What Your Grip Strength Means for Your Overall Health
When you think about your overall health, grip strength may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, research has shown that grip strength is a powerful indicator of health and can provide important insights into your risk for chronic conditions. In this post, we’ll explore why checking your grip strength at your next doctor’s visit is so important and offer tips for improving your grip strength.
What Grip Strength Can Reveal About Your Overall Health
Grip strength is a measure of the strength and function of the muscles in your hands and forearms. Research has shown that grip strength is closely linked to overall health, with low grip strength being associated with a higher risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, a study published in the Lancet found that grip strength is a better predictor of mortality than systolic blood pressure.
Improving Your Grip Strength
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your grip strength. One of the most effective ways to improve grip strength is through strength training exercises that target the muscles in your hands and forearms. These exercises can include squeezing a grip trainer, doing wrist curls, or using hand grips.
Other lifestyle factors can also impact grip strength. For example, smoking has been shown to lower grip strength, while eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can improve it. In addition, reducing stress and managing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can also help to improve grip strength.
Checking Your Grip Strength
To check your grip strength, your doctor may use a handheld dynamometer or a grip strength meter. These devices measure the amount of force you can generate with your hand and are a quick and easy way to assess your grip strength.
Checking your grip strength at your next doctor’s visit is an important way to assess your overall health and identify any potential risks for chronic conditions. By improving your grip strength through strength training exercises and other lifestyle changes, you can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic disease. If you’re concerned about your grip strength or any other aspect of your health, be sure to talk to your trained Orange County Physical Therapists.