Is a Firm Grip the Key to Longevity?

Despite being an insufferable fitness freak ‒ forever clad in Sweaty Betty and checking my health tracker ‒ until recently I’d never heard about the concept of grip strength. As you can probably deduce, it means how hard you can squeeze something in your hand. It transpires that this simple measure is increasingly being heralded as a key indicator of fitness, health and longevity.

Apart from mattering because we’d all like to live longer, it’s significant as the latest research suggests that there are 1.3 million more active 55- to 74-year-olds and just over half a million more active people aged 75+ than there were six years ago. I’m 47 so this feels like something I should be getting, er, to grips with. I collar Liam, a personal trainer in my gym, to ask him how I can work on the strength in my hands. 

It turns out I already am. ‘Don’t worry, you’re doing these kinds of exercises all the time,’ he says, ‘Deadlifts, kettlebell swings, pull-ups and so on.’ And you don’t have to be an annoying gym bunny to be working on yours too – many of the daily tasks we do at home involve using our grip, from lifting a heavy saucepan and opening jars to lugging home shopping bags.

Excerpted from the Daily Mail

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