written by john c Ashworth, ma
Watch this video to learn how grip strength predicts mortality
Read this post to discover how grip strength predicts mortality.
A few years ago I published my first book. In that book I spent a great deal of time discussing the importance of strength training as a powerful strategy for losing weight. I have long been a big promoter of exercise that builds real strength, and of strength training in general because it almost always seems to be missing in a meaningful way in your exercise program. New research reveals that Grip strength predicts heart attacks, which adds to the strength of my recommendation. …Yes, I couldn’t resist the pun 🙂
In this study, researchers measures the grip strength of people aged 35 to 70 from high to low income countries. There were almost 140,000 subjects and over the four year time period of the investigation, 3,379 people died. The astounding finding was that after controlling for other variables, researchers found that for every 11 pound decrease in grip strength, there was a 17% increased risk for cardiovascular death, a 7% increased risk for heart attack, and a 9% increased risk of stroke.
Even more interesting was the fact that grip strength in this investigation was a stronger predictor of all cause mortality and cardiovascular death than using a more traditional risk factor like blood pressure. At the same time, there was no association of grip strength with diabetes, pneumonia, or falls and fractures.
Researchers said it was still not clear from this investigation whether grip strength is just a marker of good health or if increasing it would lower cardiovascular disease risk. However, this is essentially what they have discovered in this study. That the weaker your grip, the higher your risk for heart problems and death. But before you go out with the sole purpose of simply increasing your grip strength, remember that increased grip strength is really a result of increased levels of overall strength. As the physicians in this study concluded, it appears likely that they should be advising patients not just to exercise regularly, but to add some resistance training as part of that training.
The following is a strength routine you can use that includes some of my most recent exercise of the week additions on YouTube:
1. Cross body curl and press
2. Three moves to help drive your heart rate up and build strength
3. Cable wood chip to one side
4. Full lunge with reach toward the floor
Grip strength predicts heart attacks for the link to the New York Times article I referenced for this post.