Regardless of your age, you need to be learn the tips and tricks to ward off heart disease and stroke. Here’s how your hands help do just that!
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Experts say that a healthy grip is the symptom of a healthy heart. But most people don’t know how healthy hands can lead to the prevention of heart disease and stroke. In this article, we’ll discuss the studies that show how healthy hands affect heart health and the steps needed to maintain it.
How Healthy Hands Prevent Heart Disease And Stroke
If you want to prevent heart disease, work on your grip. It is considered one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy, and control your blood pressure. Occupational therapists can check your hand health by checking your squeezing capacity. This checks your muscle endurance as well as heart health, and probability of stroke in the elderly.
There have been many studies performed in the last few years where researchers have shown how a strong hand grip is indicative of lower blood pressure, especially in men.
Researchers have also stated that grip strength is a strong biological marker of overall health. A strong grip transforms muscle functions and translates to a reduction of heart anomalies and other common health conditions as well.
In addition, other scientific studies have also proven that hand grip exercises highly influence the elasticity of blood vessels. In fact, hand grip exercise makes the wall of the blood vessel more flexible. Therefore, improve blood flow through vessels, and reduce the elevated blood pressure.
In one such study, participants did 10 hand grip exercises, three times per week, continuing up to eight weeks with a 30% optimum voluntary contraction. This study proved that grip strengthening exercises significantly decreases systolic blood pressure, however, diastolic blood pressure didn’t change much.
Researchers also checked the elasticity of the blood vessel through ultrasound measurements. It showed that carotid arteries, the main arteries of the heart, become more flexible after doing 8 weeks of hand strengthening exercise. Flexible vessels are a great sign of healthy blood vessels.
Another study was performed by Cheri McGowan and his team. The study used eight people, aged 62 years, who were taking blood pressure medication. The blood pressure was measured at the beginning of the training. After that, they continued with four sets of isometric grip strengthening exercises where they held each contraction for a maximum of 2 minutes.
McGowan and his colleagues found isometric hand strengthening exercises have enough of a positive consequence on blood pressure and blood vessels that they could be considered great treatment options for hypertension.
However, grip training exercise should not be considered as a substitution for blood pressure medication. Isometric grip training exercise is always recommend by doctors as a treatment option alongside the use of blood pressure regulating medications in order to get effective results.
If you’re looking for more ways to prevent heart disease and stroke than medication and hand grip exercises, then you you should try the extra tips we’re sharing below.
#1 Follow a healthy diet to get better results
Only doing isometric exercises is not going to help much. To get optimum results you need to maintain a protein rich diet that can protect your heart, improve blood pressure, and maintain a healthy blood pressure. Type-2 Diabetes is also an important factor that highly affects your heart, so follow a diet plan that has enough vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, low-fat dairy food, saturated fat, and whole grains. You may consult with a certified dietician to get a proper diet plan to get started with this step.
Generally they prescribe you two types of diet plans such as :
- DASH diet ( Dietary Approaches to stop hypertension)
- A Mediterranean diet
In both of these cases, you’ll need to limit sugar intake, avoid processed carbohydrate, salt, alcohol, red meat, full fat dairy products, and trans fat which are often found in baked food, chips, and fast food.
#2 Regular health screening is important
High blood pressure and cholesterol damage blood vessels, and increase blood pressure. Therefore, getting regular screening makes you aware of your blood glucose level and cholesterol level.
Cardiologists recommend routine blood pressure checks to measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure level. If you’re above 25, then it is a good time to start your blood pressure measurement test. High blood pressure is one of the most significant causes of cardiac arrest and stroke.
#3 Cholesterol level check
High cholesterol is another significant reason for poor heart health. Doctors recommend blood tests to measure cholesterol levels and will give medication along with exercise recommendations to reduce cholesterol levels.
But medication isn’t enough to maintain your cholesterol. Walking, running, jogging, and hand gripping exercises are also very important to maintaining your cholesterol.
Taking care of your hands is just another method of preventing heart disease and stroke. Sure, the steps can feel overwhelming, but it’s better to prevent than try to cure. So keep your heart health up, and start doing hand gripping exercises.