed the same in adults who take supplements with turmeric, which is a rich antioxidant.
Make a point of consistent weight nutrition and a varied, nutritious diet, and keep an eye on your grip strength. Specific grip-strengthening exercises, like squeezing a tennis ball or hanging from a pull-up bar, may be worth working into your fitness routine as well.
The Bottom Line
Grip strength is a quick, easy way to get a read on your muscle fitness, which is a reflection on your overall health. That’s why it’s been used in research and clinical settings for well over a decade. If you’ve noticed a weak grip, take it as a sign to start lifting weights. And in Reno, the pros at Framework Personal Training can help you get started. Contact our team today to learn more.