Hey there, friends! Andrew Wilkinson here, to talk about grip strength. It's not just for crushing your enemies and winning arm wrestling matches anymore. It is actually a widely used and well-validated measure of overall health, and it turns out that it can also predict your risk for psychiatric illness and neurodegeneration as you get older.
But here's the thing: we don't just want to know how grip strength affects physical health. We also want to know what this has to do with mental health. After all, cognitive decline is a real worry as we age. That's why this new study on grip strength is so captivating.
The study looked at data from over 40,000 people in the UK Biobank, and the results were pretty cool. Overall, people with stronger grip strength had better cognitive functioning, were happier with their lives, felt better about themselves, and had less depression and anxiety. And get this: the associations were stronger for women than for men.
But it's not only about how people act. The study also examined the structure of the brain. It found that people with stronger grip strength had more grey matter in the subcortical and temporal cortices. And here's the kicker: having more grey matter was also linked to having a healthier mind. In other words, having a strong grip might help your brain.
So, what should we learn from this? Well, for starters, if you're not working on your grip strength, you might want to start. Check out Monkee Grip if you're looking for a tool to help you. Their rope grips are a great way to work both the internal and external muscles in your hands and forearms. They are also very durable and portable, so you can use them anywhere you want.
Overall, this study is a great reminder that taking care of your body can also help you take care of your mind. So go ahead and kill those grip strength exercises. You never know what might happen. You might even be making your brain stronger at the same time.
Information in this article was gathered from “Associations between grip strength, brain structure, and mental health in > 40,000 participants from the UK Biobank” by Rongtao Jiang, Margaret L. Westwater, Stephanie Noble, Matthew Rosenblatt, Wei Dai, Shile Qi, Jing Sui, and Vince D. Calhoun & Dustin Scheinost