Grip Strength Is More Than Access to Nut Butter: Positive Aging

Did you know your grip strength and mortality risk are closely related? Scientific studies included in this episode share the relationship between your grip strength and longevity, and how to test and improve your grip. 

Can you open that jar of nut butter without assistance? If you’re handing those jars off to someone else, it may be time to examine an often-overlooked component of mortality rate and longevity or positive aging. 

What’s Inside this episode:

  • What is grip strength
  • Why it is a measure of positive aging
    • Association with mortality and cognitive function
    • Exactly why is still relatively unknown
  • How to measure it
    • Dynamometer
  • How to improve it (sets & repetitions aren’t absolutely known)
    • Pullups
    • Farmer’s carry
    • Dumbbell exercises
    • Plate squeeze
    • Towel wringing
    • Tennis Ball squeeze
  • Strengthening forearms in reverse wrist curls may also help.
  • What interferes with grip strength?
    • MS
    • Parkinsons
    • Nerve damage
    • Arthritis
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Research Related to Grip Strength

In a 2015 study, researchers examined the connection between grip strength and mortality in 140,000 adults. They found that poor hand grip strength was linked to a higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and death.

Your grip is also an indicator of cognitive and mental health. A 2022 study found that increased grip strength was associated with better cognitive function, less depression and anxiety, and higher life satisfaction.


There are things you can and things we can’t control. Say you do have Parkinson’s or Rheumatoid Arthritis. That may be a limiting factor but overall strength, mobility, other forms of exercise, and your diet are things you can control. It’s a good reason to pay more careful attention to those things you can do something about. Mindset and attitude are sometimes proven to be even more valuable than physical traits. 


Other Episodes You May Like:

What Accelerates Aging and How to Reverse Aging:

Age is Not a Limit: The Psychology of Aging Optimally:


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