Can a Firm Grip Signal a Healthy Future?
As we age, we lose muscle strength. If we lose enough, it can become difficult to do some of the simple, everyday activities we're accustomed to doing, like getting dressed in the morning, taking a bath, eating a meal, even walking from one place to the next.
Maintaining as much muscle strength as possible may help avoid or postpone these frustrating problems later in life. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, men with good hand grip strength in "midlife" (45 + years old when the measurements were taken) reported much less disability related to muscle strength 20 years later. Specifically, men with weak original hand grip measurements had more trouble with household work, slower walking speed, and more difficulty dressing, bathing, eating, etc., than men with strong grip strength measurements.
What's this all mean? Working to keep your muscle strength now might mean having more muscle strength (and less frustration) later. These findings are especially important because grip strength seems to be a good general indicator of strength in other areas of the body.
Ask your chiropractor about measuring your hand grip strength, and ask about appropriate exercises that can help you improve and maintain muscle strength throughout life.
Rantanen T, Guralnik JM, Foley D, et al. Midlife hand grip strength as a predicator of old age disability. Journal of the American Medical Association, February 10, 199: Vol.281, No.6, pp558-560.
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