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Grip Strength!! Your Most Vital of Vital Signs if You Want to Be Healthy and Mobile???

Hi, if you've ever been concerned with cardiac health or you've thought about having better balance, stronger bones, stronger muscles, better mobility, better cognitive functioning, and memory, there may be one thing that you are overlooking that you should keep track of as you get older. Today, I want to talk about the one vital sign that nobody is thinking of, and that is grip strength. So when we think about vital signs and things that are regularly measured when you go to your doctor for a regular checkup, we are thinking of things like blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and more advanced than that if necessary, we're thinking of blood sugar levels, and still more advanced than that, there are things like VO2 Max and things like that that will determine a connection to your overall health and your health going forward and can sometimes be looked at as predictors of what your health and your mobility might look like as you get older.

Grip strength is becoming more increasingly under the microscope for healthcare experts as something that correlates very heavily with the things we mentioned earlier.

So there are tons of studies that are out there in very recent times that demonstrate that grip strength is highly correlated with cardiac health. It's correlated with the chance that you are going to have a negative cardiac event in your near future. For example, if you are an older person and your grip strength is on the lower side of what is considered normal, the odds of you having an issue with your heart or your cardiovascular system increases. So weaker grip strength means poor cardiac health. The same relationship is across the board for balance, speed of movement, strength, endurance, cognitive limitations in memory, bone density, even. So all of these measures of health and all of these things that we need to be able to move better, move longer, and live a healthier life can all be sort of correlated back to what your grip strength is.

Now, that certainly does not mean that somebody who has very strong hands and cannot walk up the stairs, that the strong hands will overtake the rest of what they're going through and their mobility. What we're saying is that you can easily determine how the rest of your health is and the rest of your functional mobility is by simply being more aware of your grip strength.

So what I like to think about is, for me, it's easy to test grip strength, we have an ability to do so. But for you as the listener and the watcher of this video, my thought process is that you simply just have to be aware of your grip strength because it could raise a red flag or give you a sort of a reminder that, hey, maybe you need to start exercising a little bit more in general to keep your entire body in shape, your entire level of mobility in shape because we use our hands so often during the day. There may come a point in your life where you start to feel, wow, it's really a lot harder to open this jar than it was a year ago, or I find myself asking for help to carry a gallon jug of milk and place it in the refrigerator because my hands just don't feel like they're going to hold it, or I can no longer carry three bags of groceries into the house, I can only carry one at a time because it just feels like my hands are not going to be strong enough to do that.

Any measure of your real life where you start to think about when you're using your hand and it feels like it doesn't have the strength that's required to do the job in the way it may have in an earlier time of your life, that is just a signal to me that your overall wellness, your overall health, your overall strength and balance need to be worked on. So the idea with this video is not to present you with a series of exercises that will only improve your grip strength. I can do that, but it would be missing the point. You see, if somebody is overall very weak, let's say you have a gentleman or a woman in their 70s or 80s, and they have trouble getting out of a chair, they have trouble walking fast the way they did when they were younger, they have trouble with their balance, you know, things have just slowed down for them for one reason or another, they're probably going to have grip strength that has also slowed down. So if I take that person and I only focus on improving their grip strength, I may be able to improve it by 25%, 50%, 100% even. But if we neglect the other things, the improvement in grip strength will not improve your cardiac health, it will not improve your balance, it will not improve your bone density. Remember, this is just a correlation, and it's easy, like I said earlier, for you to recognize in your daily life when you're using your hands, the more difficulty you are experiencing using your hands, the more your body overall needs exercise.

So one way you could kind of test things in a formal way is also a very rudimentary exercise that we might use, but you can regularly kind of just get a sense. It's not a measurement, it's not a direct metric where you can write it down and say, my grip strength is 110 pounds. It's just a general kind of a sense that you can get by doing it on a regular basis and then in your memory comparing that to an earlier time. So basically, what you're going to do is you're just going to grab a regular towel. Okay, so this is just a bath towel, a shower towel, and what you want to do is you want to roll the towel on opposite ends as if you're ringing out fluid from the towel. If it was a wet towel and you're trying to ring it out, one hand is going one way, the other hand is going the opposite direction, and you're really getting a tightness in the middle. So again, this can be an exercise to improve grip strength if you're into really doing that and focusing on that. But to me, it's just a way for you to get an idea on how your grip strength is being maintained as you age. Okay, so I want you to get this and really tighten it and ring it and then you're going to further ring it as if you're trying to ring every drip out, every drip out, and you just repeat that over and over and you roll up on it and you repeat it and you squeeze and you'll get a sense for what that feels like, and then you simply turn it around to focus on the opposite side.

Okay, now again, this can be an exercise, but what I want you to do is I want you to use that as a way to sort of just really qualitatively measure how your grip is doing, along with how you feel your grip is doing in your everyday life. Very, very easy, very rudimentary and basic way of just getting a feeling, and one day you might do that and you might be like, hey, this doesn't feel like I can ring this as strongly as I could six weeks ago or eight weeks ago.

I want you to use that information, and I want you to increase the exercises that you're doing on a regular basis. A daily exercise program is beyond the scope of this particular video. You certainly will find many things on this channel relative to daily exercise that you can follow, but the point of this exercise, the point of this video, is to give you another way to just really grossly and simply measure how you are measuring up when it comes to your overall health. And then if you realize that something as simple as feeling a strong grip and maintaining the ability to grip strong and do things with your hands, it probably means that you're also doing things that benefit your heart. You're also doing things that benefit your bone density. You're also doing things that benefit your balance and your walking speed and your endurance and your cognitive capabilities because they're all connected.

So keep your grip strength up, measure it regularly with this very, very simple kind of a test. Listen to your body when you're doing everything on a daily basis with your hands, and if you're realizing that your hands aren't doing as well as they had in prior months or weeks or years, do more exercise. Do exercise more often. You'll find a bevy of different ways to exercise appropriately and specifically for different needs in your body on this channel as time goes on. And certainly, the internet has become a wealth of knowledge and a resource for those same things for elderly people who are trying to really take control of their health, take control of their health span, and live a longer life that is mobile, happy, and functional.

So again, make sure before you engage in any exercises that you check with your doctor first. The advice that I give you is very general, and it can be extremely helpful, but you have to make sure that your body is ready for the things that I may teach you. So again, remember grip strength: the stronger your grip is, the more likely you are to have good cardiac health, good bone density, good balance, good strength, good endurance, good memory, and cognitive capabilities. When you have all those things and they're in good shape, your life is probably doing pretty well. And that is the goal of this video: to use movement to make your life a happier life, a better life, and a more satisfying life as you get older.


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