Getting a grip on your mobility and muscle mass can lead to a longer, healthier life
When it comes to leading a long, healthy life, there are a few key indicators that shed light on your likelihood of surviving well into old age. Mobility is perhaps one of the most important markers. The longer you stay active and mobile, the better outcomes you have. And within the realm of mobility, there’s one particular marker that is a crucial indicator of your health—grip strength.
So why is grip strength so important, and how can you improve it? Read on to learn the surprising science behind this longevity marker and how you can strengthen your grip and improve your muscle mass and function to support a long, healthy life.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, over 5,000 senior women were assessed over a 5-year span. The average age of participants was 78 years old, the study looked at weight loss, weight gain, grip strength, balance, and gait speed.
When assessing factors that increased longevity; weight loss, balance, and gait speed were all important predictors. However, higher grip strength had the highest correlation to longevity independent of other factors assessed. And when paired with weight loss, great balance, and increased gait speed, those with a higher grip strength saw even lower mortality rates.
Parallel studies have been replicated in older male adults, with similar outcomes. So regardless of your gender, improving your mobility and grip strength is critical to age in a healthy way and improve chances of living a long life.
In fact, a strong grip also correlates to upper limb function, bone mineral density, and decreased fracture risk. Study participants with greater grip strengths in general also had healthier brains, less depression, and better nutritional habits than those with lower grip strength, demonstrating how powerful this indicator is as a measure of good health.
Improving grip strength starts with improving muscle mass and boosting overall strength. There are several exercises you can do to improve your strength, from the simplest that can be done sitting on the couch to those performed in the gym, both have a place in a well balanced routine.
Ball squeeze: Grab a tennis ball and get squeezing. Squeeze repetitively for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat several times a day.
Plate pinch: Grab two 5-pound plates and pinch them together. Place at your side, holding with your thumb and forefinger, and walk as far as you can without letting them slip out of your grip.
Farmer's carry: Find a kettlebell or dumbbell and grip in one hand. Carry it on your walk until your grip starts to fail. Repeat with the other hand.
Dead hang: Hang from a chin-up bar as long as you can. Work your way up in time and frequency.
In addition to adding simple moves into your daily routine, increasing your intake of targeted supplements can also help improve your grip strength. We recommend flaxseed oil and turmeric for optimal results.
Flaxseed oil is a great alternative to fish oil with many of the same health benefits but without the unpleasant digestive issues and taste. The healthy omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids found in the Bedrock Series Flaxseed Oil are not only heart-healthy, but they also lubricate joints to improve mobility, an important longevity marker.
In addition to flaxseed oil, turmeric is another supplement that can help promote healthy movement and joints. Bedrock Series Turmeric from BELDT Labs works as a potent antioxidant and fights inflammation that can cause pain.
When paired together with a regular routine that helps you build mobility and grip strength, these supplements can help you maximize your results and enjoy a longer, healthier life free from pain.