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Handgrip Strength May Predict Future Mortality Risk

According to Health.Harvard.com, “for most men, grip strength begins to decline around age 55. The change may be associated with sarcopenia—the natural age-related decline in muscle mass. In addition to normal aging, possible causes include diseases like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and medical conditions, such as nerve damage or tendinitis in the hands or wrists.

Statistics show that, “a 5-kilogram (kg) decline in grip strength was associated with a 17% increased risk of dying from a heart attack, and a 7% and 9% chance of having a heart attack or stroke, respectively, over a four-year period,” as reported in a July 2015 study – published in the journal Lancet.

For women, “grip strength is a good indicator to identify women who may be at risk of osteoporosis. In addition, grip strength may predict one’s overall mortality. As grip strength indirectly reflects your functional status and muscle mass, a decline in grip strength may rule out whether you have an increased risk of disability in the future,” notes Hipeq.com.

Wet Towel Squeeze:
Wet a small towel or cloth. Then, use both hands to wring out the water. Repeat several times.

Hand Squeeze:
Using a soft tennis ball, rubber ring (available on internet), or silly putty, hold in palm of one hand – between the fingers and thumb – and squeeze. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat several times. Repeat with the other hand.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exerises every Wednesday on WWL-TV