Grip Strength as an Indicator of Heart Health. Did you know that a strong grip doesn’t just mean a firm handshake. But it could also be a good indicator of a person’s heart health?
Aside from that, it has also been reported that the strength of one’s grip could predict a person’s chance of experiencing or dying from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In fact, various researches have proven this fact to be true.
Two separate but related types of research have reported. That a person’s grip could be a great indicator of current cardiovascular condition. One study reported that a significant increase in grip strength. Could lower the chances of a person dying from a heart attack. Another research has also claimed that stronger grips could contribute to the heart’s ability to pump more blood into the body.
Let’s dig in deeper into these two types of research.
The Connection Between Hand Strength and Cardiovascular Health
A research published by The Lancet looked at the relationship between grip strength and heart health. Among adults from 17 countries aged 35-70 as a part of Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study. They used a device called dynamometer to measure a person’s grip strength. It recorded any changes in the person’s health within a span of 4 years.
Their results showed that a 5-kilogram decrease in a person’s hand strength was associated with the following:
- An increased 16% chance of dying from any diseases;
- A 17% chance of dying from a heart disease;
- 7% increase in their chances of experiencing heart attack; and
- 9% increased the risk of experiencing a stroke.
Even when the researchers considered risk factors such as age, lifestyle, and other contributing factors, they still found hand grip strength to be a strong indicator of heart health.
They also found out that grip strength was actually a better indicator of cardiovascular functioning than blood pressure. However, the researchers suggested looking more into the relationship between the two brings us to the next research.
Grip Strength and a Healthier Heart Functioning and Structure
To investigate the link between grip strength and heart functioning. The grip strength of 5,065 participants with no history or underlying heart problems was measured using a hydraulic machine. Where they were instructed to squeeze a handle as hard as they can. Researchers Sebastian Beyer and Steffen Peterson studied the MRI of the participants along with the data they obtained from the hydraulic machine.
The study revealed that people with stronger grips were associated with better heart functioning. Since their hearts were able to pump more blood into the body despite having a lower heart mass. This finding, in turn, indicated that the heart muscles are less likely to experience remodeling. Which happens during hypertension or heart attacks. This was a breakthrough for the study since it gave a better understanding of the connection between the hand grip and heart structure, which was not known previously.
With the researches to prove it, there is no doubt that there is a strong correlation between grip strength and cardiovascular health. You don’t have to limit doing your hand strengthening exercises at the gym. Even when you’re at home watching television, you can do some hand strengthening exercises by using hand grippers or by squeezing tennis or rubber balls.
But of course, developing stronger grips wouldn’t be as effective without giving your muscles proper nutrition. Make sure to eat healthier and avoid eating unhealthy foods as much as possible. And finally, remember that a healthy, strong grip means a healthy heart.