Why Grip Strength Is Important

Posted by H. Eric Alisch on

Are you a member of the military, police, fire/rescue, ambulance or other public service where a person's life may depend on your physical capabilities? Do you participate in sports? Have you opened jars, used a can opener, carried groceries, turned a door knob? To varying degrees, all of these actions require a certain amount of grip strength. From everyday activities to saving someone's life.

Recent research suggests that the strength of a person's grip may be a good predictor of future health. It can form part of an adult's risk profile with respect to heart and lung disease, cancer and overall mortality. Perhaps surprisingly, grip strength has a stronger association with cardiovascular disease than either blood pressure or physical activity. 

As people age, muscle mass can be lost and grip strength weakened. Also, studies have shown that overall, people with the lowest grip strength were more likely to be obese, have a higher waist circumference and body fat percentage and exercise less. Fortunately, these health issues can be addressed with appropriate exercise.

Physical well-being, particularly muscle strengthening (as estimated by grip strength) may increase health-related quality of life. A primary way to build forearm strength and the associated muscles is by working on one's grip. Remember, the forearm muscles control the fingers. 

Hand grippers, used over time, can bulk up the forearms; grip and overall hand strength will also improve with regular use of a hand gripper. Your grip strength progress can be easily measured with a hand-held, calibrated dynamometer. Unlike some other exercises, grip training can be done daily. Stay active and

Live Healthy!