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Susan Brady, MPT
Get a Grip On Osteoporosis: Your Grip Strength May Provide Clues To Your Overall Health
Nurtured Bones
. https://nurturedbones.com/

Get a Grip On Osteoporosis: Your Grip Strength May Provide Clues To Your Overall Health

Through your day, you rely on the grip strength of your hands to perform just about every action.  Although it is easy to take the strength of your hands for granted, your raw grip strength is actually a predictor of overall health, and even osteoporosis.
Why grip strength matters
Your grip strength not only measures the functional capacity of your hands, but has been shown to be related to cardiovascular function, mobility, muscle mass and bone mineral density.  A stronger grip strength reflects more muscle mass, which is associated with increased activity and better health.
Studies have been popping up for years linking grip strength to osteoporosis.  As recently as this past February, a study consisting of 120 postmenopausal women found that decreased grip strength was correlated with reduced bone mineral density of the spine and hips and was a strong risk factor for osteoporosis.
Handgrip strength may also be associated with cardiovascular function and disease.  In fact, grip strength can be a stronger predictor of cardiovascular mortality than systolic blood pressure.
Improved cognitive functioning, including memory, reaction time, and reasoning, has also been linked to a stronger handgrip.
Lastly, the stronger your grip the better mobility and balance reducing the risk of falling and breaking a bone.
How good is your grip strength?
Can you lift a pot off the stove, carry grocery bags in from the car, and loosen the lid of a jar?  If you struggle with these activities, that could be a sign that you need to takes steps to make activity and exercise a priority in your life.  It is important to understand that it is not the strength of your forearm and hand muscles that is significant; it is what your grip strength reflects about the strength and coordination of the muscles throughout your body.
Doing exercises to strengthen the muscles in your wrists and hands can certainly help, especially if you have osteoporosis in your forearm, but just improving grip strength isn’t the answer.  You need to engage in exercises and activities to improve skeletal muscle strength and health.  The more movement you do, whether it is structured exercise or functional work like house chores, gardening, carrying grocery bags, the more you strengthen your muscles head to toe, along with the bones that lie beneath them.

Physical strength and fitness is one of the strongest predictor of individual’s future health.

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