Grip_ageing_web

Get a grip on ageing

How well are you ageing and how do you measure that ageing process? Do you count wrinkles? Perhaps you monitor your ability to ride a skateboard? It could be that you use your capacity to remember things as a yardstick for how well you are ageing. According to new research one thing that you could use to measure your ageing progress is the strength of your grip.

Ageing is a very subjective and relative thing and it is not chronological. Yes, you can count your life in the years you have lived but that doesn’t tell you what is going on inside you. Your biological age can be very different to your biological age. The 60 year old person who has eaten well, exercised regularly, and cultivated a calm mind will have a different biological age to another 60 year old person who has smoked, remained sedentary, been anxious, and lived largely on fast food (assuming the latter person makes it to 60). Along with the rising interest in “anti-ageing” (“ageing well” would be a better term), has come a plethora of tests aimed at measuring “markers” of ageing. The price of some of these tests will age you themselves, but you there are also more everyday measures of how well you are ageing biologically and one of them seems to be your hand grip strength.

The new research involved analysing data from more than 50 published studies that looked at various measures of biological ageing. The studies ranged across cultures from around the globe and they found that hand grip strength is a reliable indicator of how a person is ageing biologically.

It seems that palmistry experts have been right all along, your longevity can be told from your hands. So next time you shake hands with someone you can tell more than whether they want to dominate you or not, you can tell how old they really are. Maybe we shouldn’t celebrate birthdays but instead should celebrate how many walnuts you can crush in one hand.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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