O N YO U R H E A LT H
B Y D R . J O N W A R D, M . D.
t is becoming increasingly clear that weight training is not just for
appearances. A recent study published in The British Medical Journal found that muscle weakness increases the likelihood of death and many other specific illnesses. This study looked at over 500,000 subjects and tracked their medical records over several years. It used grip strength as a gauge of muscle weakness. When factoring in all other risks, including age, diet, activity level, and economic status; grip strength was an independent risk factor for death and disease. For death from all causes, each 11lb increment
associated with a 20% increase of death in women and 16% increase in men. Specifically, for heart disease, the risk was 19% greater for women with weak grip and 22% for men. For respiratory disease, the risk was 31% greater for women and 24% for men. And for cancer, the risk was 17% greater for women and 10% greater for men. A separate Norwegian study examined grip strength in the elderly in their 80s and 90s and found that a stronger grip can predict the likelihood of these patients living past 100. What might account for this association? Grip strength is a proxy for lean muscle mass. Generally speaking, a stronger grip would indicate the rest Photo provided Mirror Image 30 THE CIRCUIT by July/August 2018Athletics
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