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Want To Live Longer? Pay Attention To This Muscle Group

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  • Posted on 19th Sep, 2022 11:50 AM
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Get a grip.

How do you measure muscle strength? Weightlifting and bodyweight exercises can certainly give you an idea, but there's a simpler way to get a sense of muscularity and overall fitness: grip strength.

Why grip strength is an important health indicator.

Grip strength has been used as an important measurement in research setting for a long time and in clinical practice for over a decade, and it remains a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to test muscle strength. It's typically measured by a machine called a handgrip dynamometer, which you can find online or in most fitness centers.

Beyond muscle mass, grip strength has also been found to be an indicator of overall health in recent years. Increased muscle strength, as demonstrated by a stronger grip, has been associated with increased cardiovascular health in large, longitudinal population studies. The force of one's grip has even been correlated to overall longevity. "We know grip strength is a powerful indicator—and a potential biomarker of aging," Bjorn Heine Strand of the University of Oslo's Institute of Health and Society, tells Reuters.

As such, exercises that maintain muscle mass and grip strength become even more important as we get older (when muscle losses become more common, but not inevitable).

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How to support it.

Grip strength isn't just made in the gym, mind you. Research finds that those who maintain active lifestyles, don't smoke, and have a lower waist circumference tend to have the highest grip strength.

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Interestingly, nutrition seems to play a role too: Older adults (above 60 years old) who consumed more omega-3's, fiber, and vitamin C in their diets were more likely to have greater hand grip strength in a 2016 study out of Korea. Separate research out of India found that those who took supplements containing antioxidant-rich turmeric also had higher overall measures of hand grip strength, as well as increased weightlifting capacity and faster recovery times after exercise.* (Never underestimate the power of curcuminoids!)

And of course, regular resistance training is key for maintaining grip strength (and your bone health) as you age. Exercising any and all muscle groups will pay off in grip gains, but as mbg's health & fitness director Kristine Thomason previously explained, you can also work specific grip-strengthening exercises—like squeezing a tennis ball or stress ball, hanging on a pullup bar, or wringing out a towel with both hands—into your fitness routine.

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The takeaway.

Your grip strength can give you a quick read on the state of your muscle fitness—and your overall health. So be sure to keep that handshake firm by staying active, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and making regular resistance training a priority.

turmeric potency+
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(18)
turmeric potency+

turmeric potency+

Promotes a healthy inflammatory response for whole-body health*

turmeric potency+

turmeric potency+

Promotes a healthy inflammatory response for whole-body health*

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(18)
turmeric potency+
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