Grip Like a Spartan – Live Long if You’re Strong.
When John F. Kennedy in his run for presidency set out to find the most effective handshake, people thought it was a joke. Little did they appreciate the wisdom behind a grip strength is the ultimate display of power and health. A firm handshake leaves the other party feeling your dominance and power. Weak handshake, or a weak fish’ leaves them with a poor impression of your personality.
A firm handshake is a good indicator of a person’s health. That firm hand squeeze you give is an indicator of your muscle strength and blood pressure. It can also can go a long way in determining how long you will live. Take it this way, if you cannot squeeze open a jar of pickles then that may indicate decreased functionality and disability a few years later.
Medical professionals in past uses grip strength to tell if patients suffering from heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular diseases are getting better or not. That simple grip could tell if you are at risk of death from your illness. An investigation was organized by the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) institute measuring a person’s health via a hand grip dynamo-meter. The results showed that per 5-kilogram decrease in grip strength, there was a one in six increase in fatality from any cause. The correlations of grip strength weren’t accounted for by varying ages, educational level, sex or physical activity among other reasons.
A grip test is a simple tool used by doctors to test for blood pressure and determine the health of patients. A blood pressure test is more relevant to patients suffering from cardiovascular conditions. Come to think of it, a grip test is the best way to test for health since it involves a non-invasive and cost-effective hand grip process. Elevated Blood pressure, however, is no clear sign of a medical risk or condition but may point to other factors like stress.
There is no proof pointing to grip strength as a sign of good health in young adults. Most people at a young age can tighten a loose nut with ease. But then again that does not mean you should ignore your hand grip as it focuses on body strength.
Increase Your Grip Strength Now!
The best way to mold your grip is to conduct regular hand exercises like squeezing a pressure ball. Most people when exercising focus on the cardio part to stay fit and burn off the extra calories. They forget one part of a healthy workout routine. Body Muscles!
Strength training is a good way to stretch out your muscles and promote your health and longevity as we mentioned before. Data from the National Health Interview Survey showed that lack of strength training affected the death of 30,000 people above the age of 65 in 2011 and only 9% of people conduct strength training at least two times in a week. Those numbers show we need to adjust our lifestyle and spend more time in strength training. You should consider picking up those weights the next time you are at the gym.
Building strong muscles requires nutrients, work and rest. If weights are not your thing due to, well, you know, blisters, then try pulling at resistance rubbers on your arms and legs. Avoid being a couch potato and use the stairs as opposed to the elevator when you are not in a rush. Get enough sleep to help your muscles repair and recover. Eat a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients to strengthen your muscles. Next thing you know, you might have the handshake of a Spartan!
Take it as a life’s mission from now on to work on a firm grip every time you shake someone’s hand. Remember, your hand muscles need your attention too so be sure to work out those puppies.
1. Leong DP et al. Prognostic value of grip strength: findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. The Lancet. 2015.